Trade reaction to the news of Erotica 2014’s cancellation has been one of disappointment. Exhibitors learned that the consumer event, which was scheduled to take place in November at London’s Tobacco Dock venue, had been cancelled in a letter from the organisers, dated February 10th, which stated: “With regret we write to inform you that we have decided to cancel this year’s show. We are not happy with the venue or the limited licensing options available to us by Tower Hamlets council and have decided not to proceed any further with plans for this year’s show.”
Exhibitor feedback with regard to the new venue – used last year for the first time – was generally favourable. After 2013’s event Richie Bowles of Creative Conceptions – who brought members of the cast of MTV reality show Geordie Shore to the show – said: “We were initially a bit concerned that the new venue might not work, that the publicity was lower-profile than in the past, but the whole thing [was] been better than we’d anticipated.”
Bondara.co.uk was Erotica 2013’s platinum sponsor. Chris Simms, the online retailer’s MD, was asked for his reaction to the news of Erotica 2014’s cancellation and he commented: “We were disappointed to hear that Erotica has been cancelled as we feel there is a need for a consumer show within our industry. One of the reasons we decided to take on platinum sponsorship last year was that, being an online retailer, it gave our team an opportunity to get in front of potential customers and to expose our brand offering to a new audience, which did prove successful for us. After the show, we were aware that going forward the Erotica team would face challenges in delivering an event which met the needs and expectations of performers, exhibitors and visitors. The show attracted many Erotica veterans who were excited and curious about the new venue location and the anticipated new look and feel of the show. However, we did get some feedback that it had lost some of the shine of previous years. As such, we thought an issue that may arise in 2014 was that Erotica veterans may be less inclined to attend – and if a new audience had not been targeted effectively the show could find it a challenge to attract visitors.”
Wayne Allen, MD of E-Stim Systems, said: “As a past exhibitor we were looking forward to the 2014 event, so we’re naturally disappointed to hear of this change of plans. We hope Erotica will return in some form in the future and would happily exhibit with them again if the opportunity arises.”
Other exhibitors also spoke of their disappointment at the news, after the story broke on www.erotictradeonly.com and social media channels earlier this week. ETO did contact the organisers for comment. At the time of writing the event’s website [www.erotica-uk.com] was down, with a simple page saying ‘Site is offline for maintenance’ and its Facebook page has not been updated since January 30th.
Erotica is one of the best-known consumer events in the UK, reportedly chalking up more visitors than the Ideal Home Show at its peak. It was staged annually at London’s Olympia from 1997 to 2011 and has traditionally acted as a curtain raiser on the Christmas season for many adult businesses. The 2012 event was cancelled due to the rising cost of tenancy at Olympia and, after a year’s sabbatical, the ‘new format’ Erotica was staged at Tobacco Dock in East London in 2013.