Mirroring the trends already underway in the adult entertainment industry, the ninth annual installment of industry trade show Erotica-LA, demonstrated attempts of the adult entertainment world to move more toward the mainstream. Held on June 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the show featured some of the Valley’s major adult entertainment firms as well as a variety of clothing and lingerie firms. The show had a record-setting turnout. This year’s convention, put on by Chatsworth-based adult entertainment company AVN, received over 40,000 visitors scattered across the three-day event. This year, the show took up over 250,000 square feet of space, an increase of 65 percent from the previous year. Since the show began as a tiny one-room operation at the Hollywood Palladium nine years ago, the realm of offerings has grown with it. At this year’s convention, couples’ relationships classes were conducted alongside courses on how to spice up one’s love life. Additionally, a variety of mainstream clothing retailers peddled their wares. Chad Beecher, AVN’s vice-president of marketing and operations, was surprised by the show’s success. “We were actually surprised by the attendance figures. We’re now the largest adult show in the world. We put a lot into our marketing efforts this year to play our role in making the show more mainstream,” Beecher said. “We’re definitely planning on expanding again next year and continuing to grow. You can see from the show that the adult industry has become more mainstream. There are more stories being written about the businesses themselves and not just the films.” Canoga Park-based Wicked Pictures commanded the most floor space at this year’s show. According to Wicked’s publicity director, Daniel Metcalf, the convention represented another big step for the adult entertainment industry. “Just to give you an example of how much the show has grown,” Metcalf said. “This year, the show was being covered on live feeds by the Fox News Channel and by Entertainment Tonight. There’s more interest from the mainstream press than ever before. This show is important for us to get the brand out. Additionally, we receive more feedback from the fans at this show than at any other. That’s very crucial for the company.” Wicked was perhaps the biggest adult entertainment company to maintain a visible public face at the show, as industry powerhouse Vivid Entertainment and North Hollywood-based Jill Kelly Productions maintained a smaller presence. Vivid sent two of its adult actresses in support of one of its retailers, Goalie Entertainment, while JKP was unable to attend due to a busy production schedule. “We have attended Erotica-LA in the past and always had a great experience. This year we simply were not ready, as we have had a hectic shooting schedule and our contract girls were already booked on Feature Dance bookings that they could not cancel,” Scott Hoover, JKP’s director of publicity said. The absence of Vivid and Jill Kelly allowed smaller companies the opportunity to market themselves and push their brands. Additionally, according to Jacklyn Lick, co-owner of Canoga Park-based Good Girls Productions, the event gave Valley adult businesses the rare opportunity to network. “The show gets you out there with the fans, but more importantly it gets you the chance to network. Some of the biggest companies in the industry are here and we get to discuss business deals and possible partnerships. This is the only time we really get to see each other.” Lick said. “The industry has already gone mainstream in the sense that there are more female fans. There have been more women here at this show than ever before. That’s what’s going to make it mainstream, when women find the industry acceptable.” In terms of increased attempts to make the show more female-friendly, the organizers of the show included an expanded seminars program, doubling what was offered in 2004.
Trade Show Pushes Mainstreaming of Adult Industry