Despite its challenges, tobacco remains a leading business driver of the convenience channel, and several events annually aim to bring together both sides of the retail equation. One of the first of these industry events this year is Tobacco Plus Expo International 2016 (TPE).
Attendees of the expo will notice two changes right off the bat. First, TPE will take place March 16–18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. While the venue is the same, the event has been held the last week of January for the past several years. This year’s show is also spread out across an additional day to give attendees more time on the floor with expanded show hours.
Second, attendees will notice a major shift on the show floor, where the product lineup will now also include machinery for vapor and tobacco manufacturers and suppliers. With these additional displays, the show will increase its footprint in South Hall 3 and South Hall 4 of the convention center. As of Jan. 22, there were approximately 300 confirmed exhibitors.
Expansion into the machinery segment for both tobacco and vapor was a natural progression for an event that covers the tobacco industry, according to Reuter Exposition Services, which manages the annual Tobacco Plus Expo International.
“We look forward to bringing the entire industry together in one place for three days of buying, selling and networking within the industry,” Reuter Exposition Services stated when announcing the format change in October.
Still, the key elements of TPE will remain the same this year as in past years. Buyers at the show will represent retail stores, smoke shops, vape shops, wholesalers and distributors. Import/export representatives, legal analysts and consultants will be on hand as well.
TPE 2016 will once again feature the popular Cigar Bar & Lounge and the Vapor Lounge, where attendees can sit and discuss business with associates.
As always, new offerings in the tobacco retailing space will be on display in the New Product Showcase. Traditionally one of the first stops for those attending the event, the showcase features products that exhibitors launched in the past 12 months.
All products included in the showcase are eligible for the 2016 TPE New Product Awards. Categories this year are Best New Tobacco Product, Best New Non-Tobacco Product, Best New Tobacco Accessory, and Best New Vapor Product. Winners will be announced March 17 at 3 p.m. in the Cigar Bar & Lounge.