Day 1 always feels like I’m remembering how to cover the show, while Day 4 has an urgent and highly rushed feel to it. Days 2 and 3, however—that seems to be where the best flow and most work is achieved.

So, Day 2 is in the books and it went very close to how I’ve learned day two usually goes. Productivity was high and many booths were covered including some new to both myself and the show. There were a number of things that I both observed and discussed with people around the show, so here are some of the more interesting ones:

  • Everybody Seems to be Interested in what I think about ConsumerCon… sorry, CigarCon — Besides being curious what my personal opinion is, it mostly seems to be a measuring stick to see how much they should hold back on what they really think. A few people have been optimistic, but mostly it’s a big change that a lot of people are having a hard time getting used to, which is certainly understandable.
  • There is the Never-ending Discussion of How Slow the Trade Show Is — It is almost to so repetitive at this point that I wouldn’t even mention it, with this exception. A first-year associate was telling me how everybody was saying to them how it was slow and it seemed like not as many people were here because of the 4th of July’s proximity to the show date. I told them it’s the same conversation every year with a different excuse; 2017 and 2018 was because it was at the Las Vegas Convention Center, 2016 was because people had given up because of the FDA, 2015 was because it was in New Orleans and not Vegas, 2014… well, you get the idea. The truth seems to be that attendance doesn’t really seem to change that much, but people always want to figure out why the show is “so poorly attended” on that particular year.
  • New Cigars Have Returned… — The last two years seemed to include many people saying that they either didn’t have anything new, only had size expansions, or were doing a wide release of a cigar that was previously released to beat the FDA regulation date. Sure there were some people still coming out with new blends, but it wasn’t nearly as prevalent as previous years. This year most manufacturers have at least one new line if not multiple ones, and not a single person has told me that this “new line” was a wide-release of a shot at the FDA buzzer.
  • The Food Has been Surprisingly Decent — If you’ve been following our halfwheel Lunch posts, you’ll know that day one was reasonably good brisket and day two was burrito bowls. So far we’ve managed to avoid a dried out turkey sandwich or some sort of messy wrap with a sauce that you either can’t scrape enough off or don’t have quite enough of. We’ll see how the remaining convention lunch goes.
Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.