LOS ANGELES—Ever since this year's 2019 AVN Show, held January 23-26 in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, buyers and exhibitors alike have been singing the praises of AVN’s VIBE Program.
Short for Very Important Buying Executive, the VIBE Program is an invitation-only meeting program placing the best adult manufacturers with the top adult retail buyers, e-tailers and distributors.
“AVN has proved time and time again to be a beneficial show for maintaining and generating new business,” said Michelle Liss, national sales manger for Paradise Marketing. “Even with two other shows preceding AVN, they manage to bring in quality customers that have helped me grow my business. The great thing about AVN is not only bringing in new business, but also the events planned allow us to really get to know our customers on another level.”
VIBE started as a DVD sales program in 2009 and was expanded to include novelties in 2015. Program director Timothy Ferencz asserted, “For anyone who sells adult products who hasn’t tried it, the VIBE Program should be at the top of your to-do list. AVN attracts many buyers from around the world who do not attend any other shows. And because the AVN Novelty Expo draws in so many unique and first-time exhibitors, it’s also considered a don’t-miss event by those buyers who do attend other shows.”
Ferencz added, “AVN has really focused its attention on adding domestic and international buyers who do not attend any show but ANE. We attend several international trade shows, recruiting buyers for ANE. AVN also qualifies its VIBE buyers through manufacturer recommendations, number of locations and total buying volume. The buyers participating in the VIBE Program can place quantity orders which affect a manufacturer’s bottom line.”
According to Michael Guilfolye, director of international marketing and business development, “The 2019 ANE show in general (and the VIBE Program specifically) were huge successes for XR Brands. Not only were we able to see and meet with many of our current customers, but we also met a number of new leads which are already beginning to pay off. We’re looking forward to 2020.”
Rebecca Weinberg, president of XR Brands, added, “The VIBE Program through ANE really is fantastic. Dedicated meetings with prequalified buyers who are there to do real business enabled us to focus our energy during the show effectively. In turn, the show resulted amazing sales and great new relationships. VIBE is a must for all exhibitors that want to see a real ROI on the show.”
Scheduling and organization are arranged by VIBE personnel. Participants get 20-minute meetings, which are organized so buyers go from room to room, often on the same floor.
“The AVN Show has always been a big part of the industry,” said Lisa Hanna, president of sales for Maia Toys. “With it being the most important weekend for some people, our team came in to the event extremely excited, and we were not disappointed. We quickly realized the reason behind AVN being so popular. This is the first AVN Maia Toys has done as a team, and the turnout couldn’t have been better. We signed up for the VIBE Program, which gave us an opportunity to showcase our products to buyers from around the world, while setting up meetings that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for AVN. The venue was great for the event, and the after parties and social events were organized and well thought out. Overall, we took a lot away from this show, and hopefully it will be a growing point for us as a company.”
In addition to meetings, there are breaks for breakfast and lunch in the VIBE lounge, which are designed to be relaxing and productive.
“This is the second time we were a part of the ANE VIBE Program,” said Rob Reimer, CMO of Rascal Toys and Boneyard Toys. “We had a pretty good show last year, but you never really know what to expect with so many shows this time of year. This year, we had the best show we ever had in our 20-year history, and that is no joke. We ended up writing the most show orders we ever have from our 50 scheduled appointments. The most amazing thing was that we took another dozen or so orders from non-VIBE attendees. Some of these buyers were from chains we have been trying to sell to for years and for some reason everything sort of just came together. I think part of it is that Boneyard is a new brand and people were waiting to see how the brand has grown. That combined with the excellent show and staff at AVN was a winning combination.”
VIBE continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year. This past January, VIBE participants were each scheduled 50 meetings over a three-day period. Ferencz said the number of participating exhibitors and buyers is expected to increase for the 2020 AVN Show.
Longtime exhibitor Gabor of Impulse Novelties noticed the growth. “This year was exceptionally good show for my company,” he said.
“The 2019 AVN Show was a strong success for Shibari, our best to date,” said Danielle Seerley of Shibari Wands. “We were promised 30 meetings for the VIBE Program and had closer to 50, which was an awesome bonus for us. The format of the VIBE Program makes it manageable to have both solid customer meetings but also work with any customers that are walking the show. The customer assortment AVN brought to the meetings was a perfect fit, and there was great energy on the show floor. People were there to buy, and I think the manufacturers that were attending were a great fit for the buyers. Customers were really able to fill all of their business needs at the show, and they were super happy about it.”
Ryan Fraga, director of sales and operations at OxBalls and Hünkyjunk, said the AVN Novelty Show overall was a good investment of time and money, praising the “great buyers list of companies there to do business. And the event space was beautiful, well planned and efficient.
“Oxballs and Hünkyjunk will certainly attend next season,” Fraga vowed.
“The 2019 ANE VIBE Program was an excellent opportunity to network with potential customers from all over the world and grow existing partnerships,” said Taylor Means, vice president of marketing and adult sales for Trigg Laboratories. “The quick one-on-one meeting schedule was organized and efficient and customers were excited to buy, making the show a success for us at Wet!”
For more information on VIBE, email Ferencz at [email protected]