(Note: This story appears in the August 2022 issue of Storerotica Magazine)
The Elevation event hosted in June by Eldorado took a departure from previous iterations of the event, but promises to be a template for the company’s future.
ituated in a dimly lit lower level of an Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Denver, people from all over the adult retail industry gathered for Eldorado’s latest Elevation event, which was akin to a more intimate industry convention setting.
This event’s version was a welcome return to normalcy after industry events have been redirected online — if not outright canceled — due to the pandemic. People seemed genuinely delighted to be trading stories with one another, engaging in the latest industry trends and products and, of course, chowing down on delectable Italian cuisine.
STOREROTICA Magazine spoke with Dianna Stratton, Marketing Communications Strategist for Eldorado Trading Company, about how Eldorado arrived at a quaint Denver restaurant to showcase their newest Elevation event and what it meant for the industry.
SE: How did you decide on Jovanina’s Broken Italian and hosting this in Denver vs. past locales?
STRATTON: Excellent food within close proximity of the hotel that could accommodate our customers, manufacturer sponsors, and Eldorado staff were the main priorities. Finding a location that had a cool speakeasy feel and a cozy, intimate vibe was just a bonus.
SE: What made this Elevation event a departure from your past tradeshow events?
STRATTON: Two elements really defined this Elevation event as a significant departure from past tradeshows.
Previous events were centered around Eldorado’s headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. Our June event is the first time we brought manufacturers and customers to downtown Denver. Hosting the event in a Denver hotel meant a bigger space to invite more guests. This was our largest Eldorado Elevation yet! The urban location meant we could entertain our guests at local restaurant and event spaces. The new environment ultimately inspired the new Elevation branding.
“Our June event is the first time we brought manufacturers and customers to downtown Denver. Hosting the event in a Denver hotel meant a bigger space to invite more guests. This was our largest Eldorado Elevation yet! The new environment ultimately inspired the new Elevation branding.” — Dianna Stratton
SE: What were the specific details about this Elevation event — number of attendees, how long it lasted, where the tradeshow took place, etc.
STRATTON: The event consisted of two days of intensive trainings and included enough time for customers to tour Eldorado’s offices and shop our warehouse. Customers were also able to use the newly developed Eldorado Delivers app to build orders that synced with their online shopping carts. Eldorado Delivers is now available to all Eldorado customers.
SE: Was there a specific message Eldorado wanted to convey to attendees with this event?
STRATTON: Innovation and growth were our main messages this event including an exciting location, a bigger event, and the new Eldorado Delivers shopping app.
“As a leading distributor, we provide retail stores with the knowledge and product selection they need to succeed in their markets,” says Eldorado Vice President Preston Garland. “Eldorado delivers so much more than just product for our customers. We work to bring together manufacturers and customers, because we know from experience that by supporting their success, we all benefit and thrive.”
SE: One of the things most notable about the dinner was how everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy being in one another’s presence after two years of the pandemic — can you talk about that visible camaraderie … and just how much fun people seemed to have?
STRATTON: Pleasure products is an intimate industry. The last few years, we have missed the closeness and familiarity we previously enjoyed at industry events. We have had to find new and innovative ways to remotely build connection and support business efforts. The return to hosting and attending events fosters a community mindset that we have all greatly missed.
There is simply no replacement for face-to-face conversations and being able to touch and feel products while you learn about them. In addition, many people were excited to share their successes and struggles that they have experienced in their own stores during the pandemic.
The human drive for connection and community is as strong as ever and many customers had fun sharing their experience at one of the first in-person trade events in several years. — Dianna Stratton
We also appreciate the pandemic is not over. We provided masks and hand sanitizer stations throughout the hotel, but the human drive for connection and community is as strong as ever and many customers had fun sharing their experience at one of the first in-person trade events in several years.
As our CEO Wanda Garland stated, “The pandemic has kept us apart, which is challenging considering the nature of our industry. Our last tradeshow was 2019, so bringing together old friends and new business partners after such a long absence really made this event special. We have all missed having quality time together.”
SE: Can you talk about how far these Elevation events have come from their beginning?
STRATTON: Larry Garland always insisted education was the key to long-term market growth. We started with Camp Eldorado when we first invited customers to Eldorado to learn more about the products they carry. The event has evolved over the years — first changing the name to Elevation, The Ultimate Learning Event, and eventually growing into our newest off-site version. We always want to make our time together valuable to our customers and manufacturers. By bringing everyone together, we can all be more successful in each of our own markets.
For more information, visit eldorado.net.