BERLIN - The 12th annual Venus Berlin fair is just a few weeks away. AVN spoke with event organizer Peter Buebel about what's happening this year at Europe's largest adult trade show.
"Preparations are in full swing and we are ahead of schedule," Buebel told AVN. "There is so much to do prior to the Venus, but we have expanded our team and we are well-organized."
According to Buebel, this year's Venus show will offer an increased emphasis on the Internet market and the convergence of the video and online sectors of the industry.
"The online sector is becoming more and more significant," Buebel said. "It would be a great shame if we didn't make the most of the potential that is there. The recent past has shown that the two markets are making steps towards each other. It is the combination of both sectors, as well as innovative technologies, that make our market interesting. We, too, are progressing more and more in this direction. We plan to increase webmaster integration this year in the Venus Web Area, and we're currently working with several companies on the right concepts for this. After all, the webmaster is the retailer of the online sector."
Venus has teamed with BoundCon Munich to create a new area of the show devoted to the fetish market.
"We feel that we have neglected this sector in the past," Buebel said. "We will now provide an additional attraction, increasing the Venus portfolio. Retailers can increase their collections and find new interesting offers. There are also retailers selling directly to consumers. There will be a separate stage for shows and performances on a fetish theme. And to round this off, there will be a large fetish party on Saturday evening at Insomnia, one of the favorite fetish clubs in Berlin."
Also new for 2008 is the "non-erotic area," offering "everything beyond the adult market, from packaging machines, coffee machines to shop fitters."
"Every year we are confronted by exhibitors who want to come to Berlin but don't want to be confronted with the adult business," Buebel said. "Until this year, a shop fitter could be exhibiting next to a hardcore film supplier and would be unable to avoid staring at the screen all day. We wanted to create an area for erotic-free products and services."
Despite the oft-repeated talk of the "mainstreaming" of porn, Buebel admitted that selling space at a porn trade show to exhibitors outside the biz was a challenge.
"It was always difficult to convince suppliers in the non-adult markets to exhibit at the Venus," Buebel said. "Many people still consider the Venus as a porn show. But the Venus has long since become a lifestyle trade show with both an erotic and pornographic flair. So the demand was there, and new exhibitors and visitors from a vast variety of sectors means that the Venus continues to expand. We're not quite sure where the non-adult area will be exactly, but it will certainly be separated from the other areas. It all depends on the number of exhibitors and their individual exhibiting space."
The 2008 Venus show will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 19 with another new feature: the Venus Oktoberfest.
"It will be a real smash!" Buebel said. "The trade show goes on for four days. and we wanted to provide something special on the Sunday. All trade visitors who visit the Venus on Sunday have free entrance! There will also be a live show by the Wildecker Herzbuben, and there'll be free beer and sausages for all trade visitors. It should be a fantastic Sunday in Berlin."
The 12th annual Venus Berlin show runs Oct. 16 - 19. For more info, visit www.venus-berlin.com.