While each year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) trade show and convention typically boils down to new releases and attendance numbers, this year’s show is set to be one to remember. Not because of any particular release but because it could very well be the end of the IPCPR as we know it … and the beginning of something completely new and exciting for the premium cigar and pipe industry.
Rumors have been circulating for months that there could be a big announcement of some sort from the IPCPR themselves this year. Tobacco Business has not reported on these because they have been unfounded and unconfirmed–until today when the IPCPR’s Scott Pearce, the organization’s executive director, went public today to tease the upcoming announcement set for Friday, June 28, 2019 at 5:15 p.m. during the opening of the IPCPR 2019 trade show. Pearce was scarce on the details but he did reveal that IPCPR would be undergoing a complete rebranding–a name change, a new logo, new initiatives and services and expanding its overall outreach to keep up with modern times. This isn’t the first time the organization has hit the reset button. In 2007, the organization adopted its current name after changing it from the name it had since it launched in 1933, the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America (RTDA).
What changes are in store beyond the rebranding will remain a mystery until next week during the official announcement. There has been buzz of a possible merger with Cigar Rights of America (CRA), the addition of a “consumer day” during the annual trade show and more. These are, for now, rumors until the official announcement is made. Here’s what Pearce had to say about the upcoming announcements and changes during a Facebook Live event held on June 19, 2019:
One of the big things we’re really excited about is this big announcement that we have. On Friday, June 28, at 5:15 we have something set aside there about the “big announcement” from IPCPR. I’ve seen some people make some guesses and some hypotheses and some rumors that are floating around so I figured we at least wanted to give you a little bit of a sneak peek or a preview about what this is all about and what you can expect from it.
So what is the big announcement? Several months ago, the IPCPR along with the board of leadership and a handful of stakeholders embarked on a major strategic initiative to really understand where we are now in our universe, what’s expected of us, what’s needed for the industry and where we want to be over the next 5-10 years in order for us to be the most beneficial to the industry.
So after a very thorough and rigorous process, it was determined that we needed to rebrand, complete with a new name and a new logo. This rebrand is not just about a new name, it’s not just about a logo update, what we’ve looked at is how to do we create a brand new framework for service innovation in order to modernize our association; to create value, not just during the trade show, but completely–365 days of the year. In short, what we want to become is the premium cigar and pipe industry’s center of excellence. And ultimately we want to create a strong, united voice for the category. As part of that evolution and that adaptation that we find ourselves in, is a drive to unify which means we’re not only going to be expanding what we do but whom we do it for.
There will be some pretty major announcements coming for 2020. What are those? That’s what I said–more questions than answers. You’re going to have to be at this year’s event to learn what these things are that we’re rolling out, from programs and services, what the major changes are for 2020 and beyond. More importantly, by being at this year’s show as part of this roll out, not only do we get to see the unveiling of the new brand and what the new name is, what the changes are, but you also get to see how you can get early access and benefits are we’re rolling out these programs.
Further research provides clues as to what the future may look like for the IPCPR. A trademark application was filed on March 11, 2019 for the Premium Cigar Association, or in short, the PCA. The owners of this trademark? The IPCPR. The description provided for the PCA is as follows:
Trade association services, namely, promoting the interests of retailers of premium cigar products and their suppliers, and promoting the interests of enthusiasts of premium cigar products; arranging and conducting trade shows relating to the premium cigar and pipe retailer industry
The logo filed with the trademark is as follows: