Customers can log onto the website, watch streaming video and shower dollars.

In a private room at the 2001 Odyssey strip club, dancers with exotic names like Candy, Bella, and Ferrari sit on a plush velvet bench and engage in video chats with online customers from various parts of the United States. These virtual interactions come at a price, and for an additional fee, the dancers will even disrobe and move to an adjacent room to perform a dance.

Members of the club’s website pay a monthly subscription fee to access these virtual encounters. According to the club, some of these customers eventually visit Tampa to experience the adult entertainment offered at the spaceship-topped nude club on N Dale Mabry Highway in person.

The operators of Club Cam Systems plan to introduce similar services at two other adult clubs in Tampa by August, just in time for the Republican National Convention. Their objective is to generate substantial online revenue while also providing some of the estimated 50,000 convention visitors with a glimpse of the adult entertainment options that await them upon their arrival.

“We are aiming to increase awareness for individuals who visit Tampa during the RNC,” stated Russ Bruno, one of the owners of Club Cam Systems. “For the RNC, people need places to go. We’re trying to create the awareness for people who come to Tampa that Tampa has a lot of things to do.”

This marketing strategy is a prime example of a “hub and spoke” model, synchronized to coincide with the arrival of delegates, politicians, lobbyists, and other tourists. As with other businesses vying for convention visitors, these clubs are utilizing social media to drive traffic to their websites, which in turn increases foot traffic to their physical locations.

Glen Gilmore, a consultant and digital marketing professor at Rutgers University, believes that Tampa is leading the way with this approach. “It’s a dramatic shift in marketing, and I guess what’s happening in Tampa just reinforces the fact that traditional marketing is yielding to new media and new marketing.”

According to Don Kleinhans, co-owner of The Odyssey, the club’s foray into live streaming began around ten years ago but was hampered by exorbitant broadband costs of $110,000 per month and a lack of technological advancements. However, with technology having since caught up, the club now boasts multiple cameras positioned above the dressing room and main stage, including one above the “Make It Rain Machine” which allows customers to drop up to $2,000 in dollar bills onto dancers, with the DJ announcing the rainmaker’s name and dedication. Performers can also be tipped over the web. The cameras are exclusively focused on the stage and patrons are not shown. The club also features a “Studio” hidden behind a frosted glass door where strippers video chat with paying customers who have a monthly membership fee of $19.95 to access the site and an option to request a personal striptease for an additional $4 per minute. The majority of the club’s 300 dancers have profiles that notify viewers when their favorite entertainer is online.

he Club Cam Systems, developed by the owners of 2001 Odyssey, has now expanded globally. Toni Derby, director of operations at the Odyssey’s rival club, Mons Venus, plans to have their own Club Cam system up and running next month, but it will not offer video chat services due to lack of space in the club.

At 2001 Odyssey, the staff stays connected to laptops to monitor and chat, ensuring the Web operation runs smoothly. They have instant access to the club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, enabling them to post updates and tweets to thousands of followers, a direct-marketing tool they will use to attract convention-goers using political keywords and hashtags.

Kleinhans hopes that visitors will leave the club with fond memories, souvenirs, and a membership in the virtual club to stay in touch with the people they met.

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