Work Hard, Play Hard at TPE 2013
Attendees at some of the best colleges and universities are often notorious for their "work hard, play hard" mentality. The same could be said for attendees of the largest tobacco show in the United States — Tobacco Plus Expo International (TPE 2013), being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 30-31.
The largest U.S. tobacco show promises to be the year's best opportunity for retailers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to share insights and conduct business
The show promises to have two strong prongs: an educational component and a hospitality component, according to Ed O'Connor, publisher of Tobacco Outlet Business magazine, which is a subsidiary of the same holding company as the show, TMG International Inc., owned by Kretek International Inc.
"This is the fourth year of the new ownership's stewardship of the show, with the commitment that each show will be an improvement over the previous year, and TPE 2013 will be no exception," O'Connor told Convenience Store News.
Once the show floor gets rolling, eyes and ears will be on the lookout for novel items not seen before. This year, for the first time, prizes will be awarded to the exhibitors with the best new products. The expectation is that there will be a lot of good contenders as the industry moves forward with less harmful tobacco alternatives.
"The tobacco and cigarette industry has been a ‘bad boy' story, but that's yesterday's news," said O'Connor. "We are now positioning ourselves on the right side of history. To me, it will have a cleansing effect. It offers the industry a new future."
On the second day of the event, the keynote presentation will examine how the tobacco retail business has evolved, sharing new, never-before-published research on key product trends for the next 18 months.
Another new feature of this year's show will be the opportunity to participate in lively, expert-moderated discussions on seven top-of-mind topics. They include electronic cigarettes, cigars, non-tobacco products, operational management, marketing strategies, crossover products and other tobacco products.
From marble floors and hand-painted murals of angels on the walls and ceilings, to chandeliers and a grand piano, the Verona is not lacking in opulent features. However, it is best known for its expansive living area and private outdoor pool and gardens, which TPE 2013 attendees will get to experience firsthand. Private elevators will begin transporting ticket holders to the suite, on the 29th floor of the Las Vegas Hotel, at 5:30 p.m. on the show's opening day. This fabulous space will allow attendees to enjoy music, fine food and an open bar.
"The benefit to attendees is they can meet with suppliers and get refreshments right on the show floor, without having to go hunting for a place to sit and talk," O'Connor noted.
CALLING All TOBACCO RETAILERS
"The market is changing dramatically and e-cigarettes, which make up a key product category at our show, are items that should become a staple profit item within the c-store environment — and all outlets that sell tobacco," he emphasized. "If a retailer that sells tobacco is not carrying e-cigarettes right now, they are missing the boat. And those that are carrying them should realize that they will double their business in that category in the next 12 months, at least. Even if it is only for that one product category, c-store retailers should be at our show."
Of course, TPE 2013 will also showcase many other product categories of interest to retailers that sell tobacco. Show attendees will find cigarettes, premium cigars, domestic cigars, filtered cigars, smokeless and snus, shisha, hookahs, lighters and accessories, pipes, pipe and roll-your-own tobacco, alternative tobacco products and more.
Convenience Store News is the official convenience store publication of TPE 2013.
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