For 4 days, between February 26 and March 1, 2014, the AEVC (that’s the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention) enjoyed its third annual edition. Now, some of you might be thinking, so what? Adult conventions are going all the time. Well, yes, but some are bigger than others; some are glitzier than others; what they usually have in common though is that they take place in a physical environment.
AEVC is different and the reason for that is in the name. It is a virtual convention. Not only that, but this year it was set as the biggest online convention ever held, shattering all world records with between 10,000 and 12,000 attendees. As Brian Shuster put it in his welcome address, there is no other online system capable of handling that capacity.
What’s going on at the AEVC
As well as boasting such enormous participation numbers, AEVC 2014 – sponsored by the likes of GayHotMovies.com, Streamate, Kiiroo and XBIZ, among many, many others, including AEVC’s Virtual World Sponsor, Synergy Outlaw – also had a wealth of adult industry experts on hand to provide informative, insightful talks, panels, workshops and seminars on a wide range of industry-related topics. Even BaDoink’s very own CEO, Todd Glider, was there, talking about the impact of mobile devices on the industry, to be ignored at your peril.
To see the full wealth of what was on offer, go to the AEVC 2014 website where you will find the 19 videos, all containing virtual avatars of the speakers, covering everything that went on. There’s some fascinating stuff there. Whether your focus is centered on sales or on the technological, or even on the wider cultural impact of adult entertainment, you’ll find a talk to tickle your interest. I found ‘The Politics of Porn’ and ‘The Art and Joy of Sex; an Education Seminar’ particularly interesting. It really is an eclectic mix, though, with other talks called ‘The PR Life of a Pornstar’, ‘Marketing like a Rockstar (or Pornstar!)’ and the very practical ‘How to Write a Press Release’ amongst many others. I’d recommend you take some time to dip into the whole lot.
Of course, although the talks are the most important aspect of the convention, you also want to feel what it is to experience an online convention, to move around in a virtual environment (if graphics weren’t important, people would never have bothered to move on from text-based computer adventure games). So, once you’re on the website, check out the gallery section and take a look at the various rooms and halls where the talks and events take place. And, of course, there’s a lot of virtual performers to look at too.
To top it all off, the AEVC also hosts an awards ceremony. I get it. How can you have such a massive convention and NOT have an awards ceremony? Hosted by Patrick Mailha and Samantha Mack and presented by Red Light Center and XBIZ, there were awards handed out to the likes of James Deen (Male Performer of the Year), Tasha Reign (Female Performer of the Year), Doc Johnson (Best Sex Toy Company of the Year) and WoodRocket.com (Best Adult Site of the Year). You can find a full list of winners and awards – including one for the Sexiest Female Avatar of the Year (Jackie_Madam_M) because you can’t have a virtual adult convention and not have an award for a virtual performer – on the AEVC website.
The whole concept of the AEVC is fascinating from whichever angle you come at it. Maybe this will be how most conventions are done in the future. With the development of tech apparatus like Oculus and Google Glass and the continuing evolution of graphic realism, we can probably fully expect soon to be able to immerse ourselves completely in these virtual environments, to feel like we are actually there, in person. What is particularly interesting is how, as with all advances in media technology, the adult industry is paving the way, embracing the latest innovations and marching into the future with gusto and without fear. AEVC is just one step in this progression… but it’s a damn big step.
Join us again next week, when we’ll be interviewing the driving force behind the AEVC, the show’s producer, director and founder Anna Lee, and getting the lowdown on the motivation and the technology behind the AEVC.