The PCA and Intertabac trade shows. Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, people in the cigar industry have been wondering what would happen with the two largest tobacco trade shows in the world. Every year in July, the PCA (formerly known as IPCPC) is taking place in Las Vegas. For the international markets, the place is Dortmund. Intertabac always takes place on the third weekend of September. Both organizations have been saying that it’s business as usual. Both organizations came with statements in the last few days
The Premium Cigar Association announced that the 2020 show is canceled. It is the first time that the organization is forced to cancel the show since it’s founding in 1933. Even the Second World War could not stop the show, yet the coronavirus does. Scott Pierce, Executive Director of the PCA wrote “After much deliberation and careful discussions of every aspect of our annual convention and trade show, the PCA Board and the Associate Member Advisory Board have made the difficult decision to cancel our current event scheduled for July. The annual event is an important fixture in the premium tobacco industry, and we were very excited to bring a whole new experience to the industry this year. However, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process.”
A week ago, the Sands Expo Center at the Venetian, released a safety plan for when they reopen. The Sands Expo Center is the location where the PCA was supposed to happen. But the PCA made the smart decision to pull the plug and cancel the show. This is a great time to make some much-needed changes in the trade show. Recently we published a few suggestions that we feel will move the show forward.
Earlier this week, Intertabac announced that the trade show in September is still on the agenda. That despite the fact that currently any event for over 500 people is prohibited in Germany until August 31st, with a probable extension until later this year. The October Festen in Munchen, which happens around the same time, is canceled as well. Experts are also saying that football games will be played without spectators until the end of the year. But Intertabac says it’s working on a safety and hygiene plan with the local authorities. It is expected that the full plan is ready this month.
Last Wednesday, during an ISOLounge Zoom chat, organized by Unico Desde 1979, Intertabac was one of the subjects. In a discussion with Ram Rodriguez from El Artista, all participants including Ministry of Cigars, expected Intertabac to be canceled. And we still think that the trade show will be canceled at a later date. Or that it will be the least visited Intertabac ever, due to several reasons. How many manufacturers are willing to have a booth at a trade show during a pandemic? How many people are taking the risk to travel to Germany, to a trade show with visitors from all over the world? With visitors from heavily affected countries such as China, Italy, Spain, and the United States?
If Intertabac is taking place, Ministry of Cigars will enquire first how many cigar manufacturers will be at the show before we make the decision to go or not. We are not taking the stance that Halfwheel did about the PCA, a brave stance that we applaud. If Intertabac is taking place and if most of the manufacturers are showcasing new products, Ministry of Cigars will be there. But we haven’t bought tickets yet, as we still think that the trade show will be canceled at a later stage.