Last week, InterTabac 2022 took place at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, Germany. While the trade show remains the largest of its kind, attendance felt somewhat lighter compared to years past. That feeling has now been confirmed as fact by the trade fair’s organizers.
According to the organization, 12,100 visitors attended InterTabac 2022, a 12.3 percent decline from InterTabac 2019, the most recent InterTabac fair prior to this year’s event. The 2019 edition had a total of 13,800 people. One area of growth was the number of exhibitors, there were 600 from 69 countries, an increase from 500 from 47 countries in 2019; the trade fair says that 160 of these exhibitors were first-time exhibitors for 2022.
The 2020 and 2021 InterTabac trade fairs were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year not only marked the first InterTabac in three years but also a new schedule. Previously, InterTabac took place Friday-Sunday, this year’s show took place Thursday-Saturday. Historically, Sunday was a day when more German retailers attended the trade show, which could partially explain the decline in attendees.
Unlike the other main cigar trade shows—the PCA Convention & Trade Show, the TAA Meeting & Convention and TPE—InterTabac is focused on non-U.S. markets and is not known as a trade show where companies expect to take orders from retailers. Instead, cigar companies use InterTabac to meet with other companies, primarily their international distributors and wholesalers. InterTabac is not a cigar-focused trade show, rather, cigars are a part of a variety of different products represented including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, vaping/e-cigarettes and other products. InterTabac says about half of this year’s attendees were from Germany, the other half were from other countries.
“The overall environment was difficult. The global political situation, faltering supply chains, the Covid pandemic and visa problems posed enormous challenges for the participants and for us as organisers,” said Sabine Loos, managing director of Westfalenhallen Unternehmensgruppe, which owns both the physical exhibition center as well as the InterTabac trade fair, in a press release. “With this in mind, we’re absolutely delighted that the shows have actually been able to improve on 2019… In fact, over 92% of InterTabac exhibitors were already able to say they want to take part again. This figure represents another year-on-year increase on 2019. InterSupply also reported significant growth in satisfaction levels, with nearly 90% of exhibitors already making plans to come again next year – another 7% increase since last time.”