Day 1 of the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show is in the bag, and here are some things I heard on the floor while walking around:

  1. Both consumers and manufactures seem to like the layout of the show, which is “thin and long” instead of clustering everything together in large sections. While it does make for some walking if you need to get to the other side of the floor, if you know the booth number—or even a general location—every booth is fairly easy to find.
  2. While it was just the first day, the vast majority of manufacturers seem quite disappointed in the turnout of the show this year. The floor looked almost deserted at times, although it did seem to pick up a few hours before the show closed. Some manufacturers wondered if more retailers would come in on Sunday, since Saturday’s are usually pretty busy in stores.
  3. I heard quite a few people tell me how much they enjoyed the seminars this year, especially the ones pertaining to the FDA and legislative issues that are effecting the industry. This is in stark contrast to last year, when the seminars were sparsely attended, to say the least.
  4. Despite the smoking ban, there are places you can smoke here in New Orleans, although the vast majority of them are outside, and I heard some lamenting on the fact that there is no singular place to meet up with people like the Circle Bar in Las Vegas. It is extremely hot and humid here, and more often than not, people’s conversations start with a variation of “Damn, it is hot out here.”
Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.