AVN Awards To Go Online Rather than Onstage in Vegas

For the first time in the ceremony’s 38-year history, the AVN Awards will be held online, rather than in Las Vegas, for the 2021 show.

Kayden Kross, Manuel Ferrara, and Maitland Ward

“The health and safety of our attendees and exhibitors is our top priority, so we’ve made the difficult decision to not hold our January events in-person, but instead create a digital experience that will give industry professionals and the fans of adult entertainment unique opportunities to interact online,” reads a statement from Tony Rios, chief executive officer of the AVN Media Network. 

The “digital experience” will comprise not only the AVN Awards, but also the GayVN Awards, the AVN Novelty Expo, and the fan-centered Adult Entertainment Expo. The expos and award shows will take place between January 18 and January 23, 2021 on the platforms AVNStars.com and GayVNStars.com, and are sponsored by the adult cam sites MyFreeCams (AVN) and Chaturbate (GayVN).

Setting the precedent for in-person adult events going digital was June’s Webmaster Access (WMA), which incorporated virtual seminars, a diversity of hosts, and a sliding scale of gravity and mirthfulness, reflective of the state of the industry.

Spinnin Shae rains on herself

But WMA was exclusively a business event, whereas the January AVN shows will be a hybrid of business and fans. Will an online fan event draw the tens of thousands of people that would flock to Vegas in non-plague times?

For many in the international porn community, the January Expo and show, which expanded and contracted to include and cast off business niches, and at one time crossed over with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES; indeed, what became known simply as “AVN” through the 1990s, including both the Adult Entertainment Expo and the AVN Awards, was at one point merely the most scandalous part of CES, and a chance for tech employees with no interest in Hewlett-Packard or washing machine innovations to have an excuse to get to Vegas in hopes of meeting Jewell De’Nyle), are as much a family get-together as an energizing networking opportunity.

Prior to attending my first “AVN” in 2003, I wondered why the L.A. part of the industry, the world’s largest, had to pack up and travel to Vegas. Then I realized it was a combination of a work vacation that started the year and the embodiment of “Don’t shit where you eat”; if thousands of adult fans and personnel were coming from around the world, best to do it in a place that embraces vice and has cheap buffets.

For many, including myself, last January’s AVN Expo and Awards was the last big public event any of us attended before everything started shutting down. I’m glad I have nothing but fond memories.

In his statement, Rios is quick to add “only for this year” when talking about not returning to Vegas. As these shows are being sponsored by cam companies, and as a major chunk of AVN’s revenue comes from the annual and scrupulously-edited Showtime broadcast of the Awards, I dearly hope that is true.

See Also: AVNStars
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Last Call at the Hard Rock

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