Its 2:52 a.m., I am sort of packed, my alarm inevitably goes off in five hours and I once again wonder why I decided to leave the night of day four versus getting a legitimate amount of time to pack and then leaving on Friday. But here we are and here’s three quick thoughts on the show. Note: Our annual longer recap will be posted next week.
- How Does Anyone Live in Vegas? — No, I’m not talking about the bizarre street that is the Strip. No, I’m not talking about the ridiculous amount of luxury contrasted by homeless people sleeping between the Palazzo and the Wynn. And no, I’m not talking about a city that welcomes tourist groups and trade shows like a normal city welcomes a sunrise and sundown.I’m talking about the climate. It’s so dry. Patrick Lagreid brought lots of bottles of water from Phoenix and I’m not even thankful, I’m grateful. Go to sleep, chug a bottle of water, wake up, chug a bottle of water. Walk around all day, feel dehydrated.
- The Bubble Is Bursting, But Not Exploding — A week ago I published an editorial that seems to have been read by many (thanks for all the kind words). The basics thesis was that the amount of new products entering the market was unsustainable because of the stagnant consumption.While it’s hard to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying, some have told me privately they aren’t having good shows. While it certainly doesn’t seem to be affecting most of the bigger companies, there are a handful who have given indications they aren’t where they’d like to be, and there are smaller, yet known brands who are clearly struggling.
The simple fact is there is enough shelf space, money or consumers for all the new product and not everyone can have their best trade show ever and it seems like this year more than other years, companies are showing some signs of breaking.
- It’s Really Challenging to Cover Everyone — By my best count this evening, we have visited close to 120 booths so far, more than we did last year. Hopefully we will add another 25 or so booths today (Thursday), but it’s really difficult, despite our best efforts, to make sure we don’t accidentally miss someone.With close to 175 cigar and cigar accessories booths, I’m not sure are them could visit all the booths, produce the content we want and continue to provide you with live updates from the show, but I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, even if there will be nearly 100 posts that need to go up after the show finishes.