Home Entertainment Retail Expo In Full Swing

The Home Entertainment Retail Expo, the largest home entertainment trade show on the East Coast, attracted large crowds on its second day, with several thousand retailers touring the various mainstream and adult booths at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Total event size, according to many of those present, appears smaller than last year’s show. However, most exhibitors seem to agree that with fewer fans and more retailers present than at last year’s Atlantic City show, this was a good show for doing business.

Overall, the mainstream area took up two-thirds of the show floor, with a packed-to-the-limit adult section taking up the rest of the space.

Retailers toured the show floor’s main area and the sizeable adult section on this second day of the three-day show, when they were not attending various VSDA seminars or the live, DVD commentary with Homicide: Life On The Street producers Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson and James Yoshimura discussing the show with New York Daily News TV critic David Bianculli.

All distributor booths attracted sizeable crowds, including IVD’s booth, where performers signed posters and DVDs for retailers and fans. IVD sales manager Kim Gallagher is very pleased with the show so far, telling AVN.com, “It’s a lot busier than we expected it to be this year. There’s a lot of people here, people who actually have video stores, which is a nice change from last year. There’s not as much fan traffic as there was in Atlantic City, which is great for us.”

Other distributors present for the show include ADI Distributors, E & A Video & Magazine, East Coast News, Kings Distributors, Ryan East Distributors and others.

Performers present and signing for the different distributors/production companies include Wicked’s Jessica Drake, Vivid’s Savanna Samson, Jill Kelly Productions’ Cindy Crawford, Jodie Moore, Summer Haze, Keri Blake and Randi Wright for Red Light District, Brittney Skye, India, Selena Steele and others.

Production companies Red Light District, Caballero, Nectar Entertainment, Oriental Dream Pictures and Private North America all have booths this year.

Red Light owner David Joseph said of the show, “This is the first booth we have had at the East Coast show. We’re reaching out to people, and it’s fun. I think that whenever we are out there and being seen, it’s a good thing.”

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Jim Faile, owner of production company DreamGirls, did what Elegant Angel owner Patrick Collins and Fallen Angel owner Luc Wylder did, and wandered the show floor without having a booth.

“There’s a lot of activity on the show floor. A smaller show is nice because it’s a lot more intimate and it’s easier to sit down with people and find out what they need from you and what we can do for them. It’s like the business-only days at the AVN show,” Faile said.

Retailers also enjoyed the day.

Mitzi Hilmer, manager of Executive Video in Houston, Texas, waited in line to get a Fluff And Fold poster signed by Drake. “It’s a really good show,” said Mitzi. “We go to this one and to the one in Vegas every year, and I like this city a lot. I have been able to talk to a lot of the vendors.”

Derek Blackburn, manager of R & R Home Video in Niles, Ohio, echoed Hilmer’s sentiments. “I love this show,” said Blackburn, “and I am really glad it’s here this year. I hope the show never goes back to Atlantic City.”

While some were hearing rumors that the show would be leaving Baltimore for either New Orleans or Orlando next year, Sean Bursell, VSDA’s vice-president of public affairs, said there was nothing behind the talk and that they were very pleased with how the show was going.

“We are really excited to be in Baltimore. We had been in Atlantic City for many years and really, that venue had played itself out in terms of exhibitors and attendees. Some of the exhibitors from last year’s show told us they weren’t coming back to Atlantic City after last year. More of them are committing more to the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, which has grown so tremendously. Some companies can only choose one place to be, and that’s definitely the one to pick. That show is going to be fabulous this year,” Bersell said.

The show floor re-opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow, with the VSDA hosting a seminar on visual marketing at 9 a.m.