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Arts and Entertainment

Dispatch: AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, 1/8-1/11/09 (1/3)

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Part of an ongoing series

As mentioned previously, AVN's annual Adult Entertainment Expo and Adult Movie Awards took place earlier this month in Las Vegas, with the convention running for four days at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the awards show taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

AVN explained that "The adult expo began as an outgrowth of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in the 1980s, and this year's schedule brought the two trade shows back in synch for the first time in many years. But attendance for both shows was down; some adult exhibitors hoped to see more cross-traffic from CES this year, but that never seemed to happen."

And with the recession hitting Las Vegas casinos hard, early estimates of 30,000 AEE attendees were apparently too optimistic, as the Las Vegas Weekly reported that "Fan attendance from a year ago is down anywhere between 10 and 20 percent, with the raw numbers likely to be between 20,000 and 25,000. The AEE staff was only slightly encouraged by a spike in early registration, as the early registration accounts for just 10 percent of the expo's total business. Business at the trade booths, located downstairs in the B2B area, was down only slightly, and there were 267 exhibitors this year compared with 301 last year, an 11-percent dip." Variety observed that "Though meetings were still being taken, parties thrown and the annual AVN Awards taking place over the weekend, there wasn’t too much energy on the show floor, with most booths significantly toned down and even muted. Given conditions, organizers seemed glad simply to have the participation of industry heavyweights like Vivid Video, Wicked Pictures, Digital Playground and Hustler."

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Former Wicked Pictures contract star Stephanie Swift declared that "'This is the smallest and least-crowded (expo) ever. I don't know if it's the recession or what...'" And Vivid contract star Savanna Samson echoed that "'It seems very ... quiet... Even checking into the hotel, like, there's no lines and everything. I'm not going to worry about it, because I think people need to be positive, and OK, so what, the economy's bad -- but what better way to get through it than through sex and love and all that stuff? It'll get better.'"

To be continued.

NOTE: Photo 8 is NSFW (topless action).