“Nobody told me there’d be days like these…Strange days indeed” – John Lennon.

As someone who has been covering the IPCPR Trade Show since 2010, I’m certainly able to come up with my share of stories. But the date July 15, 2018 will absolutely be the one that will forever be etched in my mind.

In the nine years I have covered IPCPR, the first three days of the IPCPR Trade Show have always had a start time of 10am and a close time of 5pm (the last day has always been a half day running from 9am to 1pm). Yesterday, things changed for the first time when a small electrical fire broke out on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center where the IPCPR Trade Show was taking place. This resulted in the operating hours for day two of the IPCPR Trade Show going from 1pm to 7pm – making for quite a strange day.

The shifted time resulted in the entire schedule for day two being thrown off. Many appointments we had at the trade show, and many after-hours activities were now shifted. With the start time shifted to the afternoon, it made things quite bizarre. Hearing the stories of what people were doing before the afternoon start time were quite interesting. Some folks watched the FIFA World Cup Final, some were in the casino, some were at the pool, and some just slept in. Some folks did trade show business outside the Las Vegas Convention floor.  Day two of the trade show was also the first day Prime Time Special Edition’s own Bear Duplisea would walk on to an IPCPR Trade Show floor. It felt strange for attendees, exhibitors, and even media to have to put a “business hat” on after a three-hour delay and “go to work” in the afternoon. Nobody told him there would be days like these – a strange day indeed.

Much of the reason for the delay was due to the fact that the sprinkler system was automatically triggered, causing water to discharge. In the end, there was not much damage, mostly the water had to be drained out and carpets to be replaced. When the trade show floor opened, it took a couple of hours in my estimation for things to feel like they were running smoothly.

Give the IPCPR and Las Vegas Convention Center a lot of credit. Nothing has come easy for the IPCPR the past couple of years. Last year the IPCPR trade association had to deal with a move from the Sands Expo Center to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Last week came the virus outbreak at the Westgate Hotel. Now this week, the electrical fire. The IPCPR gets blamed for everything, including days when it rains when the forecast is for sun. They should be commended for adhering to “the show must go on.”

Is this a big story for those at IPCPR? There isn’t anything that carries more drama on a year-round basis than the IPCPR Trade Show. This just simply added to the drama. In the grand scheme of things, nobody was hurt, the damage was quite limited, and the trade show went on. Based on the flooding I saw on the Convention Center floor, the fact we only had a three-hour delayed start is simply amazing.

Is this a big story in the grand scheme of things? I don’t think yesterday will even surface as a footnote when the history of the modern cigar industry is written. But I’m sure the attendees will all remember it when looking back on our IPCPR experiences.