When the Premium Cigar Association canceled its summer trade show due to concerns over the pandemic, it ended a longstanding tradition dating back decades. But four cigar companies are taking a smaller version of the show on the road. Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Oliva Cigar Co., Alec Bradley and Crowned Heads LLC have joined together, scheduling a traveling miniature trade show that will stop at 15 U.S. cities.
“We’re going to bring the show to them,” Rocky Patel told Cigar Aficionado on a phone call this morning.
Dubbed “The Traveling Roadshow,” the series of events will begin in Naples, Florida, on July 13 and conclude in Stamford, Connecticut, on July 24. Each stop will involve the cigar companies offering their wares to retailers in and around each area. The stops are meant only for retailers, and are not for consumers, and members of each participating cigar company are expected at each stop on the show.
It will be appointment only, and the companies will begin accepting slots on June 19.
“With the cancellation of the PCA show in Las Vegas, during these difficult times we decided to bring the show to our valued customers,” said Patel. “The premium cigar industry is mostly a family-owned business with valued face-to-face interaction. We felt it was important to preserve the one-on-one relationships… We did not want to miss a beat and felt that it was important for us to maintain the strong kinship with our retailers. We strongly believe our brands deserve this personal attention.”
The companies will feature new products, including some that will only be available for retailers to purchase via this series of events.
“This is an industry that thrives on camaraderie. We miss this,” said Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to be together.”
Mike Conder of Crowned Heads said: “We are excited to be a part of this traveling road show with three of our friends in the industry. With the difficulties posed by COVID-19, it’s more important now than ever to find creative solutions to help our retail partners thrive and this is a great way to bridge the gap until we can all be together at the next PCA show.”
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and where our customers cannot take advantage of the buying opportunities provided at a trade show, we are happy to bring the opportunity to them,” said Cory Bappert, CEO of Oliva Cigar Co.
Patel called this a “temporary plan” for 2020. “We look forward to a healthy and successful trade show with PCA next year in Las Vegas,” he said.
Traveling Road Show Dates and Cities:
- July 13-14: Naples, FL
- July 14: Pittsburgh, PA
- July 15: Kansas City, MO
- July 15-16: Atlanta
- July 15-16: Chicago
- July 16: Charlotte, NC
- July 17-18: Indianapolis, IN
- July 17-18: Orange County, CA
- July 17-18: Washington, D.C.
- July 18-19: Glendale, AZ
- July 20-21: Boston
- July 21-22: Dallas
- July 21-22: Houston
- July 23-24: Philadelphia
- July 23-24: Stamford, CT