The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) has announced that it is moving both the location and dates of its upcoming convention and trade show.

IPCPR 2017 will now be held July 10-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In an email issued on Wednesday afternoon, the IPCPR said that the change was necessitated by the Sands/Venetian canceling the IPCPR’s booking. According to Mark Pursell, ceo of IPCPR, there have been issues with smoking in meeting rooms and other places that were designated as non-smoking which had been a bit of an ongoing rift between the two entities, though it didn’t seem to him to be enough of an issue to result in cancellation. The organization has worked to corral smoking to designated areas in recent years through signage and reminders to attendees.

Convention contracts typically include reciprocal cancellation clauses that allow moves like this to happen, though it comes with a fee for the canceling party. The Sands has hosted every Las Vegas IPCPR since the organization changed the name from RTDA to IPCPR. This included the 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 shows.

“While this change has challenged IPCPR staff to relocate our show, we are very pleased to find a new home at the Las Vegas Convention Center so close to our original dates,” said Craig Cass, IPCPR president.

The change also moves the event from a Saturday to Wednesday schedule to a Monday through Friday. Because the show floor is not open until the second day of the trade show, this means the show will now open on a Tuesday as opposed to a Sunday—something that is likely a welcome change for many manufacturers, though Pursell noted that surveys among IPCPR members have not shown a strong preference for a particular layout when it comes to the days of the week that the gathering is held.

The schedule of events will remain the same, with Monday, July 10 billed as seminar day for retailers and manufacturers, and the trade show floor open Tuesday through Friday, July 11-14 in the north halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Certainly, we had to scramble to relocate on such short notice,” said Pursell. “The good news is that we secured great dates and the Las Vegas Convention Center provides the show with all the square footage we need to include exhibits, the lunchtime learning theater and the food court on the show floor. Additionally, the LVCC offers exhibitors a much easier and faster load-in and loud-out than the Sands.”

Hosting a convention at the Sands offered a unique opportunity as the convention center is connected to two hotels: the Venetian and the Palazzo. This meant attendees were able to attend the trade show, eat at company-sponsored dinners and sleep all without ever stepping foot outside. The Las Vegas Convention Center is not tied economically or physically to any specific hotel, something the IPCPR plans to use its advantage. It is located in close proximity to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

“Now that the hotel room block is de-coupled from the trade show floor, we think we can negotiate lower room rates for our members than we have been able to secure in the past in Las Vegas,” said Scott Regina, chair of the membership & trade show committee added, “We look forward to announcing these properties soon.”

The IPCPR will be communicating directly with exhibitors with regards to booth locations and show logistics, adding that is making every effort to retain the show floor’s layout.

Registration for the event, which is limited to those working in the cigar industry, will begin in March. It is not open to the general public.

Update: Since this story was published, the IPCPR has noted that smoking will still be allowed on the show floor and in designated meeting rooms, while not being allowed in the hallways or concourse areas, a policy that has been in place for several years and at multiple venues that have held the event.

Additionally, the move of the 2017 convention & trade show to a different venue has no bearing on the status of the 2018 show being held at the Sands/Venetian, though that could change:

Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.