You may have noticed things have been a bit busy around halfwheel and the cigar world. It’s not a random accident, but rather an annual occurrence around this time of the year. The flood of information about new cigars is due to the 2014 IPCPR convention and trade show, the premium cigar industry’s largest annual trade show.
For many that read this site, the IPCPR trade show is nothing new. Many of you might already be in Las Vegas, perhaps even run into a few friends and are getting settled into your hotel. But for others, IPCPR—or the IPCPR—is shrouded in mystery.
We are nowhere close to being finished with our coverage of the trade show, it actually has not even started. So, for those that need an introduction or refresher, the basics of the premium cigar industry’s largest gathering.
What is it?
It’s a trade show. More specifically, a private, buying trade show. The trade show is hosted by the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (Association) and takes place every summer. It’s a four-day trade show where manufacturers and distributors meet with retailers to sell product.
Traditionally, it’s a place where lots of buying occurs, largely due to special discounts and the introduction of new products.
When is it?
The trade show formally kicks-off tomorrow (July 19). Saturday is a day for seminars and the trade show floor does not actually open until July 20, which is what is referred to “Day 1.” It closes on July 23.
Where is it?
The location is not permanent, but in 2013 and 2014 it’s been at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nev., which is connected to the Venetian and Palazzo hotels. Next year, it will be in New Orleans.
It’s a private show, meaning it’s not open to consumers. The show is largely geared towards retailers, but suppliers and media are also in attendance.
How big is it?
Physically—it’s over 300,000 square feet. In terms of importance to the premium cigar business, it’s pretty big. While there are some that believe its importance has declined, the reality is it’s still the four most important days in the cigar business annually.
What’s this RTDA thing?
That’s the former name of the trade show. In 2008, the name changed from the Retail Tobacco Dealers Association to IPCPR.
What should we expect from halfwheel?
For the past two years, we’ve tried to cover the show live. That didn’t really work out too well until last year, where we did a pretty good job of keeping up with things. The trade show portion kicks off Sunday, so it’s a few days before you will see booth coverage. We still have our annual IPCPR Guide to publish tomorrow, some questions for the show tonight and inevitably—more news stories.
Just a heads up, we’ll be giving away a few items during the trade show, so don’t forget to check the site Sunday-Wednesday.