This year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EroExpo show. To start with, some flashback about the history of this event. How did it start? Who invented EroExpo?
Alexander: The Show was first held in 2011. It was organized by four people: Andrey Yeliseev, Kazimir Pashkevitch, Andrey Lents and Andrey Khvostov. This staff lasted for three years, after that Andrey Khvostov decided to abandon the status of companion yet keeping his status of a permanent exhibitor of EroExpo. It is worth noting that during those who supervised the exhibition was not me, it was Anastasia Podoplelova. For the fourth year, the founders suggested that I should take on the organizational responsibilities. At that time, I had no experience of holding this kind of events, but I felt like starting an interesting and useful project that could contribute to the development of the Russian adult care industry in general.
What is the difference between the first shows and the actual ones? How much has the show increased in size?
During the first years, the exhibition’s growth was moderate, it always had the same area, between 800 and 100 square meters, with the number of Russian wholesale and manufacturing participants varying from 17 to 24. The biggest leap in growth took place two years ago when the number of participants doubled: from 24 in 2016 to 44 in 2017. Last year, we hosted 49 exhibitors. It must have been the reputation of many years and the growing share of the adult care market in Russia that caused greater interest towards this sphere among Russian and foreign wholesale companies and vendors. The record shows that a very small number of companies took part in the show only once. The majority of clients turned to be regular participants. I consider this fact to be an indicator of the project’s effectiveness. Our exhibition is beneficial for the clients and I hope it is also efficient.
Were there any difficulties that seemed to be hard to deal with during all these nine years? What were the methods used by the organizational team to cope with them?
We faced the biggest part of difficulties during the first several years since EroExpo was established. The most challenging year was probably that when the organizers decided to hold two exhibitions within one year-in May and October. The May exhibition almost coincided with X-show that was very popular and demanded at that time. Therefore, this show, focused on both b2c and b2b dimensions, happened to distract attention from a single-format b2b show which was EroExpo. After that, the founding board considered that practice as deficient.
Is the traditional ‘b2c’ day scheduled for this year?
We started including the b2c day into the agenda of EroExpo since 2016. It was then when we first made advertisement through bloggers, we were selling tickets online and finally found that the money we had spent on PR had surpassed the benefit we had got form the total ticket sale. In 2017 and 2018, the tickets were just sold for the public at the entrance. This practice is applied to the third day, exclusively, in order to let the professional players, undisturbed, do their business. For this year, such a day is also scheduled, with some publicity and online ticket sales, while the details will be available shortly before the show.
What kind of difficulties do you face in the process of making the show?
We always have plenty of them. This year, for example, we are introducing an automated registration system. This is an advanced tool, but its design and adjustment require significant costs and hard work.
Ok, let’s return to EroExpo-2019. Our told our readers that this year the show is going to be bigger in scale than the previous ones. What other points will make it different from the shows held in the past?
This year, we are going to have big recreation zones to avoid crowds of tired participants occupying at the tables located on the booths. There will be also a mobile phone charging station. And two coffee-break zones, two cafes and a restaurant.
We are sure to host many people, including guests from other regions. Especially for these people, we scheduled a party on the first day in the hotel “Borodino” to let them get together and have a talk outside the exhibition hall. People not staying in this hotel are also allowed to join the party. At the moment of this interview, 80 hotel rooms are booked, so the party is going to be of large scale.
We will try to improve the organization of seminars, there will be a person responsible for them together with precise announcements and indications of where to go for a particular seminar.
Could you please share more details about the foreign participants of the event, especially those who are going to have their first time as exhibitors?
We are thankful to the company Satisfyer, they have been enjoying the status of the General Sponsor for two years consecutively, by merit.
This year, a well-known German company, Orion, is going to show their products for the first time here. To my mind, this is a sign of confidence from their part. The company’s agents visited the shows of the previous years, to get an idea of what type of event it is. Then, in 2018, they requested the final report on the number of participants and booths, some other statistics of the previous years. After that, at the very beginning of 2019, Orion confirmed their intention to participate in EroExpo.
We are going to host some interesting companies from Poland: the manufacturers of lingerie – Obsessive and Me Seduce and a curious brand called Noir Handmade.
We expect to host six Chinese companies, one brand from Turkey-AmorEro and a Japanese company with the name Top Marshal. The English designer, Shiri Zinn, is going to have unusual decoration on their booth. For the first time, we are going to host a company from Ukraine-D&A and an exhibitor from Great Britain called Rouge Garments.
You have visited the biggest European show, eroFame, haven’t you? Could you share some impressions, please? Are you going to borrow anything from that show in order to apply it to the present exhibition?
I was happy to visit eroFame for the first time, this year. I have studied the organizational level and the scale of the biggest b2b event in Europe. I would be glad to achieve the same number of exhibitors and the same professional audience coverage.
For the first time this year we are going to test the registering system used at eroFame. In Moscow we engaged some employees for this sake while in Hannover the participants could get the badges on their own, at the registration desks.
To comment upon the whole range of differences between the two events one sole interview is not enough and I am ready to speak about it after the EroExpo Show is finished.
In the latest publication for our readers, we hinted at a specific contest to be organized during the event. It is time to go into detail, isn’t it?
Ok, let’s share some information! So, in the course of the exhibition a joint contest intended by the EroExpo’s organizers and the portal sexshopers.ru is to be held under the name "I show you things naked". At the moment, we are negotiating the prizes for the winners with the adult care companies.
What does one need to do? Take a picture or make a video capturing any moment of the exhibition and post them on the Instagram feed, under the hash #eroexpo2019, #sexshopers and #shownaked. After that, one should be alert to the announcements and should not miss the call for a prize drawing held in the exhibition hall! (Editor’s note: We are going to share more details shortly before the show).
And now tell me about your booth, please.
We are glad to invite the visitors to out booth. The project called “Faces of EroExpo” is going to be continued there. Our friends from AzArt.Studio will take a photo of you and will post it on the website and you will get one more chance to win some prizes!
Additionally, a preview of the first prize from sexshopers.ru is scheduled. You will get the details from our brief announcement during the seminars held at the exhibition.
In conclusion, I would like to invite all the participants of the adult care industry once again to visit our anniversary project.
See you in Sokol’niki on November, 1st-3rd, 2019!