January 07, 2016 02:15pm
News Rack: 2015 ED Expo
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Steve Nelson
2015 Exotic Dancer Expo and Awards Show, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Exotic Dancer Expo in New Orleans this year just blew me away! Maybe because it was spread out over an area you could walk, or maybe it was The Big Easy itself, regardless, the good people at Exotic Dancer really outdid themselves! I know I usually say good things about the events I go to, but this event was stellar! A real cut above the rest!
Since the ED Expo this year was in New Orleans instead of Las Vegas, I was curious to see the difference in the show at a different location. I was pleased to report that I didn't make the long, relaxing drive in vain. Both Myles and I arrived at the hotel in New Orleans Friday evening, August 21.
Myles Shaffer, who has written "Myles' Weekend Adventure" covering the club scene for AINews knows quite a few more of the girls and club personnel than I do, and well he should after covering it all with his column for well over a decade. You can find all his columns through the Search AINews utility in the upper right of each page under keywords "MWA" or "Myles' Weekend Adventure." Also, New Orleans is Myles' favorite city, so I had an experienced tour guide in him as well!
Myles' column covering the Expo can be found at AINews.com/story/20343, also linked to the right. Therein, Myles proclaims the ED Expo was "the greatest convention dedicated to the gentlemen's club industry and feature entertainers in the world."
New Orleans is an amazing city and I really enjoyed the ambiance associated with the strip clubs and the pub crawl along the wonderfully historic streets of the French Quarter. The heat and humidity were pretty intense, but it was so exciting I found the energy to skip the Riverfront Street Car Line across Elysian Fields Ave from the Hotel de la Monnaie where Myles and I were staying, and walk to and from the events more than once. Fortunately almost everything was in walking distance.
Being early gave us a chance to settle in, look around the French Quarter, and sample some great food. Arriving with a full day to look around was a good decision as there's so much to see and so much good food to eat! The architecture in this old city is fascinating, and I still find it novel to go from a nice cool air conditioned place to the hot humid street and have my glasses completely fog up from condensation!
Sunday after breakfast Myles and I picked up our press credentials, badges, and media passes at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. Early registration was a breeze compared to the hassle one has to go through with other expos. After eating another great meal at the Praline Connection, we attended the Miss Exotic International Pageant at Lucky Pierre's on Bourbon Street. There were more than twenty girls competing, so I will leave the details to Myles who listed them in his column. Myles' write up is at AINews.com/story/24345/ also linked to the right.
The contestants represented feature dancers from around the USA and the world. It was great seeing Destiny B Wilde, Gia Nova, and Helen Bedd right off the bat! There was even a celebrity impersonator there, "Hef," who I had to do a double-take on to realize it wasn't Hugh Hefner.
Monday, August 24 was the first day of the expo and trade show. There were companies with booths representing the finest in equipment and products supporting the Gentlemen's Club Industry. One booth had their greaseless fryer going non-stop to sample the food their units can produce. Great for clubs just adding food or for when big clubs close the kitchen. There were all kinds of technological products that made point of sale and verifying IDs easier. The Professional The Adult Nightclub Dj Association (PANDA) was represented. Everything from energy drinks to tools for bartenders to pour consistent drinks, uniforms, merchant services, and LV Networks - a company offering live feeds from clubs as an additional source of revenue for both the club and the girls. The Penthouse Club had a great marketing idea: Their business card was stapled to a one dollar bill - GENIUS! I made sure it was the first tip I dropped at the Penthouse Club and told the girl to show it to her manager and tell him that kind of marketing WORKS!
It was great to see my old friend Teri Weigel show up! She's a doll and a trooper! I wish we could talk more often! Finally met Tylo Duran! Follow Tylo on Twitter at @RealTyloDuran. Ricky Rich was there and it was great seeing him again too. Richelle Ryan was proudly posing with her award, and Lisa Licious was there with her winning smile. I stopped Monica Masnovi for a picture - BOOBS! See her at Spearmint Rhino, Norco. Others I recognized were Jaded Dawn, Prinzzess Felicity Jade, Naomi Knight, Gia Nova, Reagan Reilly, Krystal Dawn, Jordon Skye, and Don Waitt.
You never know who you might run into. Just inside the hotel I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Ivy Blu, Laycee Steele, and JayCee Lane, three gorgeous girls who happened to be standing there. If you are ever in Des Moines, Iowa drop by Minx Showpalace.
We had an early dinner at Mulate's, 201 Julia St. I had Gator, shrimp, and potatoes.
From time to time Myles would find where local musician friends of his were playing somewhere and would go catch their show. This time I hung around the hotel until time to go on the pub crawl. The pub crawl/poker run was a novel idea where you get a card from each stop. I had 2 pair, queen high at the end of the night but someone had been dealt a better hand and won the prize!
The evening was a lot of fun walking to the different clubs. Many of the places tonight had an open bar. At the Hustler Club they tried to hand me a beer right when I walked through the door! Some of the awards I expected at the upcoming Awards Show were given out at the Penthouse Club.
After more trade show on Tuesday the 25th, we went to "The ED's" at the Civic Theatre in downtown New Orleans. Busses from the hotel to the awards show and the pre-show reception at 7:30. The awards were from 9-11 hosted by the very funny Thea Vidale. I saw Little Sassy Cassee at the reception. I drove Cassee and her incumbent boyfriend around a few years back when she stayed at Derek Hay's house. I remember a great day at the beach with them and Ashlee Chambers who was staying at Derek's then too.
The awards show started with Tony Batman finally getting some respect with a proper introduction. He still got his share of spoofing though, when they brought out a box for him to stand on. It was a fantastic show with great production values! What were the numbers attending the Awards show? The Civic Theatre was sold out, packed, I believe their capacity is around 750. The 2015 Award Winners are listed at the end of this article.
After the show at the Penthouse Club, Angel Beau was on stage getting a lapdance and a girl comes up and gives Myles and me a big hug hello. I don't know who it was but hanging with Myles has benefits. We are getting The Canadian Explosion tonight and tomorrow all over again. Good stuff!
At Larry Flynt's Hustler Club Lisa Licious did a Star Wars-themed show. Lisa came out as C-3PO with light saber props, an R2-looking droid, Yoda cardboard cutout, and girls dressed like Princess Leia and a Stormtrooper.
Wednesday the 26th was a wind-down day, and it felt good! Exotic Dancer provided a treat with a ride on a paddlewheel riverboat, The Creole Queen. We lined up and boarded to find a wonderful buffet of the food that makes New Orleans famous, Cajun and Creole food! As is happens, frequently, a cute blonde was out and about flashing her boobs.
Harrah's Casino for the closing night party held in the Masquerade Night Club.
That night we were treated to another show of some of the best feature dancers in the world! We were at Masquerade in Harrah's at 228 Poydras St. Angel Beau's industrial strength show with grinder and sparks, servers with plates of hors d'oeuvres and little sandwiches made the rounds throughout the show, Ron Jeremy showed up, and "Hef" was there.
During the show I spied Myles seated between JayCee Lane and Abby Rhodes, happy and at home is his own element. Back at the hotel afterwards, as things were winding down, I usually take a stroll through the bar in the lobby and see who's there. I couldn't help myself and told Richelle Ryan she's built so good she makes a brick shithouse look like a cardboard box! Truth.
Thursday, August 27, was a day to walk the charming narrow streets with ornate balconies and hanging plants and to soak up as much ambiance as possible before having to tear myself away and move on down the road. Myles showed me "Port of Call," a restaurant just up the street at 838 Esplanade for cheeseburgers, baked potatoes, and iced tea. Then around the French Quarter where I found a shop dedicated to nothing but hot sauce. Good, tasty stuff!
Thanks should go to Don Waitt and Dave Manack for a great, well organized expo this year. Dave answered some of my questions after the show.
Dave, how was New Orleans from your point of view? "New Orleans [itself] wasn't more or less friendly than Las Vegas had been to our group, it was about the same. The hotel was very happy with our group, and the city is a very 'adult' city, so having our Gentlemen's Club Expo in New Orleans was surely nothing out of the ordinary for them. The attendance this year was up slightly from the past two Expos in Las Vegas. According to our numbers, it does seem as if the increase came from clubs in the Southeast, primarily."
Dave went on to say, "[The reaction from the attendees] was overwhelmingly positive. While some people miss Las Vegas, many, many more were happy that we gave Las Vegas a break and brought the Expo to a city closer to the East Coast, especially a city that has as much to offer as the Big Easy does! Because of its very positive response (we did a post-Expo poll that got a very substantial response, more than we could have hoped for), the Expo will return to New Orleans in 2016."
I ended up bringing 4 string of beads home with me that girls threw down from the balconies on Bourbon Street. Good to hear it will be in New Orleans again next year. It was the most fun at an expo I've ever had and I can't wait for "Part Deux!"
The 2015 Exotic Dancer Award Winners:
Overall Gentlemen's Club of the Year
Tootsie's Cabaret, Miami
Overall Feature Entertainer of the Year
Club Chain of the Year
EXOTIC DANCER Hall of Fame
Club of the Year East
Scores, New York City
Small Club of the Year East
Little Darlings, Baltimore
Club of the Year South
Thee Dollhouse, Tampa, FL
Small Club of the Year South
Vegas Cabaret, Lauderhill, FL
Club of the Year Central
Hustler Club, E. St. Louis, IL
Small Club of the Year Central
Temptations, Beaumont, TX
Club of the Year West
Spearmint Rhino, Las Vegas
Small Club of the Year West
La Boheme, Denver
"Feature Club" of the Year
Monroe's of Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, FL
International Club of the Year
Penthouse Club, Perth, Australia
General Manager of the Year
Bryant Emiliani, Penthouse Club, Baton Rouge, LA
Club Employee of the Year
Ashley Sponsler, Hustler Club, San Francisco
DJ of the Year
Jay Crowley, Gold Club, San Francisco
Newcomer Entertainer of the Year
Club Favorite Entertainer of the Year
Adult Movie Entertainer of the Year
Miss Exoticdancer.com of the Year