VSDA Begins in Vegas

A record number of new exhibitors and an increase by 30 percent of adult-oriented exhibitors will meet for three days of business and networking at the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) Show beginning today at the Bellagio Hotel.

The show dates are today through Thursday, and exhibitors and attendees endured the 100-degree heat, flash floods, car accidents and delayed flights in and out of town to get down to business.

This year, the Bellagio welcomes the convention with more industry players showing up to see what the future has in store for hardcore with all the changes in the current sales and rental market.

The Grand Ballroom in the Bellagio held the mainstream areas of exhibitors, focusing on Business 2 Business (B2B) companies and KidVid creators and sellers. The adult and mainstream exhibitors found the 27th and 28th floors cozy and more upscale than the Venetian's digs from last year.

In the almost 25 years since the inception of the VSDA, we haven’t seen such courting of exhibitors one and all.

“The elegance of the Bellagio and its state of the art suites and meeting space provided an outstanding experience for attendees and exhibitors alike,” said VSDA President Bo Andersen.

There’s almost 75 mainstream exhibitors and nearly 40 adult companies on hand, boosting the attendance, but most of all, proving positive that porn continues to grow and thrive like never before. Call it the mainstreaming of adut entertainment, but these video business gurus know the combination of new convention space, lavish hotel properties and plenty of seminars during the day and parties going at night adds up to a must-attend event.

Of the many topics discussed is “From Pre-book to Profit,” "Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going,” “Crushing Your Costs & Rocketing Up Your Revenue" as well as “Video Retailing” and the always standing room only seminar supporting the fight to increase profits, “Battle Plans of the Road Ahead.”

The Opening Session brought to the stage the living legend himself, Jerry Lewis. The comedian and Rat Packer is set to open the business session as well as delivering the keynote speech.

There was even a press conference with none other than Harry Reems, the great 1970’s porn actor and male lead in the seminal sex movie, Deep Throat. Harry is promoting the DVD release of Inside Deep Throat, the Brian Grazer-produced mainstream take on the phenomenon that launched our industry.

Contract stars and hot newcomers by the handful are scheduled to appear and greet the buyers. Carmen Luvana and Austyn Moore are scheduled to sign for Adam & Eve, while Pirates co-star Jesse Jane will work from a gorgeous and fantasy-filled room.

Metro Interactive is showcasing Ron Jeremy and Bella Starr. Hannah Harper will met fans for Sin City and Vivid Video has brought Sophia Rossi, one of the newest Club Jenna girls, for the week.

David Joseph, owner of Red Light District, was eager to let his customers know that his company is not only delivering the best high-end hardcore to the market, but also big-budget films, with the launch of Red Light District Films. “I think it’s time the retailers started thinking about how much they ruin their business by buying cheap product and filling their stores with it," he said. "The fans want quality, whether it’s film, video productions or gonzo. We’re releasing Outnumbered 3 from Erik Everhard and there’s 22 women in the movie and it’s Erik’s most expensive production to date.”

The VSDA Awards, which will be hosted by Richard Lewis on Wednesday night, will honor Vin Diesel, Patrick Swayze and Penelope Spheeris.

Interest is running high for the Adult Title of the Year category where five movies compete for the coveted honor of being remembered as the movie of the year to retailers and wholesalers. Nominees include, Dementia from Mayhem, Fluff & Fold from Wicked Pictures, In the Garden of Shadows from Ninn Worx/Pure Play Media, Jenna Jameson is the Masseuse from Club Jenna/Vivid Video and Drop Sex from Evil Angel.

The DVD Technical Awards nominees were kept under wraps by the VSDA for some reason. Many adult exhibitors didn’t even know the award was being given this year, proof there’s need of some revision in the voting and nominations and marketing process to the porn crowd.

Adult entertainment-related exhibitors include: Acid Rain, Adam & Eve Productions, Adult Supersource, AMA Video, Amorz Entertainment, Arrow Productions, AVW, Bacchus/Filmco/TTV, Colossal Entertainment, Critical X, Digital Playground, DNA, Empire Pictures, Evolution Erotica, Exquisite Multimedia, Extreme Associates, Future Works, Global Media, Gotham Video, Hustler, Juicy Entertainment, Lava Releasing, Legend Video, Macrovision, Maverick Entertainment, Metro Interactive, Nectar Entertainment, New Machine, Platinum X Pictures, Pleasure Productions, Premiere Sales, Private Media, Pure Play Media, Red Light District, Robert Hill Releasing, Sex X Pictures, Sin City Entertainment/Mayhem, Smash Pictures, Swank Digital, Third World Media, VCA Pictures, VCX Ltd., Video Team, Vivid Video and Wildlife/Powerhouse Productions.

Established in 1981, the VSDA is a not-for-profit international trade association for the $24 billion home entertainment industry. VSDA represents more than 1,000 companies throughout the United States, Canada and a dozen other countries. Its members operate more than 12,500 retail outlets in the U.S. that sell and/or rent DVDs, VHS cassettes and console video games. Membership comprises the full spectrum of video retailers (from single store operators to large chains), video distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture studios, and other related businesses that constitute and support the home entertainment industry.