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Oct 15

Cigar Sampler Contest

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in World of CO

ipw0006Congratulations to ‘pdaug0511′ winner of the last contest! Get me your contact info and I’ll pass it on for your prize pack!

This time it’s a custom sampler from me up for grabs :)

To enter I want to hear about your opinions of cigar events held at your local B&Ms. If you have attended, what worked well and what didn’t? What works best for getting people to attend? What can manufactures do? What can the retailer do? If you have never been to one, why not?

Post your answers, share via the buttons below and you are entered! Entrants must be 18+ years of age and have a US mailing address. The contest will end in about a week. Good luck!

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Bring on the comments

  1. chief791 says:

    I have been to many events at B & M’s. I like the the ones that make a big deal out of the event. They have the cigar Manufacturer’s there. They have food and drinks available. They have raffles and great deals on cigars. I have been able to meet A J Fernandez, Pete Johnson, Rocky, and Pepin. Shared on FB

    • Bruno says:

      I hope I get this review before it’s to late.
      for a chance to win a bunch of cigar samplers
      from obsession it is worth a try.
      The B&M cigar events are never done in my neck of the woods. living is a small town has it’s drawbacks you know.

      Shared on Twitter.
      Bruno Casillas

  2. ncapoccia14 says:

    I have never been to one because the only B&M around me that do events usually does them in the middle of the day around 3:00 pm when I’m at work. One thing they could do would be to have these events later in the evening or on the weekends so more people can attend. Shared via Twitter.

  3. Pilotdude3407 says:

    I’ve yet to go to one but not because I don’t want to. There is a shop that is a little bit of a ways from me but they hold them every month or every other month. They usually have a cookout, and prizes, and naturally plenty of stogies. I think it would be a blast. Unfortunately they hold them on Saturdays, which while perfect for most people, don’t work for me since I generally work Saturdays. I will make it to one though!

    Tweeted

  4. tainted says:

    I have been to a few event recently. What I liked was the music and getting to meet people I would normally not come in contact with. The people seem to be looser and more actively involved in conversation.

    The food has been excellent and the sticks world class, Perdomo, Villiger, Dividoff and other. The Reps have been great, friendly willing to give you knowledge on the hobby and not just their brands.

    If it was not for the climate here, I am sure there would be more events as the turn out and appeal has been well received. Negative 50 degrees does put a damper on the crowd..lol

  5. ABrooks80 says:

    I live here in Omaha Nebraska and that my local B&M they also own a bar called The Havana garage it’s in the downtown area also known as the old market. These two establishments are less than a block away from each other so a lot of events are tied together I haven’t had the opportunity to attend any of the local jazz that plays but I have been in the store while vendors are there and they speak very highly of the owners and giveaway a lot of merchandise.

    Shared on Facebook

  6. mfox93 says:

    My local had Rocky Patel come down to promote new cigars and things which is cool, that’s a way to get customers to the shop because people want to meet him. They also have free cigar nights like u buy a certain number of sticks and you get a couple free.

  7. Jason Isbaner says:

    I have only been to one event at a B&M it was a Drew estates event and was very fun! I am fairly new to my area and have leaned toward purchasing more on line but I have found a lot more B&M’s and I’m on there mailing list so I will be attending more events!

  8. wm2slc says:

    Just looking back at the last few I’ve been to here in Vegas. The biggest problem I see is space. Most B&Ms here are small and it is just too crowded.
    There is one shop here that has a good amount of room and their events are the best and very well attended. I will always make their events. This is what they do: Deals on manufacturers cigars, the norm buy 3 get 1, buy 5 get 2, etc. Food and beverages provided. Lots of room, hot ladies serving beverages. Raffles for prizes.

  9. jungjae510 says:

    tweeted

    I like when they have specials ie. buy four get one free

    I dont like it when the rep hovers over your while you look at the cigars

  10. chad1955 says:

    I haven’t been to any because the minor shops here don’t have such events. Also, because their choice of products were so poor, I really don’t stay up on what, if anything, they’re doing. Interestingly enough, however, there is a much bigger market here than seems to be being catered to by the B&M’s. I know a ton of people who enjoy cigars, all of whom lament the poor representation here. So..if there were a good retailer and/or retail arm of a large producer interested in an area, ours would be a great one. What more could the producers do here? Support a better B&M store and then hold such public events!

  11. talisker22 says:

    Tweeted.

    Last time I went to a cigar event was by Oliva. I went in to the locol B&M shop and the people from the company were friendly to talk to. They had great give-aways like cigar samplers, lighters, ashtray and discounts with a purchase of a box of Oliva. I thought it was a great deal so I bought a box of Oliva G Robusto. They also had food and drinks available for the customers.

  12. lostonmonday says:

    I’ve been to a couple of events, and I think it’s hard to mess one up. Cigar smokers for the most part seem to be just the nicest people, even when crowded into small smoke shops. That being said, the only irritation I’ve had at a cigar shindig would be the music. One shop had a band who thought they really needed to crank it up! Had they been playing unplugged in the little shop, it would’ve been fine. It was still fun, I mean good people, good drinks, and good smokes, how can that go wrong?
    Tweeted

  13. ptyler says:

    The few events I have been to all seems to go the same way…sales rep standing beside a table with the line he is pushing…deal on the cigars..and a raffle ticket for prizes. These are okay but I think there can be more done to engage the attendee in the brand and the cigar lines being promoted. Whether it be a short presentation about the company and lines…their philosophy, tobacco, processes, etc., maybe its a tasting session to discuss some of the flavours that one might pick up when enjoying the cigar and thus why it was blended the way it was; someone from the company circulating around the room to give people more opportunity for face-face-face interaction to ask questions about the brand. The events I have gone to have just felt like you bought your cigars from a sales guy who didn’t wander too far from his table and was constantly talking to people so you never could get too much time or attention, then you went to smoke in the lounge and then waited for the raffle. Not much brand engagement.

  14. TacticalStogie says:

    Here in Houston, Serious Cigar puts on an annual gala that is awesome. The food, the booze, the swag and don’t forget the boat load of stogies you get.. Not some cheap seconds either! Quality stuff! It is held in a tented off area adjacent to the store/humidor with plenty of clean porta-potties available. They always have vendors big and small there sponsoring the event. It’s a total blast. If you are in Houston or the surrounding area I would highly recommend the event.. Of course if you are from the area and are a true cigar smoker then you have already heard of the event. The only two things that I would change is the cost and how tickets are sold.

    1) Cost is high (well kinda) at $150 and if I recall has gone up each year (could be wrong about that). That being said between the great food, top shelve liquor and the boat load of cigars (30 plus a cutter) you get I am sure many think the price is well worth it.

    2) The tickets go on sale via their web page and at the store, however if you don’t follow either super close you will miss your chance rather quickly. They only sale 500 tickets and are first come, first serve. They normally sale out in a day or less. Not a big problem with that, but they don’t have a limit of tickets one person can purchase and I end up seeing a lot of wives, girlfriends, brother-n-laws or other large groups that don’t give a flip about cigars or the event and are there basically just to drink and end up giving the cigars away to whom ever bought their ticket. I would like to see a lottery drawing for the guys and girls that are frequent visitors/customers of the store. They would still have to pay for the ticket, but this would give them a real chance to get there hands on a ticket. I would also suggest they sale a second kind of ticket that would only include the booze and food. This would be a cheaper ticket that wives, girlfriends, brother-n-laws would use.. Save the stogies for the real smokers.

    Anyway, that’s what I would do if I were the one running it.

    I haven’t been to many other events, so cant speak to them.

    However if you are going to have a event be sure to post it on cigarevents.com where it can be see by all

  15. geekfish says:

    I have attended a few. Havana premium cigars in Albany,NY has quite a few events. The very from the once a year Habanapalooza, to the regular cigar Rep stopping by, to dinner events with more hire profile blenders or cigar company guys.
    The most important first step is a good mailing list or Facebook site to get the word out. The second is giving people a chance to interact: customer to customer, custoomer to shop owner/staff, customer to Rep. I find the more I get to learn, the more fun. Good cigar deals are good. Special unique cigars are fun. Giveaways are good.

  16. johnga says:

    I have wanted to go to my B&Ms events but they are always during regular work hours or right after when I can’t go. The ones that I want to go to most are when they have special offers on brands I like. This is usually when there is an on site rep. I’d like to meet the rep and get a good deal on cigars. Sometimes they have prizes or giveaways which is nice too.

  17. MongoJay says:

    When in college my local B&M had monthly cigar parties for club members. The club was free to join and they would contact you with the event details.

    These events were BYOB, but he had a special stock of high shelf alcohol he would keep on hand for occaisions.

    There would be a cigar rep on hand, delivering samples free samples to those that have bought the required amount of cigars. There would be a different deal every week, buy one, get two free, buy two get one free, etc.

    Also his mother would cook a delicious dinner she would deliver so we all could have a hot meal.

    Those are tactics that work. They keep costs down, and keep people coming back. Plus it was inclusive. Made you feel like part of a big cigar smoking family. Even now I want to go back, but can’t make the 3 hour trip.

    Other cigar stores I have been to have been exclusive. Special members only. A lot of money to join the club. Not fun. My current B&M is very small space wise and staffing wise. They don’t host events like these because it is too costly, which is a shame.

  18. pato1001 says:

    I always go to my local spot when they have an event. They are actually having one this Friday. I’ll be there. In my opinion what works best and brings the most people is really good discounts on cigars and any free cigars that they can throw in. Also when they have raffles for cigar swag and when they supply free food and drinks. All those things bring in a lot of customers. If you can do all that then you are guaranteed a stellar turn out. But leave most of those things out and especially don’t give any great discounts and I guarantee you very few people if anyone will show up besides the regulars and they might not show up either because the regulars usually don’t like going when they think its going to be too dam crowded. Then only the hardcore show up and that would be where I stand.
    Facebooked and Tweeted.

  19. Up here in “God’s country” (southern NH) we don’t exactly have a plethora of quality B&Ms. My best bet is Smokin’ Joe’s inside Ayottes State Line Country Store. Actually they have a pretty cool walk in humidor with a nice selection! No events as of yet that I know of, however I am keeping a sharp lookout between Moose sightings.

  20. Will says:

    My wife I plan on going to an event this weekend…It will be our first. I may try to get to the Room 101 event with Matt Booth, in November, but it’s on a Thursday at 5pm. Since I’m in the military, and live an hour away I can’t make it to the weekday events. So…having events both on weekdays as well as weekends are great. A web page that has an Event drop down or calendar is good to see from the Manufacturer, or retailer. Cigar celebrities, raffles, or a combo event like a Classic Car Show at the B&M is a great way to attract attendance. I’m fairly new at the hobby, so that’s why I’ve never been to an event, but I’m sure I’ll be looking out for future events that I’d like to attend.

  21. 805guy says:

    I have never been to one yet because there are not too many events near me and they dont happen too often either.

    Tweeted!

  22. marty76 says:

    giveawaya and more giveaways are the key to getting people to attend shop events.

  23. marty76 says:

    shared on google plus

  24. quackaddict94 says:

    I have never attended a local cigar event, because all of them are held in venues that serve alcohol. While I completely understand that cigar events with liquor makes a ton of sense, it is kind of inconvenient for the under 21 smokers such as myself. But much like voting, not many people my age spend time in the local B&M’s and lounges like I do, so I can’t blame them for essentially ignoring the demographic. In addition not many people my age (myself included) can afford the costs associated with these events. While $100 for a dinner, alcohol, and a variety of cigars is reasonable for most who attend, it is certainly not for me. Only 2 more years until I can legally join them though lol. Shared on twitter.

  25. Camshaft83 says:

    The closest local that does anything is about an hour and a half away so I have not been to one yet. They need to give more notice so I can plan on making the long drive if I have the day off. One of these days I will make it though.

    Shared on FB

  26. vwarnerjr says:

    I don’t have any local shops I have to either drive into Greenville 1hr 25 mins or to Atlanta area 2+hrs. The ones I have been to have been fun and I usually buy a box or two. But they need to be more consistent in what they are going to do, some are great events, good discounts, lots of giveaways, good food, others not so much, lame snacks (chips & dip), and the discounts are not the same (10% off this or that and only if you buy a box or more that 5 sticks) Almost all of the others offer a 10% discount across the board, so if you bought one stick you get the discount + for every 5 you get one free. Plus I would like to see better advertising for it, send out an email, I have missed a bunch, because I didn’t know.

  27. juarez454 says:

    I go to b&m only when I want to get a cigar right away or for a gift. I went to one b&m that I had never know was five mins away from my father in laws house and they had a atmosphere I never felt before in a b&m, it felt like I walked in to a friends house on one side and a cigar museum on the other. I just wanted to go back as soon as I left. I don’t know what they did but I cant wait to go back, its called “lake worth cigars” in forthworth texas. I know most b&m are kind of like this but I really did not mind paying a little extra at this place.

  28. dwtate5 says:

    I have never been to one the closets B&M shop is about 35 miles away and that store sells some pretty shady stuff.

    • dwtate5 says:

      The shop I used to go to was raided last year and shut down by local sheriff department. Since I work for the sheriff department I have to watch where I go.

  29. Jared says:

    Liked on Facebook.

    If you haven’t heard about the parties at Outlaw Cigar Company in Kansas City, look them up on Youtube and just watch one – they have one every month! Catered food and drinks. Not regional reps – Carlito Fuente, Litto Gomez, Jonathan Drew, E.P. Carillo, Pete Johnson, etc. Local Army National Guard usually brings in humvees, howitzers, helicopters, machine guns. Car shows, calendar girls (lots of their videos are calendar “making of” shows), stick deals, box signings, poker tournaments, golf scrambles, big raffles (one past prize was a trip to Drew Estate Cigar Safari). Cigar Rights of America reps, Cigars for Warriors reps. And yes, I mean EVERY month. Want to know how to put on a cigar event? Ask Ken Culbertson. Boom.

  30. kevinhen16 says:

    The events at the local B&M that I occasionally go to almost has two types of events. Those that are cigar focused and those that are giving away other stuff like motorcycles, etc., just to draw in customers. Personally, I really enjoy going to the cigar focused events, especially when they have representatives from cigar companies, drawing, food, etc.

    Shared on Facebook

  31. gumby_130 says:

    Never when to any events. Live in a non smoking city and never hear anything for event or promos. Tweeded

  32. ssrobbi says:

    I have not been to one yet. I think the problem for me is the fact that I’m only 21 at the moment, and I just don’t feel like part of the community. Even through that if I could get a friend to go with me, I feel like there is an expectation for you to buy a lot of cigars. Unfortunately, that is not within my budget. I buy, maybe a cigar a week. During the winter I don’t really even smoke, and I don’t smoke that much during the summer, so I keep a stash.

    G+

  33. Boucher207 says:

    I have on B&M that has events, the reps from My Father Cigars frequent them and i have to say, they are pretty good. Im not too fond of My Father Cigars, but they always give heavy discounts when they come so its nice to attend for that alone.

    Facebook.

  34. SLCigarClassy101 says:

    Liked on FB.

    Sadly, I have never been to a cigar event at a B& M. Mostly for two reason. 1) The closet B7M I have near me is at least an hour and a half away so I rarely go to it and 2) when I lived closer to one, they rarely, if ever, had live events for the customers. I would like to go to one some day to have a good experience but for now, that’s all I have to say on the matter.

  35. new2sticks says:

    I’ve only been to one, and unfortunately, it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Although the rep had some decent deals, I had hoped for a little more. He didn’t have any merchandise, didn’t have their newest blend that was being advertised, and the shop didn’t have any food or drink. I hope to go to an event at a bigger shop, and experience a true cigar event. Shared on twitter.

  36. Cigarsanyjuan says:

    I went to a cigar event at my local B&M that was like an educational/tasting type of event. It worked very well and I wish I could have gone to another but I moved shortly after.

    The event had specials laid out from many different manufacturers. A lot of the merchandise was new product that was being shown off. The store also let you take home a couple for free to try only profiting from the few extra cigars or boxes people were ordering, as well as the drinks being served! This was like a dream come true. It was almost like a small cigar convention.

    This is great for both the store and the manufacturers for several reasons:

    1) Both the store and the makers get recognition from having the event. The store was outfitted with signs and decorations from the outside so everyone knew it was there, while the manufacturers were getting recognition and clientele from the givaways and displays.
    2) Profit is made to support the local store and the manufacturer. With some many brands being displayed and bulk of product out for view, more people buy cigars in bulk than ever before. The drinks and purchases go to the B&M.
    3) The hype about the event helps bring new customers, old customers, and solidify current customer loyalty.

  37. Joseph Szeremet says:

    Most of the events I have been too are pretty similar. Usually a $10 food and free cigar offer. Some deals on cigars with a buy 3 get one free offer. Maybe a cigarleberity from time to time. The only thing that has annoyed me in the past is really loud music. When you go to an event you want to find out more about a companies cigars and upcoming stuff, this is hard to do when music is blasting. Tweeted

  38. kb9311 says:

    Twitter & Facebook, they have had several events this year at my local shop, however I don’t attend. The last time they were pushy about box purchases and at my shop they don’t really ever mark down anything in price, they do do a lot of buy one get one or buy three get one. I usually only by two single cigars a week from the shop and I know I’m going to get hounded during events to buy cigars that weren’t moving off the shelf and there just trying to move product to bring in the next crappy product to turn around and do an event on them the next time. Maybe it’s different at other shops but that’s how I feel about events at mine.

  39. tdscoville says:

    Events for Cigar smokers are pretty hard to mess up. A bunch of people eating, drinking, and smoking. Throw in some free gifts and great cigars and i’m set. I love to go to these and meet new people and learn about new smokes.

  40. tccoup35 says:

    I have not been to one. I do have a place with a good amount of cigars for sale but it is a tobacco shop, not a cigar b&m shop. I do wish I had one in my town though.

  41. Fabbio says:

    Spend most of the year in Toronto (3 months in miami). Not much activity on the event side in that neck of the woods. One can always hope.

    The B&M’s have really become scarce here and the ones that remain have a pretty (and deliberate) elitist aura. Most staff are unfriendly unless they smell money and less then helpful. Asking for example of what they recommend for a full bodied cigar with med strength they recommend davidoff. Never heard of drew estate etc… but try the Cubans.

    Aside form that if they have a lounge as part of the store most here have them completely separate in the back, when you get to the secluded room (each time I have been there) its empty except for one click off in the corner. not very welcoming.

    A cousin of mine lives in Seattle and his B&m (not sure name) is awesome. the lounge is part of the store and is like going to cheers. Everyone knows your name. very friendly and talkative crowd.

  42. skippy597 says:

    My local shop has quite a few events and I go as often as possible. For the most part they are well planned and work very well but I have also been to a couple where the reps were horrible at there job. What I notice is that during a successful event the representatives will be walking smoking and chatting it up with as many people as possible openly suggesting cigars, discussing how there made and various other topics to keep the people interested. Also at most event they run deals on the brand of cigars normally buy 3 get one free, etc, but also they will sometimes openly give out free cigars to the early customer’s which is great especially when that particular customer has never tried that brand before, They will talk to the customer see what they like and give them a free cigar of their brand that will be similar. But I have also been to event where the reps are completely to themselves and not conversing with the customers. No matter how good the deals are if the rep isn’t doing a good job of presenting the company and products then the event is a flop and they don’t sell as many of that brand.

  43. djfurgason says:

    I’m not too sure if this counts. But recently at my local B&M I sparked up a new cigar. The name VUDU… With a tall drink in my hand and a freshly lit cigar what could go wrong? Within the first five puffs of my cigar I spilled my entire drink. As I reached over to re-claim the glass The arm of the chair broke. As I laughed and told everybody else what else could possibly go wrong it began to rain. As we all began to rise to enter the store The ash fell upon my lap… Is this a mere coincidence or not? Granite a good cigar I may never smoke it again!!!

  44. Chaz says:

    Honestly, the two decent B&M’s I frequent really don’t seem to have events. It kinda sucks. I wish they did! Facebook liked :)

  45. sdh3237 says:

    My local Tinderbox store has been having regular cigar events during the summer. The best ones have included special deals on cigar (buy three get one free) as well as food and drinks. The last one had drawings every half hour for cigar swag. They set up an awning in the parking lot away from the building so we could smoke and visit with others. My state has draconian smoking laws so anytime I can meet with other like minded people and smoke in a public place I am grateful. All in all the owners do a great job organizing the events.

  46. RamzaFreak20 says:

    At my local B&M events, there were plenty of cigars there on sale or promotion, free hot dogs, and sodas. One thing they do better is be friendly/open/welcoming to everyone. I am not a usual customer, since I am new to the area. I wouldn’t mind joining their lounge, but every time I’ve gone to an event, everyone looks at me like I have lobsters hanging out of my ears. So I don’t go as often as I would if they were super friendly. They usually have raffles, too. Was a couple numbers from a nice humidor last time :) Tweeted

  47. smoke dogg says:

    I have not had the oppertunity to attend any event due to the fact that my local B&M is a wine and spirites shop and they do not have cigar events. But, I am looking into going to the Big Smoke in Las Vegas!!! shared on fb.

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