Cigar Coop celebrated covering its eighth consecutive IPCPR this year.  This month we will publish our 2017 IPCPR Post Game Report from an industry perspective. For this month’s column, I take a look at IPCPR from a personal standpoint.

This year was the first time since 2013 that Cigar Coop covered the Trade Show independently. I was simply blown away by the support and reception by the cigar industry toward the restructuring of Cigar Coop. Not only was I grateful for the positive reinforcements toward the #rumorfree #teaserfree philosophy of Cigar Coop, but was incredibly appreciative of the feedback received for our two new brands, Prime Time and Prime Time Special Edition.

This year, we continued our product-specific coverage. We added more “Spotlight” coverage. Our Spotlight coverage is not meant to be “booth” coverage, but tries to attach a specific theme to what a company or brand has done with IPCPR. There was a little more in the way of some interviews done. Many of these were done in conjunction with our media network partner, Smooth Draws Radio, where I co-host. Finally, we added an Editorial Assistant who worked all of the content from the show as well as pre and post-game coverage. This has greatly improved our quality content.

There were some challenges, which in a lot of ways made this the most difficult IPCPR to cover to date. For brands like Cigar Coop, there are some logistical things that need to be addressed next year with the IPCPR organization itself. I’ve always been proud of the strong relationship Cigar Coop has had with IPCPR. Rather than air these concerns here, I’ll just say that IPCPR heard my concerns and I have confidence they will be addressed. I mention this not to air dirty laundry, but to give some positive props to IPCPR for taking the time to hear this and act on my concerns. They often take an unfair pounding and I want to give credit where credit is due.

The challenges were also on my end as well. Outside the radio spots recorded for Smooth Draws, the rest of our “from the show floor” could have been better. Time spent at booths needs to be better addressed. In addition, we need to strike a better balance between breadth and depth of coverage.  Rest assured, all of this will be addressed and it may change the fundamental approach for 2018.

I want to thank all of our audience, sponsors and strategic partners. A special shout out goes to De Los Reyes Cigars – our official sponsor of all Cigar Coop IPCPR Coverage.

Finally, August 15th, 2017 will be the seven year anniversary of the inception of Cigar Coop, and we will have a special piece to mark this milestone.