(Note: This story appears in the September 2022 issue of ED Magazine)
was in the Celebrity Ballroom inside Planet Hollywood, getting a laptop connected to our LCD projector for the EXPO’s first seminar on Tuesday morning. I finally had everything set, and I figured I’d grab a coffee and a quick bite at the morning’s continental breakfast before we started.
And that’s when I was in for a shock. As soon as I walked over I heard a Planet Hollywood catering staffer say, “That’s it, we’ve reached our limit for the breakfast.”
I said, “No, we have a line of people waiting. I’ll order more food right now.”
It was the first time in my 23 years of producing the EXPO that I had ever seen us “run out” of a Continental Breakfast.
A day earlier, our finance manager and “commander” of EXPO registration, Teresa Tearno, told me, “We’re almost out of lanyards, we need to get more.”
Out of lanyards? That’s NEVER happened.
Then the ED’s Awards Show sold out, and we had to add general admission wristbands.
It had become very clear to all of us at ED Publications that this year’s EXPO would be the most well-attended EXPO in at least a decade. We had ordered the same of everything — lanyards, extra badges, catering orders, etc. — based upon previous years’ numbers. And it was nowhere near enough.
This year’s amazing attendance is a reflection of a few things. One, people missed a full-blown Vegas EXPO. It had been three full years since we’d last gathered in full in Las Vegas, and we, you, were hungry for the industry’s reunion. Two — and sure, this is a bit self-serving — we at ED Publications would like to think we throw a heck of an event. It’s three-plus days packed full of educational seminars, a tradeshow of vendors showcasing their products and services, networking events and parties that make EXPO “the most fun you’ll ever have doing business.”
The third reason for this year’s EXPO attendance is that people are going out now; they’re getting in airplanes, traveling, going out to clubs and dinners and events. COVID may not be over yet — in fact, it may never be “over” completely — but for many people, it’s moved to the back burner and no longer dictates their decisions.
That’s great news for all of our readers. People are going out to adult nightclubs again. They’re buying dances, they’re gathering in groups and enjoying everything your venues have to offer. They’re celebrating life.
And we are all benefiting from this resurgence. As I mentioned from the stage at the ED’s Awards Show, “The EXPO — and the industry — are back in a big way.”
Now … are you ready for things to get even bigger? Because that’s about to happen with the Annual EXPO. Next year marks the 30-year anniversary of the industry’s only national convention, and the 25-year anniversary of the industry’s only national awards show. And we’re going to make certain that these milestones are given the time and attention that they deserve.
But please understand, I’m not suggesting that this is a time for a bunch of self adulation and back slaps. Nope. The EXPO was, is and always will be about YOU, our attendees. The EXPO is a celebration of the gentlemen’s club industry — the owners, operators, club staff, entertainers and industry pros. It provides us with the opportunity to bring everyone together, a family reunion of sorts.
The 30th Anniversary EXPO is slated for August 20-23, 2023, at Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and it will most certainly be a celebration. We’ll discuss where we’ve been, and which individuals blazed those trails and created the industry we have today. We’ll also discuss the future, as we look toward the industry’s next 30 years.
And we’re not going to wait very long to start this celebration. The pages of this magazine, our websites and social media will turn this 30th Anniversary into a year-long event, one that will culminate next August in Las Vegas.
We sincerely hope that you join us, because it’s gonna be one helluva ride.