When the 2020 PCA Convention & Trade Show was canceled many alternative ideas emerged about whether there would be some sort of alternative event, now four companies are proposing a long-talked about concept: take it on the road.
Alec Bradley Cigar Co., Crowned Heads, Oliva Cigar Co. and Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc. will be hosting joint sales events in 15 cities, an attempt at having a mini-trade show of sorts. Retailers will be able to attend on a first-come, first-served basis to attend these joint sales events where the four companies will show off their new products—including some exclusive road show items—offer discounts and provide free food and alcohol.
Due to social distancing measures and size limitations, there will be five groups of up to eight retailers let into each event per day. Most of the stops are two-day, meaning that there are actually 27 days worth of events.
- July 13-14 — Naples, Fla.
- July 14 — Pittsburgh, Pa.
- July 15 — Kansas City
- July 15-16 — Atlanta
- July 15-16 — Chicago
- July 16 — Charlotte
- July 17-18 — Indianapolis
- July 17-18 — Orange County, Calif.
- July 17-18 — Washington, D.C.
- July 18-19 — Glendale, Ariz.
- July 20-21 — Boston
- July 21-22 — Dallas
- July 21-22 — Houston
- July 23-24 — Philadelphia
- July 23-24 — Stamford, Conn.
“With the cancellation of the PCA show in Las Vegas, during these difficult times we decided to bring the show to our valued customers,” said Rocky Patel, founder of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc., in a press release. “The premium cigar industry is mostly a family-owned business with valued face-to-face interaction. We felt it was important to preserve the one-on-one relationships with our valued customers.”
Because of a variety of complications, most of the events will be attended by sales representatives and not the owners or managers of companies. Oliva Cigar Co. says that a small group of its management team will be at the events.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and where our customers cannot take advantage of the buying opportunities provided at a trade show, we are happy to bring the opportunity to them,” said Cory Bappert, ceo of Oliva Cigar Co.
The venues chosen will range from BURN by Rocky Patel locations to other restaurants and bars.
“We are excited and proud about being able to showcase and introduce our new cigars personally to our brick and mortar partners,” said Patel. “We did not want to miss a beat and felt that it was important for us to maintain the strong kinship with our retailers. We strongly believe our brands deserve this personal attention. This is simply a temporary plan for 2020. We look forward to a healthy and successful trade show with PCA next year in Las Vegas.”
Notably, the event has no affiliation with the Premium Cigar Association, which operates the industry’s most important trade show. Retailers who are not members of the PCA will be able to attend the road show events. Media will also be allowed to attend, though the event is closed for consumers.
Retailers may sign up for appointments beginning June 19.