As we did last year, we are providing daily blogs from our staff at the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show highlighting their own individual observations.
In my case, it’s being done with a massive cognac-inspired hangover from outside the show floor.
Hangover aside, I’m really excited for this year’s show. New Orleans isn’t the most preferred destination by most of the manufacturers due to concerns over retailer attendance, but, I like New Orleans. I like the food, I like the older character the city has and I love its music—cannot wait to see Kermit Ruffins tonight.
That being said, a few observations about the show up until the show opens.
- Tales + IPCPR = ? — Ever year New Orleans hosts Tales of the Cocktail, the liquor industry’s most prestigious event. While there’s a smaller trade show, Tales focuses on a variety of events that have been taking place since Tuesday. While we may not be in Sin City, the premium liquor/tobacco combination is plenty enough for me.
- The Attorneys — There have been more trademark and other legal issues ahead of this year’s show. Some have already been corrected and you’ve probably seen the updates on the site, but some still haven’t been resolved. It’s companies large and small doing things that could be easily avoided by a simple trademark search. While it makes for interesting storylines for us, it’s not great for the industry.
- We’re Going to Get Our Exercise In — The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is super wide. The entrance happens to be located on the far end of one its sides—and it’s the one that’s not located near any of the hotels. The cigar industry has already gotten its much needed exercise in and we’re just getting started.
- Smoking Ban? — There’s a new smoking ban, it’s in effect and certainly has limited some of what we can and cannot do, but there are far more than a dozen places to smoke that was being advertised by the IPCPR before the event—and we seemingly have done a good job finding it. New Orleans is still a friendly and hospitable city and they don’t seem to mind our cigars too much.