The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) has announced the attendance figures from last week’s 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show. In short, the data shows a clear uptick from the pandemic-affected 2021 trade show, but the 2022 trade show’s attendance is lower than most of the trade shows of the last five years.
According to the PCA, the organization printed badges for 2,036 retail personnel, a whopping 41.4 percent increase compared to 2021. Those individuals represented 707 retail businesses, a 21.3 percent increase compared to last year.
Unfortunately, those numbers rank 3 out of 5 and 4 out of 5 compared to the last four trade shows and that number includes the 2021 trade show which was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If the 2021 trade show is removed, these numbers are either the lowest or second-lowest of any trade show since 2015, the last time the trade show was held outside of Las Vegas.
PCA says those 707 businesses have a combined 2,374 retail stores. In addition, there were 189 exhibitors, 64 brokers, distribution and supplier companies, and 34 media companies. Of note, the number of exhibitor companies was likely greater than 189, but because a number of companies share booths and do not formally register with the PCA the organization settled on 189.
These numbers all refer to the number of badges that the organization printed on-site. The PCA doesn’t scan badges, so the organization does not have statistics about how many retailers actually set foot inside the trade show for the entire show or individual days.
While many cigar companies are skeptical of the PCA’s numbers, the organization sent out a list of non-exhibitor badges to the exhibitor companies yesterday. That list, which was labeled as “Retailer List,” contained 2,329 names though it included retailers as well as brokers, distributors, media members, etc.