As first detailed by Halfwheel this morning, Drew Estate, General Cigar Co., Altadis USA, and Davidoff—the four largest exhibitors at the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) trade show—will not be attending the trade show in 2020.

Each company’s decisions are said to have been made independently, citing concerns over trade show attendance in recent years, increasing costs to exhibit, the time of year the event is held, and the organization’s lack of vision for the years to come. As mentioned by Drew Estate ceo, Glenn Wolfson in a press release, “After six months of repeated outreach to PCA, various efforts to discuss ways to enhance the structure, organization, and value of the show — for the benefit of retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers — were unsuccessful. Absent significant improvements, the trade show will continue its downward spiral. As ‘customers’ of the trade show, it has become increasingly evident to each of us that we simply cannot continue to support and underwrite an event that is not satisfactorily responding to, or meeting, the needs of our industry.”

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These four entities not only represent the majority of the trade show floor (18%), but a significant portion of the organization’s revenue, funding the event’s largest events and sponsorships each year. With the PCA believed to generate its revenue nearly entirely from the trade show itself, today’s announcement is likely to cause dramatic results for the future of the event. Even before this news, many companies had expressed their hesitance to return, such as Perdomo and Warped; others, such as RoMa Craft, lamented the high costs of the event, openly expressing considerations to exhibit with less extravagant booth setups.

Moving forward, the companies pulling out of the event plan to redirect funds towards trade programs with retail partners, as well as fighting for cigar rights for the industry as a whole.

Glenn Wolfson further stated, “Lastly, we each remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest dialogue with any and all industry partners about how best to reinvigorate our trade show, as well as to preserve and protect the interests of the entire premium cigar industry. The betterment, advancement, and ongoing success of our industry has been — and remains — our only motivation and goal.”

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