Coming to America: ‘Sexpo is an Event Like No Other’ writes Marty O’Brien.
Date: Sep 06, 2017
MELBOURNE, Australia – A health, sexuality and adult lifestyle exhibition with a 20-year history on three continents is planning conquest of a fourth: Sexpo® will launch its first U.S. show next year.
Since 1996, the organization behind the popular events has hosted Sexpo exhibitions in six Australian states. A licensee has mounted Sexpos in South Africa since 2007, and the parent company expanded to London in 2015. In all, 90 Sexpos have taken place worldwide.
The man in charge of the U.S. expansion said he expects Americans, including the mainstream media, to be somewhat surprised — in a pleasant way — by Sexpo’s all-encompassing, all-inclusive, thoroughly Australian charm.
“There are various adult type exhibitions around the world, including a few held in various states of the U.S., but none use the combination of entertainment and education in the way Sexpo does,” said David Ross, the Sexpo (International) Pty Ltd. representative who will lead U.S. operations. “This combination has successfully won support from media and the public alike.
“We say we are in the entertainment industry, and as such strive to provide a fun, vibrant and safe environment for open-minded adults to come experience an expo like no other,” he continued. “Our event focuses on retail, entertainment and health information.”
According to Ross, all adult lifestyles, genders and sexual orientations are represented and welcomed at Sexpo. As long as their expression of sexuality is legal, no one is judged, no one is ostracized and no group is consigned to the fringes of the event.
The deliberate across-the-board focus “ensures our attendance numbers are far better than any competing event, as we have not alienated females, which comprise 50 percent of the population,” he said. “It should be noted that we go out of our way to include the LGTB community in all our events.”
Ross said the move onto American soil represents a natural progression for what has become a worldwide brand — and a big brand, at that.
“Our best attendance for a show [in Australia] is 68,000, with 35,000 being our average over four days, making us the busiest stand-alone adult show in the world,” he said.
Big success bears and equally large price tag: The company spends more than $1 million to produce each Sexpo event.
“Nearly half of that is spent on advertising and stage production,” Ross said. “The sound and lighting is of rock concert quality, and the entertainment is the best money can buy.
“The budget means we need to attract many tens of thousands of visitors to cover costs,” he continued. “And to do that, we need to be very mainstream. Our marketing and promotions are designed so as to not cause too much controversy. We do occasionally have protests, but once the media see the way the event is presented, it is very difficult for them to run negative stories. We never court controversy.”
Ross said he and Sexpo Pty Ltd are well aware of the increasingly shrill outcry from anti-porn warriors in the U.S., but Sexpo has faced — and overcome — conservative indignation before.
“We operate in numerous jurisdictions including here in Australia, South Africa and the UK, with different laws and regulations different in each location,” he said. “We abide by all local laws and regulations. In South Africa, the media have always asked me, since the first event 10 years ago, how we expect to go given the conservative nature of the country, but South Africa produces some of the best numbers of any of our events.”
Perhaps that’s because, according to Ross, Sexpo events are at once glitzy, glamorous, sexy … and tasteful.
“The shopping is second to none, with hundreds of exhibitors retailing all manner of products,” he said. “There’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a fun, different or special gift for a friend or loved one, you sure to find it at Sexpo.”
Ross said the entertainment is another highlight, with international performers, male and female stage acts, comedy hypnotists, fetish demonstrations and audience participation competitions, including the Sexpo-signature Amateur Strip and the Sexy Cosplay competition. Patrons will find multiple bars and lounge areas where they can enjoy entertainment including the All Male Revue and Laporium. Educational demonstrations and seminars take place in the Fetish Playroom and the Sexual Health and Relationship Expo (S.H.A.R.E) Seminar Theatre.
“Also check out our Carnal Carnival, where we’ve taken everyday carnival games and rides and turned them into seriously adult fun,” Ross said. “You can test your strength and skill on our amusement games, take a ride on the Shafter or play with the Sexpo mascots, Penisaurus and Tittysaurus.”
Much of the legwork required to launch a major production in the U.S. has been completed, Ross said, but one significant detail remains: location. As part of its pre-launch promotional campaign, Sexpo has asked Americans to help decide where the exhibition will take place.
“We do have several locations on our short list, but we really will be guided by the public’s opinion,” he said.
Individuals who wish to participate must take a brief survey about their gender, age and zip code, plus whether they would attend solo, with a partner or with a group. Those who complete all or part of the survey will be entered in a drawing for gift bags, VIP tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations for two adults. If the prizewinner’s state is selected as the inaugural U.S. Sexpo’s location, the winner will receive $1,000 cash instead of airfare and accommodations.
For more information about Sexpo’s worldwide operations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.