IPCPR 2014 in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada is finally here! The biggest event in the premium cigar industry is the IPCPR every year. The past few years have alternated between Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando. The favorite always seems to be Las Vegas. Check back here often for daily updates on the latest news and releases for the IPCPR this year.
IPCPR 2014 DAY 1 Recap
Day one at the IPCPR is always a little slower seminar day. Attendance at the seminars seemed light but maybe because there has been so much press lately around the issues discussed.
The first seminar was about PCI compliance and credit card processing and the issues related to tobacco transactions. For brick and mortar retailers along with the internet realizers this is a big issue as the credit card companies continue to tighten down on tobacco transactions and PCI compliance issues. The biggest takeaway from this seminar was retailers must be very careful to never store credit card numbers unless they are under near constant lock and key. Internet and mail-order retailers must be very careful with non face to face transactions and PCI compliance best practices.
Seminar two was titled “Mining Diamonds in Your Own Backyard” and was presented by Bob Negen owner of Whizbang Retail training. Bob presented ideas and training on ways retailers can improve their business and sell more. Overall it was very helpful information on what retail businesses in general need to do to engage their customers and build relationships. Check him out @bobnegen on twitter.
Seminar three was probably the most interesting of the day. It was the IPCPR legislative and FDA update from the IPCPR staff and their general counsel. This seminar centered around what the FDA is looking at related to regulating cigars and the IPCPR stance on each piece. There are two options. Option 1 would regulate premium cigars heavily and likely put the industry under (short version). Option 2 would exempt premium cigars with a retail price above $10 and that meet other process criteria. The IPCPR supports option 2 with the exception of of the $10 price point. The $10 price point has nothing to do with the way cigars are made and is an arbitrary price according to the IPCPR. For more information visit www.IPCPR.org or www.IPCPRlegislative.org
Seminar four was a fun one. A whiskey and Cigar pairing sponsored by Nomad cigar company.
IPCPR day one concluded with a reception for all attendees in the Venetian Ball Room. It was a great time to smoke cigars, eat great food and catch up with old friends.