by Rich Moreland, February 2017
I just returned from my annual trip to Las Vegas for the adult industry trade show. As usual my photographer and I teamed with Steve Nelson, the editor of Adult Industry News, to cover as much as possible in our brief four days.
This post is the first of two parts and represents only a portion of what we recorded.
A note on the hyperlinks. If a company’s online home page displays hardcore photos, I did not include the hyperlink here as it may not be suitable for all readers.
Photos provided by AVN are credited where appropriate.
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Trade shows are for networking, marketing new products, attending seminars, and in the case of the annual Adult Entertainment Extravaganza, oops, I mean Expo, canvassing porn talent.
This year’s show was one the best I’ve attended. Here are few highlights.
On the production side of the business, I had another opportunity to interview the always busy John Stagliano of Evil Angel. He gave me some thoughts on the incoming administration in Washington DC (my part of the country, by the way). Later in the week, John participated in a seminar on the same topic.
As the week was winding down, I renewed acquaintances with Moose of Girlfriends Films. Though they no longer have a booth in the show, Girlfriends has upped its game on the distribution side of the business and Moose is in Vegas to refresh his industry contacts.
I’m always interested in emerging companies poised to make a splash with a new idea. One relatively recent player is Royal Empire Productions. I interviewed the owner, Robert Morgan, to get his take on what he calls “realistic porn.”
Negotiating The Joint and the Artist and Muse Halls on opening day was easy, the crowd was a little sparser than I anticipated. By week’s end the fan traffic picked up considerably and the show was bustling with an upbeat tempo.
The refreshing part of the AEE experience is running into people unexpectedly. Here are a few examples of my week.
A text exchange led to breakfast with seasoned pro, Natasha Nice. We discussed the possibility of her writing a post or two for this blog.
The super fabulous Chanel Preston gave me a few impromptu moments as did the BBW April Flores when I found her chatting with friends near the AVN booth in Artist Hall.
A couple of times I stopped by Bang.com to pass time with the two legends of porn, Casey Calvert and Maddy O’Reilly.
Love these powerhouse girls.
And, by the way, I visited with Chris Cane of Foxxx Modeling where I met a new girl who is bound to become a star, Emma Hix. My interview with this sweetie follows in another post.
Oh yes, timing sometimes fails me. I attempted to persuade a hurried Riley Reid to pause for a “hello” but I might as well have tried to hail a bullet train!
New Face of Porn
A new girl is solidifying her place in porn: the webcam honey. This year’s AEE rolled out the welcome mat for these dynamos who float between real hardcore and solo performances via computer, all in direct connection with their fans. MyFreeCams and Chaturbate seduced show goers with face-to-face fun.
I met Emma Chase, a Chaturbate girl who stopped me for a moment to demonstrate with her computer how our conversation was soaring through cyberspace. Emma lists her talents as simply “entertainer.” She’s a delight and if Chaturbate is your thing, go to Google and search her out.
Likewise a goth looker named Eliza Bathory, who markets herself as a model, camgirl, and artist, was at her laptop among the horde of Chaturbate girls. Since I’m fascinated by facial piercing (Eliza has a bunch) I promised to return later to get an interview. Unfortunately, she disappeared into the nether regions of the show. Very Dracula-like.
From the marketing side, let’s not forget VR. The Cam4VR booth offered a rousing example of what the whole virtual reality thing is all about; it’s the wave of the future.
I interviewed Ela Darling and among her many talents is a love of VR.
“I am the ‘Queen of VR Porn,'” Ela says, “and the leading voice in the VR industry for the adult industry. I speak at conferences all over the world. People in that space really make room for me. They respect the work that I do, they respect us as an industry and understand that we are an important for the future of VR.”
Direct engagement with the fan is where porn is going in this age of social media, Ela explains.
“We just launched Cam4VR this past year. I’m the world’s first VR camgirl. We’re getting ready to introduce a new camera that’s really cool and a voice-to-voice experience and a private chat network. When you put on that headset, you speak. The performer hears and gets right back [to you].”
From year to year, the AEE rearranges its spaces to maximize the fan experience. The most obvious this year involved the setup for BDSM enthusiasts.
The bondage carnival known as The Lair relocated from the second level of The Joint to the floor of Artist Hall, a move I’m sure to increase its visibility and fan traffic.
BDSM equipment and a demonstration or two (All models were fully dressed, there was more flesh on a Chaturbate girl!) highlighted its activities.
Lastly, every year I come away with the same thought on the show. Artist and Muse Halls are easier to negotiate than the tight spaces of The Joint. Being a bit claustrophobic, I do appreciate the efforts of AVN to keep movement as smooth as possible!
Stay tuned for part two of this report.