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December 19, 2014

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Why porn queens and CES tech geeks have parted ways

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Leila Navidi

Adult film star Alexis Texas talks with fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas Friday, January 7, 2011.

AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2011

Adult film star Caudia Marie talks with fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas Friday, January 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »

AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2010

The 2010 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Sands Expo Center. Launch slideshow »

For years, the sight of badge-wearing technology nerds intermingling with buxom porn queens along the Strip marked the start of a new year and the concurrent arrival of two high-profile conventions to Las Vegas.

But this year, the International Consumer Electronics Show and the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, two conventions with a long, informal relationship, are being held on separate weeks. CES wrapped up last Friday and the adult expo begins Wednesday.

The split was caused in large part by scheduling issues, said Steve Javors, managing editor of AVN, an adult entertainment trade publication.

“We needed to keep the AVN Awards over the weekend so all of our talent and the members of the adult business community can attend without it taking up their whole week,” Javors said.

Holding the adult expo concurrently with CES had brought the convention increased attendance and media attention, Javors said. But as the show has grown over the past two decades — starting out in the basement of the Sands Expo and Convention Center in the 1980s and now reaching the point where it will take over the Hard Rock Hotel — Javors said having its own weekend will help the adult expo step into its own spotlight.

The separation from CES, which drew nearly 150,000 visitors and sent room rates skyrocketing, will also help attendees at the adult expo save on travel costs.

“We’ve certainly grown up and deserve our own weekend,” Javors said. “I think (the move) will make our show more accessible for people who want to attend. The hotel rooms will cost less and people won’t spend forever waiting in lines for cabs.”

Among attendees at CES, reactions were mixed as people who enjoyed attending both events realized that the adult expo was being held a week later.

“I suppose I’m a bit disappointed,” said 55-year-old Jeff Lewis, a research scientist from Canada attending CES. “It was very peculiar to be walking from a booth with computers to go-go dancers. It was always fun to walk through both conventions.”

CES attendee Walter Areas said he worried that the separation would mean less attendance for the adult expo.

“The demographic for CES is all men. Same with the porn convention,” the 30-year-old California resident said. “Realistically, they should go hand in hand. It worked. It was a perfect collaboration — like white on rice.”

The new weekend for the adult expo will also come with a new venue, as the convention’s festivities and exhibitions move to the Hard Rock Hotel. Javors said the expo will take advantage of the Hard Rock’s varied venues to host a dozen parties throughout the week.

“It takes us out of the convention-type atmosphere and puts it in a fun, sexy venue,” he said. “It’s really exciting … I think it will, in a way, breathe new life into the show and give it a different vibe.”

Sun reporter Paul Takahashi contributed to this story.

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  1. It will be interesting to see if the decrease in CES geeks at the porn show is offset by an increase in industry-related attendees and fans who can now afford to attend.

    It looks like the parties won't be suffering at all and might even be better!

  2. Lets get real. The AVN was losing exhibitors as they started to allow the knuckle draggers in at $75 a pop.

    Some exhibitors are now at CES. Better crowds, better chance to sell their wares.

    Steve Javors just found a new revenue stream and a new, smaller place to host it all for a lot less money.

  3. Moving from 178,000 gross square feet of space to the Hard Rock is not a move about growth. They could have grown into more convention space. The Hard Rock is taking it for marketing as much as taking it for having a more liberal location to market their products as they will be buying out the hotel. Totally wrong comment about growth of the show in regards to floor space. It is in a smaller space where it is all about them, which is too bad as the Venetian was awesome for people watching with businesses men having meetings trying to find their rooms and triple taking when seeing half naked women passing by their meeting room.