RTDA Houston 2007 - Postscript
Last night as I was flying back from Houston I was thinking about the trade show, and since yesterday was a short show day (the RTDA wraps at 1:00 PM on the last day), between getting some last-minute information, saying goodbyes, and getting home at 2:00 AM, I had no time to post. But I digress.
During the flight, as I was trying to formulate what more cover on the show, I realized that most of the show information is already available online. CigarCyclopedia.com is one of the best at covering the show, and of course you have the two major cigar zines, SMOKE magazine and Cigar Aficionado. Plus, there's a new kid on the block, Cigar Press magazine, which debuted its premiere issue at the show. There's not much in the way of content on their website just yet, but the first issue looks really good and has some excellent articles.
So instead of rehashing what many of you reading this have likely already gleaned, I'd like to take the opportunity here to state what I personally took away from the show.
I think the camaraderie that takes place at the show is what impresses me most. To be able to just sit down and chat with people like Jose, Carlos, and Gilberto Oliva, Nick Perdomo, Rocky Patel, Jonathan Drew (Estate), George Padron, Alan Rubin (Alec Bradley), Avo Uvezian, Joe Cusano, Tim Ozgener (CAO), Jose Blanco (La Aurora), Enrico Garzaroli (Graycliff), Aleli Calso (Troya Clásico), Tony Borhani (Bahia), Charlie Toraño, Nestor Plasencia, and so many others from factories big and small - and not necessarily talk about business - is a wonderful thing. We're a big-little business with a very special clientele, and we ALL have one common goal: give our customers a few moments of pleasure and relaxation in a crazy, ever-changing world.
As I reported earlier in the week, the show was under attended, and the pending SCHIP tax on cigars did put somewhat of a damper on things, but for the most part it didn't seem to affect the mood of most of the people I spoke with. As Nick Perdomo told me, "I'm moving forward. I've got a business to run."
When I got in to work today, most of my coworkers wanted to know about the parties. All I can say is, they were all well-planned, entertaining, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The best party of the show really was the "party" that took place in the lobby of the Hilton where a throng of attendees convened nightly to smoke and enjoy each other's company as I described above.
I think what most cigar smokers who read this and similar blogs really want to know about are the new cigars and how they taste. So going forward, I plan to dump out my bag of goodies, start smoking, and begin reporting on them as soon as possible.
I also plan to post a lot more pictures from RTDA 2007 on the site, too. Most of them will give you a much better impression than all the words I can muster. One of the reasons I haven't shown more of them to this point is because I just didn't have time to edit them all and report on the show. So please accept my apologies, but I assure you it will be worth the wait. (I'll also be doing my annual "Girls of the RTDA" pictorial.)
I also got to shoot some short videos with several of the manufacturers, which I need to edit and hope to get them posted by the end of next week.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people at the show who were gracious enough to make time for me when they could have been writing orders. Many I have already mentioned above, but it would take up way too much space to name them all, and in most cases I'll be thanking them personally. (I've got your business cards folks, so look for my emails in the days ahead. ;-) If I missed you, I apologize. I'm sure we'll be in touch in the months ahead, and of course, there's always next year in Las Vegas.