XBIZ EU Gets Underway in London

Rhett Pardon

LONDON – XBIZ EU kicked off Thursday afternoon as attendees – including international website and mobile operators, affiliates, broadcasters and many other stake-holding adult entertainment executives in the traffic and billing sectors -- converged for three days of symposiums, networking and deal-making opportunities in London.

XBIZ EU, going on through Sunday at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, officially starts on Friday, but adult industry professionals from around the world queued up for quick registrations Thursday at the opulent central London hotel.

The show promises great opportunities for those small and large international companies to strike deals and get a great deal of education in the unique field of adult entertainment.

On Thursday evening, XBIZ hosted a kick-off happy hour in the early eve as well as the “Presidential Suite” party that lasted well past 2 a.m.

Jerry Barnett, XBIZ EU’s ambassador, was pleased with the pre-show registration turnout and attendance for the first party of the fourth version of XBIZ EU, which included some of the top U.K. adult entertainers who will vie for various UKAP awards to be given out Friday evening

“The suite party was a lot of fun, and I’m looking for tomorrow -- a very big day,” he said of the upcoming Friday schedule that includes the “Adult Provider Network Meeting,” the “UKAP Producers Meeting,” speed networking, a mix-and-meet happy hour and seminar sessions on age verification and online processing.

Friday’s set of events also include a keynote speech by JT, “the You Porn Guy” and “The London Underground Party” and “Sex & Censorship Fundraiser,” sponsored by VeriMe, that will include the UKAP Awards.

Marco van den Akker, of Computenext, operators of MediaPass.com, told XBIZ that he’s already made important connections at XBIZ EU

“XBIZ EU makes it possible to help me to get in touch with the guys who make the decisions of brands you normally use,” he said. “I like XBIZ EU because it is business to business with a naughty touch.”

And that last inference, of course, was substantiated by the U.K. porn stars vying for contention at the UKAP Awards who streamed into the “Presidential Suite” party Thursday night.

But, of course, business was on the mind of van den Akker.

“I already have two opportunities filled in from guys who heard our explanations of our business models through MediaPaas.com that deliver their needs and content from customers from their geographical locations,” he said.

AJ Farias of Bi2Bi.net, a small but growing operator in the Latin bi niche, told XBIZ that he travelled from Spain to see meet and greet and strike deals with the top players in the online adult business.

“It’s awesome and amazing,” he said. “My business is a very small business, but XBIZ EU is here to offer and motivate companies like mine to succeed in business.”

Larger U.S. companies, including cam specialist Flirt4Free, also found great networking connections that will potentially yield dividends.

“This is absolutely great for my business, and I have met really great people who I will be doing business with, and I’m excited to meet more people for the rest of the show, said Jasmine from Flirt4Free.

Ben Yates of Perviens Media, late into the eve, called Thursday’s happy hour and party a “fantastic, great night,”

“Great party, great girls and turnout. Best XBIZ event in London,” he said.

U.K. obscenity attorney Myles Jackman, meanwhile, had his mind focused on the adult entertainment issues that are core of rift in the U.K. Jackman will be a featured panelist on Saturday.

“I am looking forward to three days of robust discourse about censorship and regulation and where the industry is going from here,” Jackman told XBIZ.

Tomorrow, the first day of seminars, sponsored by NETbilling,will begin. So will speed networking sessions, sponsored by Mobidea.

Those events will be capped off by the “The London Underground Party” and “Sex & Censorship Fundraiser,” sponsored by VeriMe. The exclusive event takes place in a refurbished Victorian loft space tucked away in London, featuring both outdoor and indoor space, and just a simple tube or cab ride from the XBIZ EU show hotel.

On Saturday, more events and seminar sessions are planned, including “Sex and Censorship: Reversing the Trend” panel, as well as seminars on traffic and mobile, and the “Spearmint Rhino Party.”