Last year when we visited Venus for the first time it was the only event in town, this year was different there was a new kid on the block…eroFame. The two events were held at the end of October with a cross over of a couple of days so you were able, like us, to attend both.
The eroFame event was for B2B as opposed to Venus which for the past 13 years held in tandem a public and B2B event. And we were both excited to see how the two events would work out.
On the first day we decided to visit eroFame as it was the last day of the show and to our surprise, the event wasn’t being held in the recommended hotel at Potsdam as we thought. Instead we had to take a taxi ride to the venue at the Film Park in Babelsberg some 12km and €18 from the hotel.
Although I don’t want to over-emphasise this point as it is the only negative aspect of the eroFame event we were not alone in believing that the hotel would host the show on-site; Several exhibitors and visitors also voiced the same complaint.
The venue was modern, light and airy, unlike the B2B area at Venus which we found dark, gloomy and quite seedy the previous year. All the stands looked professional and well designed which reflected in the professional, calm and bubbly atmosphere. A stark contrast to Venus 2009 where it was noisy in some of the trade halls due too the loud music from the main halls.
The stands at eroFame were also well laid out within the hall with wide thoroughfares adding to the spacious but busy atmosphere. But best of all there was a kind of serenity about the event, you felt you could browse with ease and really take in what was on offer. At Venus 2009 everything felt slightly manic and rushed.
I felt like I was taking part in a little retail therapy rather than a hard sell, with retailers having time and clarity of thought (without loud music distracting them) to talk to you.
Another nice touch was the complementary buffet which was very pleasant and offered selections for all including vegetarians. As you may already have guessed I was very much in awe of the event and can only see it getting bigger and better. I’m aware that the organisers are considering moving the event to a larger venue because they were forced to refuse a number of exhibitors bookings in 2010 due to lack of space. Although this meant the event was full of exhibitors being a victim of its own success like this meant that eroFame lost a couple of prominent names to Venus. The potential new venue would be easier for international visitors, particularly those from the US to access.
Now to day 2, Venus, Berlin…
I still can’t understand why but we were rejected for press passes! And what are we doing now…covering the event online. This sort of miscommunication and misreading of the professionals in the adult industry seems to be endemic in the Venus organisation – it is after all the reason that eroFame exists. Lol
We alighted from the very pricey taxi as I recall about €50…ouch! and this year in to a dry, sunny Berlin, unlike last year when it was grey, cold and pouring it down. There were hoards of people outside in 2010, though not perhaps as many as last year, clearly it was going to be quite a busy Saturday at the Messe.
Alex and I had managed to secure a trade pass to the event which gave us no discount but access to their trade hall. We found very few of the trade organisations had opted to be in the main hall, unlike last year when several had braved the din. Maybe the stands in the main halls were cheaper, or perhaps they felt that they wanted to expose themselves to consumers. Just not in the same way as the naked models were doing last year.
The public halls contained the usual girly shows and online adult stuff with a few niche stands but overall the number of stands seemed fewer than in 2009. But the biggest disappointment was the fetish hall which last year was poorly attended and this year was really quite a sad affair with very few stands scattered here and there. The atmosphere which we could feel last year had all but gone, no kinky ladies walking round and no pony taxi which was a big hit in 2009.
I started to get the sinking feeling that the event had lost its sole and with it the kinky, non online porn obsessed public. That may sound strange coming from someone who watches and reviews hardcore porn frequently but that is exactly the way the show seems to be going. It has now become a free dirty photo opportunity where lots of young German guys take their mobile phones for an after the show glop. 🙁
Anyway, lets move on to the trade area…
We entered the well secured trade area via its Wi-Fi connection which was a nice comfortable area to sit have a beer and get out your equipment. Lol It was nicely appointed with bar and comfy seating and occasional tables. And that was the highlight of the trade area I’m sad to say. Rather than being in a separate hall half of the first trade hall was occupied by public stands.
Then we made our way through to the main B2B hall where our disappointment was further compounded. It was dark, lacking vibrancy and more importantly visitors. For a Saturday it was disappointingly quiet, you could almost see tumble weed blowing down the isles.
It was apparent that most of the trade exhibitors had frequented eroFame and the ones who were present at Venus had not managed to secure stands due to demand. This is not a speculation but information gleened from interviews with exhibitors at Venus, eroFame was fully booked and as a result they were forced to turn many distributors and manufacturers away.
It was really quite cringe worthy almost pitiful. As we walked around the stands, a few of which were well known brands, there were larger number of start-ups with no stock which made the event look more like a bazaar rather than a professional trade show.
We were both to put it very abruptly underwhelmed with the whole event, so much so that we may simply not attend next year’s Venus. The trade element has all but disappeared and the atmosphere and fun of the public halls has withered into little more than a seedy strip show.
Which leaves the result eroFame 1 and Venus 0.