Although a strictly trade-only affair, the recent ETO Show was covered in the online version of Metro, the world’s largest free newspaper. The Metro.co.uk website receives 30 million unique visitors a month (Omniture, November 2015) for its mix of news, sports, showbiz gossip, and quirky stories from around the world and Violet Fenn’s report, which appeared on June 16th, gave invaluable exposure to a selection of the show’s exhibitors.
Titled ‘I went to an erotic trade show and this is what I discovered’, it began: “As someone who writes a lot about sexual wellbeing I often get invited to what can only be described as unusual events. One of the most fun is ETO, which is an annual trade show for the adult industry held at Birmingham’s NEC arena. It’s always good for a giggle and a catch up with old friends, not to mention a bit of eyebrow-raising at the new products on the market. Here are some of the things that I found on my recent visit. Prepare to be amazed (and possibly to have your eyes water a bit)…”
Violet started with Rocks-Off’s Ruby Glow, which was pictured with its inventor, erotic author Tabitha Rayne. Violet said: “What is truly special about the Ruby is that all you have to do is sit on it… As well as being ideal for those with mobility issues, it’s already popular with women who work from home and want to keep themselves entertained whilst sitting at their desk. And at less than £40 from its brilliantly-named producers, ‘Rocks Off’, it’s a super-sexy bargain!”
She then moved on to Doxy, saying: “Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best. Doxy are famous for one thing and they make that one thing really well… I love catching up with Doxy – their director, Will Garland, is funny and sweet and really knows his stuff. The company’s products are made in the UK and appear to be damn near unbreakable – if more companies kept to this level of quality then there’d be a lot less battery-powered landfill cluttering up the place.”
Violet’s next call was to KinkCraft, which specialise in kits to make sexy accessories. Violet made a mini flogger on KinkCraft’s stand, describing the experience as the most fun she had had in ages, and she followed this up with E-Stim Systems. After telling readers about the company’s products she enthused: “They also have the best freebie pens that I’ve ever used – I’ve stocked up on my desk stationery for the next year. And in a stroke of marketing genius/sheer bribery they also have a pic’n’mix stand. Sexiness, stationery and sweets – the perfect combination!”
Violet said of Bathmate: “When a company comes up with a product that brings a genuinely new angle to an old idea, it’s time to hang out the latex bunting” and she went on to describe the unique selling points of the company’s innovative products.
She also mentioned Tenga’s masturbation eggs and the stuffed-with-freebies goodie bags that writers were able to take away from the BlogSpot area, before concluding: “The best things about events like ETO is the freedom to discuss endless personal and often slightly taboo subjects in a secure and supportive environment. What you come away with – apart from enough free condoms to last a teenager at least six months – is the sense that sex really should be healthy, utterly consensual and above all, fun.”
Metro was launched in March 1999 as a free, colour newspaper for London’s morning commuters and it is now available in 50 UK cities. With a circulation of some 1.3 million copies, Metro claims to be the world’s largest free newspaper and the third biggest newspaper in the UK. The full piece by Violet Fenn can be found at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/06/16/hold-for-more-info-i-went-to-an-erotic-trade-show-and-this-is-what-i-discovered-5938853/