Venus and EroFame: a tale of two cities for the foreseeable future

Posted: November 6, 2017

It has emerged that the organisers of the two German shows, EroFame and Venus, which take place in Hanover and Berlin respectively, around the same time in October each year, have been holding discussions regarding some form of collaboration. This outcome now looks extremely unlikely however, following strongly-worded statements released by each party about the breakdown in talks.

A statement posted on the Venus website on 3rd November said that a conversation between the two organsiers began in November 2016 and several meetings followed in March and May of 2017. The announcement continued: “The whole conversation was very promising, and we, the Venus, wanted to make things work. We were also [in] negotiation with Messe Berlin about further halls and space and we have already made a satisfying solution for both sides. Although the hall plans would not have been optimal for 2018, since much space was already booked, for 2019 Messe Berlin already have blocked ideal halls and we had an ideal concept we wanted to implement. Basically, we agreed about a cooperation, and lawyers were already working on the contract. The merger of Venus and EroFame should have been announced at EroFame and Venus 2017 at the fair. Quite surprisingly we received an email and were informed about the refusal on 24.10.17 from EroFame. Disappointingly we didn’t even have a personal call. We feel very sorry for all the exhibitors and trade visitors.”

The announcement concluded that the Venus organisers were “saddened and astonished” at this outcome but plans were already underway for Venus 2018, which will take place in Berlin from October 11th to 14th. Pointedly, it emphasised that next year’s Venus will have a separate B2B area with its own opening hours (Thursday 11am – 7pm, Friday 11am – 7pm, and Saturday 11am – 4pm).

On the same day, German trade publication EAN – which is very closely connected to EroFame – reported that EroFame 2018 would once again take place in Hanover. The report said that the organisers made this decision after polling exhibitors about a possible location change, and the majority of respondents favoured Hanover. The report added: “As part of optimising EroFame, the committee met with organisers of Venus Fair Berlin for confidential exploratory talks last summer, exploring options for simultaneously scheduling both trade shows at the same fairground. In addition, Hamburg was considered as an alternative location. Before coming to a final conclusion, EroFame’s committee decided on interviewing all current exhibitors and several other regular customers in a widely-arranged campaign. People could vote online or via personal conversations during EroFame 2017. 108 companies voted for the destination in Hanover, 39 companies for Berlin and 21 companies for Hamburg as alternative spots. Spontaneous talks with several visitors of EroFame highlighted a similar tendency.”

EroFame organiser Wieland Hofmeister was also quoted as saying: “EroFame will not collaborate or merge with other trade shows in the foreseeable future. EroFame is a well-established, professional B2B trade show for the adult market, with a special image that sets it apart from other trade shows, and therefore, it will continue to be its own thing.”

Hofmeister added: “As part of the exploratory talks with Venus, regarding the idea of arranging both trade shows at the same time and sharing the same fairground in Berlin, we also visited all contemplable locations. The results were – to put it mildly and literally – suboptimal. We would have had to decide on several small hangars, from which some even missed daylight and others were in a memorably bad shape. This aspect alone would have been enough for a decision against a fair in Berlin – it is our duty not to take any steps backwards, also not in terms of location… EroFame strongly reflects the erotic lifestyle trend, therefore we don’t want to move the show into the vicinity of an event that emphasises the porn aspect of the industry, the way the Venus B2C show in Berlin does – admittedly with great success. Trade shows of that nature cater to a very different audience.”