There is no way to sugar coat this. The decision to hold IPCPR Trade Show a few days before July 4th was nothing short of a disaster.
There was a time when I didn’t think it was worth discussing attendance numbers, but attendance has emerged as a huge story. Day Three of the IPCPR Trade Show saw low traffic in the aisles and at the booths. Throughout this day, the attendance observably whittled down. While the IPCPR Trade Show started out with the controversies around the rebranding of the IPCPR organization to Premium Cigar Association (PCA) and its planned consumer event CigarCon, on Day Three the low attendance topic moved to the forefront. It was a conversation happening not just on the trade show floor, but off as well. While it’s difficult to quantify the amount of foot traffic, one cannot deny the attendance numbers were not where they should be. The reason this is difficult to assess is that the IPCPR has not implemented badge scanning.
Meanwhile, the talk of the fiery Q&A session on Day Two persisted where the IPCPR heard plenty of pushback from the retail community on the proposed CigarCon. However, I didn’t hear much in the way of solutions to these problems, and frankly, it has me concerned heading into 2020.