I have been getting a ton of questions about my experiences as a patron at the Exxxotica Miami shows and Internext 09. I thought that since there is a lot of interest in these shows, I would post my advice and share my opinions on whether as a model or webmaster you should invest in going. I understand that a major reason a lot of people choose not to go is because it is very financially draining. So here is MY advice.
#1. If you decide to go, PLAN AHEAD. Do your FULL research on the show before making a decision and paying for the trip and tickets. EVERY show is designed to cater to a different side of the business so make sure it will fit into YOUR purpose of going. Find out what tickets are best for you before buying them. There are usually B2B (business 2 business) type tickets, industry (talent) type tickets and then there are normal FAN patron tickets for these events. Don't get stuck in line for hours as a fan! LOL
#2. KNOW WHY YOU ARE GOING. If your intention is just to have fun, then go! But if you have a business speficied agenda, be aware of that agenda and stay focused. These events are so entertaining, it is VERY easy to lose sight of your purpose and leave without accomplishing your goals. Many of them have VERY helpful seminars (i.e. [URL="http://hourglass8.com/"]Kelly Shibari's [/URL]SOCIAL MEDIA seminar @ Internext 09) and are in most cases FREE to those who attend. TAKE ADVANTAGE of them!
#3. NETWORK. - Regardless of ANYTHING you attend, networking is key. There is NO social media that supercedes a real life encounter and intelliegent and personable conversation. As a webmodel/personality, it is EASY to depend on your online persona to converse with industry moguels. Take this time to show them you are more than just a face, or a webmaster. Let your personality make a lasting impression!
#4. TAKE YOUR PROMOTIONAL PRINTS. - Business cards, a tshirt with your site url on it, stickers - whatever you can afford or already have it is ESSENTIAL to have professional forms of print with you AT ALL TIMES. You never know who you might run into and the FIRST thing they will ask is for your business card. One of my BIGGEST mistakes @ Internext 09 was leaving them behind. Although alot of contacts still made way to get in touch with me after writing my name, email address, phone number AND url's about 10,000 times... I am SURE I lost some VERY good network contacts off presentation and lack of preparedness alone.
#5. PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. What more needs to be said about that? There are fans EVERYWHERE, even INSIDE the industry. Promotions help patrons recognize that YOU are a star. Go out there and show them who you are and SHINE so bright they can't ever forget you!
#6. DON'T MAKE EXCUSES. If you can't afford to go to the next one, plan on one far enough ahead of time so that you can go. My excuse was that "these events aren't FAT friendly" -no pun intended. We hear alot about the lack of plus size presentation at these conventions. Isn't it time we made a presence? We can't be upset if we never go. Strength in numbers is what I say.
#7. FIND OTHER MODELS ATTENDING - AND SHOOT TOGETHER! Why not? Take advantage of the rare moment that you are in the same place as other models you would be less likely to meet up with and shoot some content. **Content Exchange vs Paid Content is a whole different post- coming soon**
#8. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! This is the only way you will make it. I know, we want to look sexy but think of this as an amusement park. Would you wear stiletto's to Six Flags? Just advice!
#9. GO WITH NO EXPECTATIONS - the more you have a preconceived idea of what to expect, you set yourself up for disappointment. Just go, make the best of it and walk away with, if nothing else, an experience to remember.
#10. JUST GO.
That's all I have to say about that for now LOL -
See you at Exxxotica Ny Sept 25-27th.