LAS VEGAS — Tobacco Plus Expo 2021 will offer a split format, holding virtual education sessions in the beginning of the year followed by an in-person event in May.
The switch comes on the heels of its organizer's, Tobacco Media Group (TMG), decision to push back TPE 2021 to May 12-14, 2021. The event will still take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
"TPE 2021 has presented some planning challenges, to say the least, but our team is hard at work, looking for ways we can increase the show's value for both attendees and exhibitors," said Ben Stimpson, managing director of TMG, which is owned by Kretek International.
"By moving the educational sessions to Q1, we're still able to help the industry start the year strong, armed with information to grow their businesses," he added. "And we're optimizing everyone's time spent at TPE 2021 in May by giving people more time on the show floor to buy, sell, and network in person, which is really how business is best conducted."
The show is also stepping up its collaboration with industry associations. TMG renewed its partnership with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), which has hosted networking and educational sessions, as well as a presence on the expo floor at previous events.
"NATO and TMG's relationship is a true industry partnership, with NATO educating and assisting TMG's retail account base about FDA tobacco regulations, state tobacco legislation, and local ordinances, as well as Kretek International's retail accounts engaging with lawmakers on tobacco-related legislation," said Tom Briant, NATO executive director of NATO.
"Together NATO and TMG provide the information that tobacco retailers need to understand tobacco regulations, and to take action on proposed tobacco legislation in order to protect their businesses," he added.
TMG is also aligning with new industry associations, including the Cigar Association of America, the CBD & Cannabinoid Industry Association, and the Brightfield Group.
"If 2020 has shown us anything, it's that flexibility is important, and patience is a virtue. We're excited to kick-off the digital education series at the beginning of 2021 and are really looking forward to seeing everyone in person in May," Stimpson said. "It's been awhile since we've all been together, but the plans are taking shape, and we're really looking at ways to optimize time, help people connect, and increase the overall experience for all who attend, exhibit, or even just walk the show floor. We think this will be the best TPE yet."