I suspect that day two of the Tobacco Plus Expo will in fact be the best attended day of the trio. Historically, the show would start on a day like this one and then have just one more day, but as I’ve mentioned the last two days, there are now three days instead of two.
As far as attendance, it’s definitely increased from last year. Increased on the premium cigar side, increased in the number of retailers, increased in the number of media, increased in the number of suppliers; increased total. I suspected that day two would be a major uptick from the half day on Monday, but I’m not sure that was the case. It certainly was busier, particularly in the non-cigar areas, but not in the magnitude I was expecting.
For many years, manufacturers would attend the show largely because it was Phillips & King’s show. When one of your largest clients asks you for a favor, you show up. Others would show up hoping that it would help them with their P&K business and some—although a minority—might have actually had a worthwhile show without the P&K side of things. That’s changing.
Both companies that are first time exhibitors and ones that have been attending for a few years and some are happy with their sales, including picking up new accounts. I’m not sure how many of them are having a profitable show, but manufacturers seem more excited about coming back next year than any of the other years I’ve been here.
A NOTE FOR THE IPCPR
Everyone likes to complain about the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, so rather than just complain, I’ll offer a suggestion: make your seminars better.
I walked into the large theater in the back of the show ahead of a panel on the future of e-cigarettes and there were hundreds of people waiting 15 minutes for the seminar to start. Then once the seminar started, people were actually paying attention; and then asking questions. TPE’s seminars have historically been much better attended than almost all of IPCPR’s seminars and a large part of that is that TPE finds both panels that are dynamic and topics that people are actually talking about and interested in. If the IPCPR doesn’t have a panel about CBD at this year’s trade show it should just stop doing them altogether.
Other Random Observations from Day 2
- Dan Bilzerian — The self-proclaimed Instagram king made an appearance on behalf of a vapor company that his marijuana company is involved with. I’m not sure what impact it had on that company’s sales, but the number of models in the booth definitely increased.
- Arizona & Nevada — While the two states are certainly disproportionately represented in terms of attendees, the number of people I’ve seen this year from the two states is significantly up, particularly Arizona retailers.
- The SLS’s Internet is Atrocious — Once again, don’t stay here.