Eurowebtainment2003 by Tim Connelly
BERLIN - Born in October 2001, Eurowebtainment coincides with the Venus trade show, which has more than 300 international exhibitors and more than 10,000 visitors - one of the biggest trade shows targeting the adult enter-tainment industry worldwide. The two-day affair, running from Oct.17-18, 2003 offered convention action, lectures, food and drinks, and a party every night.
Eurowebtainment has become one of the premier European online Webmaster events, targeting new business, networking, and market education. Eurowebtainment 2003 turned out to be a culture shock for Americans who experienced the occasional anti-American cold shoulder brought on by the war in Iraq. Despite the subtle shift in attitudes from some exhibitors, the show, while smaller than previous years, proved a lesson in the future of the European adult Internet.
More than two-dozen exhibitors filled the Hotel Dorint's conference room, while coffee bars, no-host bars, and sponsored snacks seemed to be everywhere. The mood was all business, broken up only by panel discussions and the relentless campaigning of Miss Eurowebtainment candidates, hungry for votes from attendees, the winner scoring a travel voucher for 1,000 Euros. It was enough to make the largely Czech contestants lean on conventioneers like late-night Manhattan street hookers, scoring a john before he heads to Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel. Creepy, weirdly erotic, and compelling, it proved to be one of the only light moments of this very serious gathering, comprised of dialers, affiliate programs, and billing companies.
"The idea of Eurowebtainment formed three years ago," Tanja Rahman of Goodthinxx.com said, on behalf of the show organizers. "We simply wanted to organize a cozy get-together for the professionals of the adult entertainment industry."
Prominent exhibitors from Europe included Goodthinxx.com, camPoint AG, Praggirls, Netvision AV, Cytainment, iCom Media, mobileview AG, and WAPME Systems AG along with American visitors AEBN and AVN sponsoring the show.
Panel discussions covered a range of topics including VoD, DRM, and protecting minors, leading into a party at the Dorian Gray nightclub. After a dose of Euro disco and some strong drinks, the highlight of the evening was the crowning of Miss Eurowebtainment, who turned out to be a sexy blonde model who responded like a beauty pageant winner, waving to the cheering party goers.
Day Two offered more free drinks and comestibles and panel discussions on the new regulations on alternate payment methods in Europe, the gay Internet, content marketing, and the changing face of the erotic economy in Germany.
Following the business of the day, we hung out at the G2G party in the Hotel Dorint, enjoying a buffet and free drinks along with special guests such as American pornographer Max Hardcore, busty German uber-slut, Eva Anders and something for the gay crowd, The International Dream Men.
Considering there was not much to offer for American attendees other than hot chicks, free food and drinks and great parties, Eurowebtainment proved to be a lesson the future of the European Adult Internet community. Like business across the pond, there's constriction, convergence, and the hope of a brighter tomorrow through cell phones, VoD, and the promise that in the future, like the past and present, content is king.
Tim Connelly is the publisher of AVN Magazine.
World Telemedia is the event for online professionals that generate voice, mobile, and Internet traffic by delivering billable content, application, and service across communication and interactive media networks. AOE focuses on on- and offline adult businesses including providers of content, infrastructure, payment processing, online resources, finance, premium rate services, billing, collection, international and domestic networks, mobile services, regulators, ISPs and media groups.
Attending these shows is sort of like going back in time, in a good way. Exhibitors and attendees wear suits, shake hands, and exchange business cards while they set up meetings at their booths. They really want to get as much out of the show as possible.
Another thing about Europe: They're far more advanced than the U.S. when it comes to anything mobile communications-related. Dialers and SMS technology seem to be the biggest thing. Bandwidth has always been very expensive in Europe compared to the U.S., so U.S. Webmasters evolved on the Internet side of things while Europeans evolved with phone lines and mobile communications. SMS chat gives lots of people hope in our industry (porn over a phone!). I predict that within a year, SMS will be the biggest thing in the U.S. as well.
The trade show was really two trade shows in one, with an adult show in one wing and a non-adult but sort of adult section on the outskirts. Both sides were filled with nothing but professional business people. Even the porn side was very corporate. Except for the magician in the non-adult side. He was doing some incredible magic tricks until he asked me for money, ripped it, then taped it back up. He actually ran out of magic in front of my very own eyes. He'd get his ass kicked in Vegas.
The companies and people that really stood out from the rest in my opinion were International Bucks, Profit Plantation, Paul Markham, Sextronix, Forest (my Cleveland bud), Coolspot, Bango.net, Fubar Webmasters, Mr. Skin, SEXMoney, Goodthinxx, XXXProvider.net, and of course, AVN Online.
Jop and Renzo from International Bucks use 10 languages in their partner program's back and front end. These guys had tiny remote-control cars they gave away to whoever asked. The impression I must have made driving those little 2-inch autos between the legs of total strangers.... Other than that, I was on my best behavior.
Paul Markham was shooting content in a room attached to the show. It's a real trip to be walking a very non-adult looking show, then have someone escort you into a back room to see nude content being shot. Of course, Hank from MrSkin.com was already back there, chillin' and watching.
The highlight of the whole show, believe it or not, was the first night while people were setting up their booths and having cocktails. Even if you didn't have a booth, it was one of the best networking opportunities of the show. Profit Plantation supplied the drinks.
Traveling to trade shows outside of the U.S. gives American Webmasters a better grasp of our industry as a whole. There's a lot of money to be made converting traffic from all parts of the world.
Darren "D-Money" Blatt is the host of the Webmaster radio program "The D-Money Show," and the creator of the world-famous Players Ball, held concurrently with the twice-yearly Internext Expo.