Ask The Readers: What does it take to put on a good cigar event?

Stogie Talk16 Comments on Ask The Readers: What does it take to put on a good cigar event?

Ask The Readers: What does it take to put on a good cigar event?

Drew Estate Undercrown

At this very moment it is 61 degrees and sunny in my little piece of Pennsylvania. It is a beautiful day (for a change) and I find myself holed up in Sir Stogies with a little glass of Zaya and a Drew Estate Undercrown.

So, why am I wasting such a beautiful day inside? Well, it is 5:16pm on a Thursday and I just realized that I have absolutely nothing scheduled to post here on Stogie Review tomorrow. What better reason to kiss my wife and daughter goodbye and disappear to the cigar shop for two hours?

The focus of today’s little filler post is going to be Cigar Events. Last week I attended my first Drew Estate event in years (it’s hard to believe I haven’t met Cris Stone prior to this event considering how well known he is in these parts).

If you’ve ever been to a Cigar Event before, I’m sure you can guess the deal. Buy 3 get 1 Free – Buy 5 get 2 Free. Sir Stogies isn’t a high volume shop with Liga Privada privelages so the big sellers throughout the evening were Undercrown, Nica Rustica, and Joya De Nicaragua Red (several others were selling but those three seemed to be the ones I saw being lit up most frequently).

In addition to the cigar deals, there was plenty of food and beer to go around. All in all, it was a fantasic time.

The question I have for you, our loyal reader, is this – What does it take to put on a good event? Are the usual deals enough or does a shop / manufacturer need to think outside of the box and do something new?

The reason I ask is because I was recently informed that a hot new cigar company (not really new but thier cigars are relatively new and sellig like hot-cakes around these parts) does nothing for thier events. No deals, no discount, just come on out and buy our cigars! I don’t see the draw but perhaps I’m in the minority?

What does it take to put on a good Cigar Event?

enjoying cigars since 2005

16 thoughts on “Ask The Readers: What does it take to put on a good cigar event?

  1. Instead of offering free cigars with purchase, just reduce the price of each stick accordingly. also offer a pairing event with different beers and spirits.

    1. Vincent,
      I’ve been told stories of a shop in my general area telling reps to stay home and instead give them a discount on cigars ordered for the event and store would just do it themselves.

      It’s been a while since I’ve been to the shop but the last I heard they were doing well.

  2. Personally, I’d like to see an end to promo items like baseball caps (who wears them?), cheap lighters (who uses them?) and cheap cutters (who wants them?). Having someone there from the company who really knows about the blends, the tobaccos, etc., makes any event much more worthwhile. I recently attended an Aging Room event with Rafael Nodal and ended up buying more cigars than I intended because all the information he imparted made me want to try them. Another recent event had a rep who really didn’t know much and I bought nothing. Finally, I don’t understand why more manufacturers don’t give away a cigar to each attendee. This was much more common 10 or so years ago. The reason I think it’s a good thing to do is that everyone there is having a good time and in a good frame of mind. They’ll almost certainly enjoy the cigar in that atmosphere and likely buy more. It’s just a win-win for everyone.

    1. George,
      When I was younger I would have loved the hats but these days they just take up closet space until I get sick of looking at them and either give them away or throw them out.

      Cheap lighters I don’t mind so much because I’ll just toss them in my car. You never know when your primary lighter will run out of fuel and one of those cheapies will save the day. As far as cutters go, I probably have enough cheap cutters to last me a lifetime and really don’t want to add any more to the collection (at this point maybe ‘hoard’ is a more fitting description).

  3. A really good cigar event must have all three parties involved…….the proprietor, the sales rep, and the cigar smoker.
    I wil speak as a cigar smoker and say I love freebies; the more the merrier. I will never be able to smoke all the cigars in my collection but that never stops me from purchasing another 5 pack or box when additional cigars or swag is given away with the purchase.
    I have met many of the cigar reps for this area and their reputation usually precedes them. The generous and outgoing ones are well liked and well received at the various cigar lounges. The crowds are also larger with the more well known and liked reps. The reps with the sparse freebies and lack of giveaways are often talked about as frequently as the generous ones, but not as favorably
    The proprietor can really be at the mercy of the rep, unfortunealtey. He can provide food, alcohol, giveaways (sometimes he has to buy the swag from the reps to give away) and if the rep is not enticing customers to make purchases than the proprietor doesn’t profit much regardless of the size of the event.
    So, if you want to run a great event, have free food & alcohol provided by the proprietor. Have a generous rep with lots of free cigars and swag. And have customers willing to spend a little more than usual to take advantage of those freebies

    1. Jason,
      It’s fun to talk to the various customers at an event. Occasionally you’ll find people there who don’t care for the cigar / brand being featured but instead genuinely like the proprietor and want to support them.

  4. a reasonable ticket price or a reasonable reward auction or raffle for participating in the event a cigar manufacturer is always nice for someone who is genuinely knowledgeable on cigars the cigar industry or cigar protocol when it comes to enjoin tobacco Special pricing on sticks and or accessories. A comfortable environment but most of all like minded cigar or pipe smokers as far as the tobacco is concerned. We may disagree on many various matters but the simple pleasure of premium hand rolled tobacco and the camaraderie therein is what makes any gathering with cigars an event.

  5. There has to be a event only cigar! And/or some limited stuff that the company makes thats otherwise hard to find…make it worth my time to get up and drive all the way down there (such as a DE event, having plenty of Unicos for sale and some A’s). Also a deal doesn’t hurt…

    1. I like the idea of event only cigars, even if it’s only a different vitola- like a lancero. With all the limited editions flooding the market, I’m surprised we don’t see more of that. Fresh-rolled cigars are nice touch too, but I haven’t seen that done in years.

    1. Ty,
      I’ve seen samples given out during an event but it is usually low-key (I guess the rep doesn’t want to have to give a free one to everyone in attendance). Bumping into a rep while they are making a general sales visit is usually fun. There are some in this area that make sure the regulars in the shop are taken care of. On the other hand, there are a couple that don’t like interacting with the customers at all.

  6. A good event needs some good deals/giveaways. Maybe an event only cigar but i dont think its that important. Food + booze a huge benefit. the well informined rep/ brand owner being there go a long way. When you can tell people what they are somoking i believe it leads to better sales. Also a good atmosphere helps. As far as a good shop to catch an event at i cant think of a better place than Holts in philly. If you really want to see how to run an event check them out.

  7. I agree that freebies are a must. I think you have to reward people for coming out. I like how Camacho makes their events really big and interactive. I know most reps/companies can’t afford to do this for every event, but they can definitely give out a free cigar and have a raffle for other stuff. If the shop owner provides food, beer and spirits then all of the bases would be covered. The cigar rep needs to be friendly and knowledgeable about their products and the cigar industry in general, that costs nothing. I want all parties involved to make me feel good about spending my time and money there. Entertain, engage and reward me.

  8. Giving out a free stick at events can back fire because there are too many people that will only show up for the free stick with no intention of buying anything. Those people ruin it for those of us that actually plan on purchasing something we like that was given to us for free. That actually is a big reason why some of you have mentioned this being something that happened more frequently “10 years ago”. The reps get to know the people that only show up for the free stick and they flat out stop doing it becAuse they don’t see a return.

    For me I just like to see a knowledgeable rep who knows his or her brand and enjoys talking cigars. Too often I encounter reps who don’t engage and/or don’t know their product.

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