Adult Entertainment Expo
The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo returned to Las Vegas this month after a 3-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, it was concurrent with the return of the Consumer Electronic Show, something that hadn’t happened since 2011. Because of crossover attendance, this was the busiest AEE that I remember but also the most expensive. Prices for rooms, food, and transit have jacked up since the three years.
The host Resorts World is huge, and I saw families with children walking around the facilities which did not happen when AEE was at the Hard Rock. Because of this, there was a more restrictive dress code that people were expected to adhere to when leaving the confines of the convention. Given the size and complexity of the show and the limited production staff, it was definitely a success. Sure, there were quirks that can be ironed out at future shows but that happens at every new venue.
Besides the adjoining Adult Novelty Expo, AEE featured three main halls. One focused on production companies and webcam platforms, one focused on the gay side of the industry, and the last was mainly talent agencies. At any given point of the day from opening to close, you could find new people to meet walking back and forth between the halls. With the production company booths, most talent had 4 hour signing shifts while the talent at the agencies booth and the AVN booth averaged around 2 hours.
Outside of the actual expo grounds, Vixen rented space in the Resorts World mall to host a pop-up store featuring their clothing line and contract stars. Riley Reid appeared for two days exhibiting her Eighteen Plus clothing line, and the overall line to get into the store lasted about 3 hours.
AVN Awards 2023
So weird thing happened to me. After the end of the expo with drink in hand, I was trying to find a ticket for IAFD spokeswoman, Alex Blake, to walk the red carpet for the AVN Awards. When the nice producer saw that I had a press badge for IAFD, he handed me a press badge to be behind the Awards red carpet. I was not prepared to shoot the Awards since I had not charged my camera and flashes after finishing the expo, and I was already 30 minutes late for the call time.
After sheepishly explaining to Alex what had happened and cancelling two shoots, I ran up to my room to throw on my suit, grabbed my camera and strobe, and came back down. The only space that was available was at the end of the carpet what was only half covered by a wall background. I shared my spot with two guys, Jay of Jay’s Playhouse and Bobby of Girlsincars or something similar to that, who were great guys as we coordinated our shots rather than compete with each other. I took about 3-4 shots per look and tried not to miss anyone, but several people skipped us since we were the end of the line and they just wanted to move on.
The carpet started at 5:30pm and kept going until 9pm with 750+ walkers. It does not need to be this grueling. They tried to limit the walkers to nominees, but the problem is that there are too many nominees! Most categories have around 10 nominations each (some with multiple performers), but the fan award categories can have 20-30 nominations with no overlap with the other categories. This Oprah approach builds interest but is too overwhelming on the red carpet. Perhaps the fan awards should be separated into another event.
As for the Awards themselves, they went pretty much as predicted. We were correct with several of our projections. I was pleased as fuck to see Kira Noir win Female Performer of the Year; not just because of its historic nature but that she is one of the nicest and best people in the industry. Congratulations.
Because of the expense and limited room blocks, it seemed like more talent stayed outside of Resorts World so you wouldn’t see them at night outside of the expo. I was reluctant to leave Resorts World out of laziness so I mostly stuck to the events that were hosted there.
I mostly hung out with my boys at IAFD and AdultDVDTalk along with IAFD spokeswoman Alex Blake. I would like to thank Mark Spiegler, Don Juan de Marko, Tim Von Swine, and East Coast Talent for their hospitality at several events into the late hour.