Home Entertainment Retail Expo Closes With Mixed Reviews

The Home Entertainment Retail Expo (HERE) ended today with several hundred retailers and others at the Baltimore Convention Center making their final rounds of what many noted was a smaller and more focused event — great for conducting business, but not so great as far as evening activities went.

Though early attendance totals were not available, a clear decrease in floor traffic was apparent this year. VSDAvice-president of public affairs Sean Bersell told AVN.com, “While attendance does appear to be down, there are a lot of people saying that … a lot of really great business was being done here in Baltimore. But we will definitely be taking all the positives and negatives into account for next year…. Baltimore is a wonderful city and they were an excellent host.”

The VSDA hosted two morning seminars for retailers — one on visual marketing, and another on how traditional video retailers can open their own Websites, offer monthly subscription plans and become sell-through stores.

Local distributor Ryan East’s Richard Brown had a unique perspective on the show, saying, “We weren’t sure that having the show here would be a good thing, but it’s nice to be able to go home to your own bed at the end of the day — and set-up was pretty easy. We are happy with the traffic we got here, and overall, it’s been a good show for us.”

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Nectar Entertainment owner Sean Logan was pleased with his company’s first appearance at the show.

“The show has been great,” Logan said. “I have been able to put faces to the people that I talk to on the phone on a regular basis, and it’s been fantastic. People have been really kind and they have really taken to our product. We did really good business here. We used this show to help brand us and to open up new markets…. I would like to see the show go to Florida or Louisiana in the future, though.”

General manager Bryce Tsuneta of Oriental Dream Pictures, another first-time exhibitor at the show, was also positive: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for us. Baltimore is a wonderful city and this has been a great way to expose our Asian product to a new audience. We are definitely looking forward to coming back next year.”

Sales manager Tony Santoro of Third Degree Films was at the IVD booth today; it was his first time representing the fledgling company he works for at the show.

“It’s been a great show and it’s always good to be out here with the East Coast distributors, especially being a new company,” said Tony. “You need to see people face to face. Baltimore is a nice city, but Atlantic City was a lot more fun and New Orleans would be even better. I think more people would come out if it was held in a higher-energy atmosphere,” Tony added.

Summer Haze, owner of Haze XXXperience Adult Glass Toys, wasn’t happy with how the show turned out for her company: “I think the show turned out so terrible this year. I personally think that more people came out for the show in Atlantic City because they had other things to do; they had the casinos and stuff like that. Things shut down here, like at 6 or 7 at night and there’s nothing to do. Other than going to a night club or a strip club, there’s nothing to do at night…. I would not come back to Baltimore for this show, no.”

Adam & Eve contract performer Carmen Luvana, Jill Kelly Productions contract performer Nikki Benz, and performers Lucy Lee and Laurie Holmes today joined the ranks of girls signing at the show.

Wicked Pictures contract performer Jessica Drake entertained a steady stream of fans, and said of the show: “Having HERE [in Baltimore] is interesting. I expected it to be not quite as good because of the following that I think the Atlantic City show had, but I have definitely signed for a lot more retailers than I did at the Atlantic City show.”

Vivid Girl Savanna Samson agreed with Drake.

“It’s definitely a smaller show and more quiet, and I am having a really good time. There’s definitely more retailers than fans here,” Samson added.

Lisa Dempster, manager of Hometown Video in Sicklerville, New Jersey, expressed a mixed opinion: “Each year this show gets progressively smaller, with less vendors and cool giveaways. Baltimore was okay as a city to have it, but there were just less vendors and I need to talk to them at these shows. The seminars were good and I did get some good ideas for the future, though.”

For information on attending next year’s HERE, visit www.vsda.org.