LAS VEGAS - While the excitement on the AEE floor can be as infectious as the blonde you pick up at the Venetian circle bar around 2 in the morning, a handful of exhibitors opted for the serenity and comfort only a 15,000 square feet Venetian Prima Suite could provide. Located on the third floor, the suites welcomed buyers to negotiate deals rather than fan-boy lines.
“Who’s gonna turn down free food and a cocktail,” said Steve Volponi, national sales manager for Devil’s Film. “Once one or two fans get on the floor, it’s chaos. Every year I lose my voice from all the screaming I do to be heard.”
Setting up shop in the very same suite they occupied last year, Devil’s took no chances when it came to making sure clients knew where to go.
“The Devil’s suite we did last year was pretty successful,” Volponi continued. “It took awhile for people to catch on that we were up here but we now leave a trail—there’s 4 or 5 signs out there telling people how to get here. There have been more people in this suite than in Totally Tabitha’s ass—that’s a lot of fucking people.”
Perhaps one or two posters short, Sin City’s GM Barbara Olsen lacked Volponi’s enthusiasm over the suites. “When nobody knows we’re here, that’s pretty discouraging,” said Olsen, who relayed to AVN her customers’ gripes with hotel management. Olsen’s mood lightened, however, when discussing the tremendous response the studio has received to announcing their foray into HD DVD with the release of Sodom: The Beginning.
When asked why HD DVD was chosen over Blu-ray, Olsen responded, “Because we’re in the porn industry. Economically, we can’t make it up on the wholesale end to put that kind of money into Blu-ray.”
For West Coast Productions general manager Terry Burton, a private suite allows for better business etiquette. “We did the suite last year and it was a more personal experience for distributors and our studio. It gave us the opportunity to get away from the hoopla on the floor. We did some business and built some relationships. We like to make sure that we do what needs to be done. It’s work. It’s what we do. We want to get better at it and continue to excel.”
Adult novelty giant Doc Johnson announced the debut of its new Mr. Marcus signature toy line. Retailers responded positively to the unveiling of items such as the 9 ½ inch Mr. Marcus Cock and Balls, Mr. Marcus Booty Butter, and the Mr. Marcus Gold Digger vibes. Chad Braverman, director of product development and licensing, pointed out the benefits of a suite this way, “It’s more personal. People relax a little and have a drink. It’s nice. And, they’re happy to be a captive audience.”
Fellow novelty manufacturer Cal Exotics utilized its suite to display its entire new product catalogue for the next six months. The company created further buzz on the third floor with the announcement of its partnership with the nonprofit organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Founded in 1991 by radiation oncologist Marisa C. Weiss, MD, LBBC provides information and support for women recovering from cancer or cancer treatment.
“We made a partnership with them to make this little Papillion massager—which means butterfly in French,” explained Cal Exotic marketing director Al Bloom. “ We created a point of purchase display for the Papillion we hope every store in the world will put next to their register as parts of the proceeds will go to Living Beyond Breasts Cancer work.”