Internext 2010 Seminars: Informing, Engaging and Inspiring

LAS VEGAS—Sponsored by TopBucks Mobile, the educational offerings at this year’s Internext 2010 may not have been as numerous as in years past, but they certainly made up in targeted value what they lacked in quantity. (That, at least, is the somewhat biased opinion of this observer, who also put the program together.)

Limited to the morning hours, the first and third days of the three-day conference offered traditional seminars and workshops, while the middle day provided two sessions—one in the morning, one in the afternoon—that offered attendees three-hour blocks in which to engage in Ultimate Networking.

The days also started very early for an adult conference, but enough intrepid attendees still managed to drag themselves out of bed to the Palms ballroom to make each of the sessions of value for all involved.

The first seminar, Monday morning, was “Creative Ways to Trim the Fat: How to Reduce Business Costs Without Reducing Quality and Productivity,” organized by the Free Speech Coalition, and moderated by Executive Director Diane Duke. The panel also featured Neda Ghazanfarpour from HR Monster, LLC, Kelli Shibari from Hourglass 8, industry attorney Jeffrey J. Douglas and Johnathan G. Woolworth of Nicholson & Associates.

Ghazanfarpour spoke about creative ways human resource departments and professionals can save both money and grief. Shibari listed several ways that marketers can cut costs by using free marketing tools, including social networking sites. Douglas checked off a number of incredibly useful ways to save money even if you need to hire an attorney, and Woolworth provided invaluable tips on ways to get necessary insurance coverage and save a bundle. (Sorry, you’ll have to show up next time to actually receive the benefits from those tips. They were simply too valuable to impart for free.)

The next seminar of the day followed a similar script, but with respect to legal contracts and litigation. Presented by MojoHost legal counsel and partner Corey Silverstein, with assistance from Tim Dillon, managing partner of Dillon and Gerardi, the hour provided fresh perspectives on how adult internet companies need to address the deals and partnerships they enter into, and priceless suggestions about how to protect the products that companies spend so much money to produce.

The final seminar of the day was the TopBucks Mobile workshop, Answer the Call: The Mobile Market Demystified. Staffed by marketing and technical specialists from TopBucks Mobile, including Q. Boyer, Kristin Wynters, president Allison Vivas and techies Matt Price and Mikael Ramirez, the hour-long presentation provided a truly in-depth—and non-self promoting—examination of the opportunities available to content producers and affiliate programs in the mobile space.

The Ultimate Networking Experiment

Tuesday was speed networking day, broken up into morning and afternoon sessions whose goal was to allow all networking participants to pitch everyone else. It was, to be honest, only somewhat successful in that regard. The challenge to find a way to create an efficient system for 50 or so people to meet one another without killing everyone in the process continues, but we gave it a valiant try, anyway, and succeeded at least in allowing more people to make more connections than in traditional speed networking methods. Indeed, two methods were utilized Tuesday, and each had its upside and downside. Suffice to say, AVN will not rest. Our next goal is to perfect and build on the current scheme in order to provide increasingly targeted networking opportunities for Internext attendees.

Day Three

Two seminars were featured on the final day of the show, and surprisingly—considering the late nights enjoyed by attendees—each attracted a very healthy audience that clearly wanted to be there.

The first was a legal seminar put on by industry veterans Joe Obenberger of Obenberger & Associates, Larry Walters of Walters Law Group and Gregory Piccionelli of Piccionelli & Sarno. Each attorney addressed a different area of the industry.

Obenberger spoke about the legal intricacies that content producers need to know about with respect to protecting both their content and the models they shoot. In this writer’s opinion, it was one of the most helpful seminars, legally speaking, that he has ever seen, providing specific and hands-on information could be taken and used that very day in a content shoot.

Piccionelli followed, speaking to the related and equally vital issue of copyright protection, and Walters rounded out the hour with a focused address on the hoary but nonetheless important subject of 2257. All told, the hour provided comprehensive information for content producers (and secondary producers) designed specifically to save them money, protect their content and protect their freedom.

The final seminar of the show was not actually a seminar but an interactive discussion on the philosophy of business and life. The Adult Business Strategy Roundtable was conceived by MojoHost president Brad Mitchell, with assistance by Joel Hoskins from CommerceGate and DHD Media, and Mark Hurson, president of Gallery Traffic Service.

Over an hour and a half that actually sped by, the three gentlemen engaged the audience in a deep conversation that was uniquely honest in its assessment of the current state of the industry while simultaneously providing several personal, emotional and even inspiring testimonies from both panelists and audience members about their experiences in the business. Rife with insight and humor, it was a session like few others, and if the comments from audience members as they were leaving were any indication, it delivered an experience that was going to stay with people for some time to come.