The 2017 TPE (Tobacco Plus Expo) Show, held Jan 25-26 in Las Vegas, showcased hundreds of industry-leading exhibits and saw a 200% increase in booth traffic.
Newly expanded and revamped this year, TPE 2017 was a one-stop show for buyers, featuring top vendors from all tobacco-related categories, including premium cigars, vaping, and alternative accessories. Attendance of motivated customers was lucrative for vendors, exceeding their expectations, with record-breaking traffic and sales figures.
“TPE 2017 was an incredible success for Inter-Continental Trading USA, Inc. Along with setting a two-day company sales record, we signed up several new distributors, and enjoyed re-connecting with valued clients. Overall, the record-breaking sales and potential new business from TPE 2017 was a great way for Inter-Continental Trading USA to start the New Year,” said Shargio Patel, exhibitor from Inter-Continental Trading USA Inc.
Always a popular draw at TPE, one of the most trafficked areas of the show was the premium cigar section, which had representation from all of the top brands, like Rocky Patel, Davidoff, Drew Estate, Santa Clara Cigars, and of course, Phillips & King.
David Joyce, exhibitor and director of operations for Santa Clara Cigars, said, “It was a great show this year! Foot traffic was solid, and the new floor layout made for a great place to do business.”
Other well-frequented areas were the themed lounges within each category, which were designed to provide a unique oasis of enjoyment. Exhibitors, buyers, distributors, and members of the media were often found relaxing and networking, striking up deals and new relationships over cocktails, cigars, music and entertainment.
The addition of conference sessions was also new for the 2017 TPE show. This highly successful program featured industry experts speaking on a variety of subjects, from industry trends and general legislation affecting the industry, to more targeted topics within specific categories. The sessions were all very well-attended, especially the Day 2 conferences led by Terry Gallagher, who spoke on “How to Succeed in a Changing Market,” and the celebrity keynote speaker, Tommy Chong, who treated the large crowd to a comedic take on his experiences and the cannabis industry.
“We are really pleased with the turnout at the conferences, and the 2017 TPE show overall,” said Jason Carignan, CMO of Kretek, parent company of TMG. “We rose to the challenge of refreshing the show, providing a stellar platform for buying and selling products, and exchanging ideas and insights for all of the tobacco-related categories. We feel this year’s TPE was the best show ever, with an outstanding mix of business and enjoyment, helping our industry partners- both buyers and sellers- set the course for success in the coming year.”
Also noteworthy at the 2017 TPE show was the New Product Showcase, which awarded standout products across the categories. This year’s winners were:
- Best New Tobacco Product- Archetype Cigars by Ventura Cigar Company
- Best New Accessory- Lighter Bro
- Best New Vapor Product- Solace Vapor Nicotine Salts
- Best New Alternative Product- TC3 by Chong’s Choice
- Best Product Innovation- Cue Vapor System by E-Alternative Solutions
TPE 2017 featured a Retailer Raffle, drawing the name of a lucky retailer near the end of the second day of the show. Winning the $3000 prize was Richard Francisco from Chico’s Smoke Shop out of Tucson, Ariz.
“We have already started working on next year’s TPE,” said Carignan. “The bar was set high this year, but we are excited to continue growing the show, and look forward to bringing you an even bigger event in 2018.”