The 14th Venus Erotic Fair in Berlin will be a very different event from last year. The inception of a rival (trade only) event “EroFame” has changed the complexion of the event forever.

The current economic climate means that everyone is looking for savings and the organisers of the rival event are citing this as one of the reasons why they have conceived and launched “EroFame”. But that’s not the only reason. The high noise levels in some of the halls and length of the show have also been mentioned by some of the defecting wholesalers and manufacturers who will now be absent from Venus.

Since the new EroFame show was announced and increasingly intense PR battle has broken out between the organisers of the two shows. Claim and counterclaim have been made about the savings possible at the new show, suitability of the environment for B2B business and the genuine motivation for this break-away event. We have received a number of letters and emails from both sides, magazine articles and promotional videos all stating the case for the respective shows.

We can’t speak for the cost of exhibiting at Venus versus the returns a particular exhibitor makes but what we can say is this:

Noise levels in the public halls are very high and totally unsuitable for business and deal making. However the trade halls are quite, relaxed and not at all crowded. You would therefore think that the choice is clear, take up a stand in the trade hall. Unfortunately that is not a practical solution for some manufacturers and content vendors. They need to be able to sell to the trade and the general public so they have to choose a noisy stand in an overcrowded hall, forego the customer contact or take two stands, one in the trade hall and one in a public area. EroFame will not help those companies who need to address both audiences.

EroFame’s focus on the erotic trade and its timing to coincide with Venus provides a focussed event and one which buyers can attend at the same time as their trip to Venus. Even this has caused Venus’ organisers to make a jibe that the organisers or EroFame are trying to ride on the back of Venus’ success.

What is becoming increasingly apparent from the phrasing of the documents we have received is that Venus doesn’t think it was given a fair chance to change and react to the requirements of the erotic trade. It claims it was given one week to make a presentation to the initial group of break-away exhibitors and yet having done and addressed their concerns so it claims they ignore the new Venus concept and went ahead anyway.

Venus also point out that the venue for EroFame, well outside the city limits at Potsdam, is far more difficult to get to than 20 minutes claimed by the Erofame organisers. EroFame are laying on a free connecting bus from the Venus venue to Potsdam but if traffic does becomne a problem it might be standing room only!

EroFame has already changed Venus, forcing Europe’s most successful and famous erotic fair to re-evaluate its concept and vision for the future. Even if EroFame only takes place this year it will have done some good by shaking up an institution that has had no equal in recent years. For that the organisers of Venus should thank EroFame as no business should assume that what worked last year will work this year or into the future. The real question is what effect will EroFame have long term on the consumer facing Venus show.

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