2008 Erotica L.A. Expo Novelty Coverage - Part 1

LOS ANGELES - What comes to mind when you think of an adult trade show open to the public? Most people would probably say "porn stars," which is why Erotica L.A. 2008 featured a full line-up of adult talent. However, the presence of the adult novelty industry is ever increasing at Erotica L.A., and this year's three-day event was no exception.


Good Returns Despite Hard Times


Nearly 50 percent of exhibiting vendors were proudly displaying the latest and greatest in the world of adult apparel, sex toys, personal care products, gifts, games, novelties, and smoking accessories. Many who participated this year noticed the effect our economic climate and the price of gas had on the number of attendees, such as Ian Mark, president of 3rd Planet Products.


"The show [attendance] was off from last year, but those that attended did spend money," he told AVN Novelty Business. "The best responses came from couples shopping at the show. Our Love Gloves, Celebrator Massager, and Body Bare intimate shavers were, as always, a hit."


D. Barnes, owner of Yo Bee, Inc. who manufactures Spin The Bottle-Adult Style, a board game which incorporates everything from horoscopes and drinking to dares and X-rated acts, said Saturday made up for the slower traffic on Friday and Sunday.


"We got responses from everyone, both male and female. They loved this game idea," he said. "The event was not as busy as we had hoped on Friday or Sunday, but Saturday rocked! We sold a lot of games and gave out over 2,000 business cards. We plan on attending this event again. Quite a few of the people who were interested in and purchased our game were other vendors, and that was fantastic."


Shaye Saldana, the new sales and marketing manager of LELO, agreed that Erotica L.A. provided the perfect opportunity to network with fellow exhibitors.


"The show was a huge success," he said. "LELO was able to network with other vendors, create marketing ideas with some of our distributors and resellers who came to the booth to meet with us personally and make a few great friends that will be working to help LELO, a brand that is synonymous with luxury and quality. The GIGI and NEA were both a huge success with attendees who have tried other pleasure toys and found our style and knack for good engineering. They realized our products are something that will last them for a long, long time."


Good for Couples


Miyoko Fujimori, creative director of home party company Party Gals, called the expo the "most couples friendly event" she has ever seen.


"People were very interested in learning about our products," she said. "The atmosphere was relaxed enough that they shared their stories, learned new things, and took the time to really hear what we had to say. Thanks AVN."


Monica Ribas-Alvarez, executive director of HOT Girlz With Passion home parties, shared a similar sentiment, noting that this year she saw more couples attending.


"This was my fourth year of participation with Erotica L.A.," she told ANB. "I was very pleased to see more couples attending this amazing event. We were able to demonstrate some of our products and business opportunities to each person that was invited to our booth. Thanks to events like Erotica L.A., we as women are more empowered!"


Alvarez also said that she felt the workshops and seminars sponsored by The Pleasure Chest were a great feature and permitted couples to become more in tune with their sexuality and to be more open about experimenting in the bedroom.


Sex Ed for Adults


Attendees were treated to a total of eight seminars and workshops, which were a big hit, according to Shawn Petraborg, senior supervisor of retailer The Pleasure Chest.


"The Pleasure Chest seminars were a big hit with everyone," he said. "With seminars from ‘Sex Toys for Beginners' with Kristen Tribby, ‘Fellatio: Sword Swallowing 101' with Jamye Waxman, and ‘Backdoor Betty: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Anal Sex' with Midori, you can't go wrong. Since the seminars aren't too long, the instructors were able to concentrate on the juicy bits, which everyone wants to hear."


Petraborg said he felt the seminars were spaced out well during the event. He also said attendees enjoyed that they were interactive.


"Audience members were encouraged to participate in groups and on stage," he continued. "Kitty and Heather from Cat Moves Pole Dancing got the guys going with their ‘Burlesque, Lap and Chair Fantasy,' and what man wouldn't be excited with one of these ladies? The Pleasure Chest is looking forward to next year's Erotica L.A. We'll be there with an instructor line-up, so there is something for everyone."


To read more about our 2008 Erotica L.A. Expo Novelty Coverage read Part 2: Popular Products, Erotica Bucks, and Consumer Feedback.


For information on exhibiting at the 2009 Erotica L.A. expo, contact Bonnie Shapiro at [email protected].


For a photo gallery of the novelty companies involved with the 2008 Erotica L.A. expo visit ANB magazine's gallery page.