Exotic Dancer 2002
Adult Entertainment Expo
by Jack Corbett

Las Vegas

For nine out of the past ten years, Exotic Dancer Magazine has been hosting its annual Las Vegas adult entertainment expo

at one of the city's many mega hotel Casinos. This year's was at Mandalay Bay. To all adult entertainment industry professionals, whether you are a club owner or top manager, feature entertainer or aspiring house dancer, talent agency, adult magazine owner, professional photographer servicing the adult industry, or other vendor providing products or services to the adult industry, I urge you to mark September 1, 2003 on your calendar and to plan on attending for two reasons: 1. What you can give to the huge multi billion dollar adult industry and 2. What you can get out of the convention as an industry professional. Why should you give? Simply because you are part of this business and your livelihood depends on its survival. The Mothers for a More Boring Nation of the Far Right are organized and getting stronger each year, and they want to shut you down along with every club, magazine, picture, or thought that even smacks of the word adult entertainment. Exotic Dancer's annual convention offers you the chance to offer your input and financial contribution (through paying for a three day pass) that can help all industry professionals effectively organize against the powerful forces arrayed against them. I will group all adult industry professionals into three categories-1. Club owners, 2. Entertainers, and 3. All others-- to give a better sense of what this convention can offer you.

Lexy LaMour

Club Owners

First, there are the seminars, which emphasize what you as a club owner are facing from those employing the legal system to shut you down and what you can be doing better to effectively manage and market your club. For instance, there was the "Club Owner on Trial Session" which was handled by a panel of legal experts who discussed what you can do about charges of money laundering, racketeering and obscenity which was immediately followed by "The Key issues Legal Session where club owners were given the opportunity to ask the panel's advice about issues effecting them. The next day started with the "Big Legal Picture" Session during which the outcome of four significant U.S. Supreme Court cases heard recently and cases the court is likely to hear can affect your club. "Fighting Big Brother" immediately followed, during which Michael Oscello, National Director for the PT's chain and current ACE (Association of Club Executives) President talked about how he had eavesdropped on the common enemy. In this seminar club owners got the opportunity to learn how municipalities share information that can close your club down. The seminar concluded with descriptions of Mothers for a More Boring Nation-Far Right leaders dedicated to destroying your way of life. After lunch there was a marketing panel which was followed by still another panel which discussed how you can improve the look and feel of your club.

Feature Entertainers

The seminars alone are worth the $320 entry fee to this convention for the club owner wanting to put his club over the top. But there's a lot more. There's the trade show with over 250 booths representing a whole multitude of vendors servicing the adult entertainment industry. For instance, there was the Martin Lighting booth which held the Pure Talent Feature Showcase where some of the latest state of the art dazzling lighting effects could be experienced along with top feature performances from entertainers from one of the top agencies in the country. Tasty beverages I had never heard of could be sampled at several booths. The Pure Talent Agency, Continental and Universal Talent all had booths here along with a number of feature entertainers having their own booths. For a club owner wanting to book the best feature entertainers at an affordable cost, there is simply no better way to get the information he needs, up close and personal, eyeball to eyeball, both with the agencies he wants to deal with and the feature entertainers themselves. There is also the opportunity to see leading entertainers perform on stage-in this particular expo through the Annual Awards Show, the Exotic Dancer Finals for Miss Exotic Dancer of the Year, and feature showcases by the Pure Talent Agency and Universal Entertainment. Lastly, there is the opportunity to meet with feature entertainers, other club owners, and leading adult industry professionals at the Meet and Greet, held this year on opening night at the House of Blues as well as other informal parties held throughout the convention.

adullt convention party

I urge many club owners to seriously consider getting a booth for Expo 2003. Sure, you as a club owner, would be getting far more than your money's worth just by attending. But now we are talking about your doing more to successfully market your club and when it comes to having a booth at this convention, it's all about image. Let me give you several examples. Both this year and last, Spearmint Rhino had a booth that had its own stage, was represented by a number of pretty dancers, and which offered free drinks to the convention's participants. My buddy and I had agreed to visit one Las Vegas Club and it came down to the wire between Cheetahs and Spearmint Rhino. In the past I had good experiences at Cheetahs, but the huge presence Spearmint Rhino had made at the convention was too much to ignore. "These Spearmint Rhino people really have it on the ball, we thought. So we went to Spearmint Rhino. I have an indelible image in my head of "Scores" and its booth filled with pretty dancers at Scoresthis year's convention. And these people came all the way from New York. Now it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong. What matters is that I am convinced that Scores clearly understands good marketing and image recognition. I've never been to Scores. It's far away from where I live but as far as Scores is concerned I'll always have it in mind as a well managed, forward thinking operation that is very possibly far ahead of its time.

Jack Corbett and L.A. LaMann

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going to feel this way. Take a feature entertainer, for instance. If she sees a well run booth run by a club, she's gotta be thinking, "I want to feature there," all other things being equal. Image. That's a good part about what marketing is about and many clubs can gain a national presence and successful, progressive image, at minimal expenditure by having a booth here.

Entertainers

Can be classified as Features and House Dancers. For the feature entertainer there is the opportunity to participate in Exotic Dancer's Feature Entertainer of the Year Contests. Throughout the country clubs and states are invited to participate. Only one club per state can represent Exotic Dancer. The winners go onto the Las Vegas Expo to compete in the semi finals and finals. There is a separate category for the house dancers or "amateurs". But whether one is a feature or "amateur" doing well in Exotic Dancer's contests can mean a significant boost in an entertainer's career. Feature entertainers attending the convention will often have the chance to represent their agencies in booths where they have the opportunity to meet club owners interested in booking them, magazine owners and photographers wanting to publish them, as well as other significant contacts who can advance the feature's career. Samantha Starr

Just one example, Pure Talent's Samantha Starr informed me half way through the convention that she had already gotten three bookings.

The house dancer aspiring to further her career has an unexcelled opportunity to meet with the owners of top talent agencies such as Pure Talent, Continental and Universal, and to meet club owners interested in hiring new entertainers on either a short termed or long term arrangement. For instance, a house dancer I know from Mississippi not only got to meet with the owners of Pure Talent but also a Connecticut club owner friend of mine who expressed an interest in hiring her. To the house dancer interested in featuring, the chance to direct questions to features and to get answers in a comfortable relaxed setting is unparalleled. The dancing competitions and demonstrations throughout offer the house dancer who's serious about improving her career a chance to watch a lot of feature entertainers in action in short order. And for both features and aspiring house dancers, there's the "Dancer's Only Panel", which covered how entertainers can put the worldwide web to work getting their careers off into high gear.


All other Industry Professionals

Now this one covers a lot of ground. For talent agencies, this convention's a mecca. Not only does it provide a chance for them to meet prospective club owner clients, it also gives them a chance to meet with feature entertainers from other agencies as well as enterprising amateurs interested in featuring. To anyone selling goods or services to adult clubs, Exotic Dancer's Expo offers a chance to show off his product to a variety of club owners across the U.S. For a photographer-writer such as myself, this convention is a non-lose proposition as it offers me the chance to meet with feature entertainers I've never dealt with before as well as to stay current with entertainers I've met and taken pictures of before. There's club owners from across the entire country to discuss photo shoots and possible magazine articles with involving their clubs and dancers. A whole gamut of possible subjects for magazine articles keep popping up in my head in the rarified atmosphere of Exotic Dancer's Expo. There's simply so much here, one cannot possibly experience it all.

L.A. LaMan

Reflecting on this year's Expo the whole thing keeps coming back to me like a kaleidoscope bouncing colored lights into so many directions at once. To tell you the truth I missed out on a lot of it, and I'm almost embarrassed to write about key events I skipped. But I did shoot a lot of pictures of the Pure Talent Feature showcase, shot a pretty house dancer from Montana around the pool at the Luxor which is across the street from Mandalay Bay, made a few parties, hung around at my office (The Orchid Room Bar at Mandalay Bay) where I cut up with a bunch of fun loving feature entertainers and other free spirits, and then there was that great photo shoot I did of Leah Layne over in the hot tub suite where I was staying over at the Luxor. I had the chance to become better acquainted with club owners and top managers I've already met and to meet some new ones. After awhile it gets to be more than just making the right contacts to get ahead in this business. It actually starts to feel like being part of a huge fraternity of fun loving yet ambitious hard working men and women who are surrounded by the control freak slow witted, yet relentless Mothers for a More Boring Nation types who are dead set on destroying this very fraternity.

 

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