One of the biggest complaints of the industry’s largest annual trade show was resolved last week, with the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announcing that the 2024 convention will be held from March 22–25, 2024 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The usual July timeframe (July 7–11 for 2023) has long been a complaint throughout the industry, with many retailers reluctant to make the trip during their busiest season of the year. Additionally, there have often been concerns over the timing for cigar releases, where most of the industry’s new products aren’t announced until the middle of the year—often hitting store shelves in late fall. With an earlier event, cigars will have a chance to be in retailer’s humidors in time for their busy season.
Not mentioned in the PCA’s press release were topics such as complaints over the extreme heat of Vegas in July and the potential squeeze on the TPE trade show (the largest competitor to the PCA show). Since COVID, the TPE had gained ground on the PCA show, capitalizing on the PCA’s weak points with many incentives, one of which was an earlier show date. Moving up against the TPE’s show (Jan. 31–Feb. 2, 2024), more retailers will likely choose one event over the other, and the PCA is looking more and more like the winner in such a scenario.
Mike Conder, the associate board representative on the PCA Executive Committee said the earlier dates makes a lot of sense and anticipates it will yield good results for all who participate. “As an exhibitor, I do think having the show earlier will enhance our potential for product turns during the prime selling months for much of the country. Additionally, having the opportunity to meet with our retail partners earlier in the annual sales cycle to plan our events and other promotional activities will give everyone a better chance to maximize activity right through the year,” said Conder.
One of the main obstacles of the move was a conflict with the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) and their annual trade show, which is typically held in more exotic locations such as the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic for this year. Greg Zimmerman, president of the PCA, made sure to thank the TAA for their support during the move:
“I know the new dates have presented a big challenge for TAA as March is typically when they hold their meeting. Throughout this process they have been incredibly understanding and supportive and I would like to sincerely thank their board for the hard work they have put in to adjust their plans to make the PCA date change a reality,” Zimmerman said.
Finally, the PCA also revealed that they are currently in the works to bring the event to a new location for 2025, which will likely be announced in the coming weeks. This is another popular request, as the event hasn’t been held outside of Las Vegas since 2015 (New Orleans), as well as another two years prior to that.