If you were looking for drama from the PCA Trade Show on Day Three, this wasn’t going to be the day to provide the fireworks. Sunday, July 9th was the second day the Trade Show was open for business and for the most part, while it wasn’t a bad day for writing up business, it was not an exciting day.
First up, I’ll answer the obligatory questions: 1) What are you seeing out there that you like? 2) How do you see attendance (i.e. I refer to this as foot traffic)? I won’t rehash these topics, but I do have a couple of additional thoughts. Other than Black Label Trading Company’s Bishops Blend Novemdiales, there isn’t much that I didn’t know about prior to the show that wowed me. As for attendance/foot traffic – about the same as Day Two. Day Four (Monday) will be more interesting as the past few days have seen a dip in the foot traffic numbers. This is because the previous two days have taken place on weekend days and many want to get home following the weekend activities.
One other question I often get asked is whether or not there is a cigar I have smoked that has particularly caught my attention. For 2023, the answer is that so far there hasn’t been a cigar like that. While 2023 has been a disappointing year for newer releases hitting the market, the main problem is the desert (Las Vegas) is not the best place to keep and enjoy a cigar. Plus it is very difficult to smoke a cigar while trying to cover a trade show.
There were some highlights from our booth visits on Day Three that we will be covering in upcoming PCA Reports. This included a visit with Altadis USA as they were at the Trade Show for the first time in four years. Plus we had wonderful first-time visits with Serefin de Cuba Cigars as Hooten Young. There was also a celebrity moment for us as we got to do a short interview with Academy-Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri.
One final note. In my PCA Pre-Game article 2023 PCA Pre-Game Report Part 2: The Things to Watch, I asked a question about the Boutique Cigar Association (BCA)’s Pavilion: The BCA Pavilion: They built it….but will they come? The Pavilion is providing an area where 16 companies that are members of the association will exhibit in a common area, each will be in its own kiosk-like booth. This is a similar type of setup we have seen the Total Product Expo (TPE) Trade Show use for smaller companies. In my pre-game report, I said the following:
The idea of “If they build it, they will come” doesn’t always work. The key to success at the Trade Show involves a company working all of its channels: consumer, retailer, and media. Many of these companies simply have not leveraged these channels well enough. They need to build awareness of their individual companies and get people excited about their participation in the PCA Trade Show. This is not the job of the BCA, it is the job of the individual participating companies. Yes, some of these companies have sent out an email saying where they are at the Trade Show, but it’s fair to say that some of the companies there need to do a better job at saying who they are, what’s unique about them, and what’s new.
While I didn’t have a chance to walk through the BCA Pavilion, I did have an opportunity to observe it – and certainly “they did come.” From my observation, there was plenty of activity in the booth. I don’t have a way of quantifying how well sales went, but activity is always a good thing. I’ll also stand by my position – these companies in the long run still need to better job at promoting themselves.
If you are wondering, we will start our full PCA reports following the Trade Show.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop