As the fourth and final day of the Everything to Do with Love Show drew to a close, exhibitors seemed upbeat though the overall attendance at the convention proved less than expected. Located almost 45-minutes by car or public transportation outside the city of Chicago, many factors seemed to add up to a less than packed event, leaving many exhibitors questioning whether they’ll return next year, unless a new venue or approach can stir up some bigger attendance numbers.
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Zeev Landesberg, the main promoter of the event, said the final numbers had yet to be counted at the close of the show, but estimates ranged around 5,000 plus attendees over the four-day period. Still, the party spirit kept everyone going and having a good time throughout with most of the 65 exhibitors reporting they were happy with their decision to come to this first time event.
Randall Cole from Frixion Lube offered, “I’ve done pretty well for myself. I sold out my stock to my distributor so I’m okay. We’re getting ready to roll because I’ve gotten together with Teddy of Nasswalk to become one of the sexiest lube companies in the industry. We’ll have all the hot girls known to the industry that support Nasswalk walking around the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas this coming January dressed sexy and meeting the consumers. I’m excited about the future.”
Over at Lover’s Lane, we spoke with Toni, who calls herself a Romance Specialist. Lover’s Lane is an adult retailer that promotes “monogamy without monotony,” in their nine stores in Michigan, the one they have on the Caribbean island St. Thomas and the 11 stores they own in the Chicago market. “This show is doing very well for us. The majority of the people we’ve met here already know about our stores, but the important thing is to meet people who don’t know about us. We have some great lingerie shows here and the people really seem to enjoy them,” Toni said.
Sue Gould, who bills herself as Swing Mom, was at the show to promote her swinging enterprises which include hosting Club Adventure, Erotic Conclave, seminars and books on swinging. “We host Club Adventure in Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee. We also have Erotic Conclave and came here to tell people about our swing shows and I’ve been hosting seminars here to let people know about swinging,” she said.
“I’ve sold lots of my books and we’re excited about our upcoming show in the 18th through the 20th of September, right here in Rosemont,” Gould said. In between all of her promotions, Gould also finds time to write a column for Chicago Swinger’s Magazine.
Porn stars proved the biggest draw of the event, and many of the crowd drifted by to line up when they weren’t attending one of the many seminars or stage shows that ran continually throughout the day.
Lovers Playground, a nationwide chain with 42 stores including eight in the Chicago area, had nine major adult stars appear at their booth including: Ron Jeremy, Hannah Harper, Devinn Lane, Stormy Daniels, Ed Powers, Daisy, Gina Lynn, Jodie Moore and Angelica Sinn. “As you can see from the line for Ron Jeremy we’re doing really well, selling a ton of DVDs, videos and novelties and we’re always looking to expand our markets,” Sharon Isley, director of retail operations for the chain, told AVN.com
One of the promoters from Chicago Girls Extreme, Joe Locascio, talked about how both his public nudity movie line and his Website chicagogirlsextreme.com were doing great business. “We’re here promoting our company and we always find a lot of girls who like getting nude at the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field, you name it. We have a lot of fun and it’s all just T&A and it’s a great opportunity to get out and meet new people.”
As one of the crowd who just called himself Joe pointed out, “This is Chicago and just to have an event like this here is a huge milestone. I just hope next year they decide to have it a little closer to the city. More people will definitely turn out. Chicagoans don’t like to go out to the suburbs unless they have to, you know.”