When Cigar Moses came down from the mountaintop, he had with him these 10 simple guidelines regarding cigar events in which brick and mortar shops host with brand owners and ambassadors. And while our actions won’t cause the seas to part or fire and brimstone to fall, they will impact whether event goers and their hosts have options and a good time.
- Thou Shalt Show up
Retailers invest thousands of dollars to host events for consumers. From minimum box orders of cigars, food, entertainment, electricity, humidification, salaries, etc., it’s not a cheap task to bring the best of the industry to our backyards. Showing up not only shows support of the shop, but that we care about the industry and those that travel the country promoting it.
- Thou Shalt Take Advantage of the Specials
While consumers are not responsible for the money spent on the events, every patron and their contribution matters. If there is a “Buy 3 get two” a “Buy a box, get 10”, take the plunge alone or split it with a friend. That way you have enough of the brand to try and find your next favorite. It’s also our chance to come home with special releases and “Event Only” sticks.
- Do Not Be That Guy or Gal…
There’s nothing worse than attending an event for a brand and folks are puffing away on a competitor’s cigar. Not only is it in poor taste, its in poor taste. Don’t Be That Guy!
- Thou Shalt Spread the Word…Before and During
Help to drum up traffic to the brick and mortar. If you’re not able to attend, maybe someone else that wasn’t on the mailing list will give it (and our awesome lifestyle) a shot. And while you’re there, take some pictures and post them to your social media outlets so others can live vicariously through you if they couldn’t make it. And when others see how much fun you’re having, they’ll come when they free up!
- Thou Shalt Talk to the Brand Ambassador…BUT…
Give the folks that are grinding some face time. It’s not easy explaining multiple brands to multiple people…over and over again. Help them break the monotony by taking a few moments to relate on a personal level. It’s also a great chance to give feedback that they can use to improve upon blends, marketing, etc.
- …Don’t Be a Time Hog
…but don’t hog up all of their time. The ambassadors have others that they want to connect with in the room and others have also made the sacrifice to come, meet and greet. This is especially true if it is a “Hard to book” personality that doesn’t make it to public appearances often.
- Thou Shalt Learn Something
Enjoying cigars is great, but learning more about the blends and the company are event better. Listen and absorb all that is being shared. Now is your chance to learn even about the company, their behind-the-scenes processes, their history and why you like what you like.
- Thou Shalt Work the Room
Going to events in groups and with associates is the norm, but with a room full of likeminded aficionados, these events are great opportunities to network and expand our community. Branch out, meet new people and invite others into your fold. We grow our community by engaging our community. Get thee out of thy comfort zone!
- Thou Shalt Sign Up for a CRA Membership
If there is not a Cigar Rights of America State Ambassador present educating patrons about the fight to save premium cigars, call me and we’ll get someone there! There are often membership discounts given while at events, so it’s a perfect time to join the fight and spread the word. Join HERE!
- Thou Shalt Come to the Next One
Don’t let your next cigar event be your last cigar event. The more we support, the more opportunities there will be for our retailers to invite brand ambassadors to town. If there aren’t many events in your area, it’s probably because the brick and mortar is still paying for poor attendance at the last one.
There’s no better way to get involved in the cigar industry than by getting to know those that are in it. There is a wealth of information to be shared and an endless amount of relationships that can be formed. In these uncertain times for the industry, nothing means more to the artisans than being able to meet and shake the hands of the people that appreciate their work. Don’t miss the chance to see in person those we only see in magazines and those whose names we peel off of our cigars when we smoke ‘em down to the nub. Support the events and support them often, so we can all benefit from more and more experiences like them.