BERLIN—What started as a small trade show featuring mostly adult-oriented businesses in the Berlin area has grown to a hugely celebrated event, open to business people and the public, and attended by companies from all over the globe.
The 2009 run of the Venus Berlin show was Oct. 16-18, once again at the fairground under the radio tower in Berlin. The 13th annual event featured display, trade and show areas in eight exhibition halls that covered 30,000 square meters.
And those attendees had plenty to see and do during their stay.
“Venus was wonderful,” said Dan Gaspar, commercial manager for Je Joue, a company that creates adult pleasure products. It was very promising and a very interesting show.”
Je Joue drew attention by displaying the G-Ki. Billed as the first exploring G-spot pleasure item, the G-Ki features an adjustable head that can be positioned to find the G-spot on most any woman, while a button on the side can fold the handle in half so it converts from a plaything for couples to an item a woman can use for solo sessions.
The G-Ki, which will be available on a small scale at the beginning of December and internationally on Jan. 1, is waterproof, made from 100 percent silicone and comes in four colors: purple, rose, black and pink.
Another big hit was the introduction of the Tickler line, created by Eric Kalen, former head of design for LELO.
“It’s a fabulous new brand,” Gaspar said. “It’s a well-thought-out range with a great price point.”
The Tickler family is starting off with five vibrators: Cute Tickler, Rebel Tickler, Sunny Tickler, Mystic Tickler and Bunny Tickler, all manufactured at Tickler’s own factory in China. The production is ISO 9001 certified and the products are CE, RoHs and WEEE marked.
The suggested retail price on the initial five vibes is $34. More products are scheduled for release beginning in 2010.
Laid, a company from Denmark, also launched a new line of pleasure products during the Venus show, composed of non-vibrating silicone toys in new and interesting shapes, Gaspar said. Other new products showcased include a vibrating item from Joya4U, items geared toward men from Fun Factory, and a new two-piece toy for couples from Korean manufacturer Zee.
But it wasn’t all novelty companies who garnered attention at the trade show. Clips 4 Sale, billed as the most comprehensive, user-friendly source of fetish video on the internet, was the talk of the town with stars like Bree Olsen and Ashley Fires signing autographs at the company’s booth.
“We had an incredible time with the consumers and producers who came to our booth, participated in the incredible fetish acts, and took many photos with our beautiful girls, Bree Olsen and Ashley Fires,” said Abe of Clips 4 Sale. “The wonderful Ron Jeremy came to our booth, and I made sure he left wearing our Clips4Sale.com shirt!”
Another important component of the Venus extravaganza are the EROTIXXX Awards, which this year were given out Oct. 15, on the eve of the show. Hustler, Digital Playground, Zero Tolerance and Evolved Novelties were among the U.S.-based companies that collected honors.
Organized by MEDIEN-eLINE, the awards show honors the best in adult media in Europe and beyond, recognizing a wide array of movie producers and performers, novelty companies and websites. A complete list of winners follows:
Best National b2c Erotic Print Magazine: Happy Weekend
Best National Erotic TV Channel: HUSTLER TV Deutschland
Best International Erotic TV Channel: Dorcel TV
Best Newcomer Affiliate Program: Cashdorado
Best Dating Website: happyweekend.net
Best Redlight Portal: BERLINintim
Most Innovative Flatrate Adult Site: joyfactor.com
Best Softcore VoD Site: erotic-lounge.com
Best Hardcore VoD Site: bluvista.tv
Best LiveCam Website: 777live.com
Best Affiliate Program: partnercash.com
Best Adult Website: fundorado.com
Best Technical Services: Musketier Media
Best Marketing Campaign (Toys & Consumables): Touché (Shots Media)
Best Marketing Campaign (Film): VPS Erotic Division
Retailer of the Year (Toys & Consumables): Nice ’n’ Naughty
Best Customer Service: Shots Media
Best Wholesaler: ZBF
Company of the Year—Film/Europe: eroticplanet
Company of the Year—Film/USA: Zero Tolerance
Company of the Year—Toys & Consumables: Scala / Playhouse
Best Line of Products—International: Shunga (Eau Zone)
Best Lingerie Label: Red Corner by Cotelli Collection (ORION)
Best Fashion Label: Hustler Fashion
Best Lubricant: Dr. Love
Best Newcomer Consumables: Geisha Bodycare (Scala / Playhouse)
Best Newcomer-Toy: SaSi (Je Joue)
Bestseller of the Year: We-Vibe
Best Toy Collection Europe: Shots Media
Most Innovative Product 2009: Touché Ice (Shots Media)
Best Overall Collection: Scala / Playhouse
Best European Director: Hervé Bodilis (Marc Dorcel)
Best U.S. Director: Joone (Digital Playground)
Best German Fetish Label: Inflagranti
Best International Fetish Label: Girlpower (Sunset Media)
Best German Newcomer Series: Mitten in Deutschland (Goldlight Film)
Best Newcomer Gay-Label: Skater-Boyz (Stoll Media / XY Distribution)
Best Gonzo-Label: Cruel Media (VPS Erotic Division)
Best European Label 2009: Daring! (Scala / Playhouse)
Best International Label 2009: Bizarre Brothers (Marlis Baukloh)
Best German Series: Nachbarin Gerda: Videorama
Best International Series: This Ain´t… (Hustler)
Best Amateur Series Germany: Traut Euch (Muschi Movie / INO GmbH)
Best Amateur Series International: Real Punting (LoadXXX)
Reality Series: Dominiques Fuck Akademie (Magmafilm)
Best German Film: Black and White 4U (Paradise Film)
Best European Film: Ritual (Marc Dorcel)
Best Feature Film: Die Waffen einer Frau (Goldlight Film)
Best U.S. Film: Pirates II (Digital Playground)
Best Gay Film: Trained To Obey (A2Z-Distribution)
Best Gay Series 2009: Triga (LoadXXX)
Best Actor: Porn Fighter Long John
Best Series Actress: Vanessa Jordin (Muschi Movie)
Best Reality Actress: JAE (JAE1)
Best Cross-Over-Star 2009: Maria Mia
Best German Newcomer: Jasmine la Rouge (eroticplanet)
Best International Newcomer: Janine Rose (Muschi Movie)
Best German Actress: Vivian Schmitt (Videorama)
Best European Actress: Tarra White (Marc Dorcel)
Best International Actress: Mandy Bright (eroticplanet)
Rising Star 2009: Wanita Tan (Magmafilm)
Pornstar of the Year 2009: Jana Bach (Inflagranti)
The next installment of Venus Berlin is scheduled for Oct. 21-24, 2010. For more information, visit Venus-Berlin.com.
This article originally appeared in the December issue of AVN.