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VAPE News Magazine February 2018

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VAPE News Magazine December/January 2018

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TPE And NATO: The First Event In 2018

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As we roll into the new year, one of the first events on the calendar is the Tobacco Plus Expo. Also known as TPE, it is an annual production held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is one of the most unique shows of the year and includes tobacco and ‘alternative’ products alongside vaping exhibits.

This year TPE will be joining forces with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, also known as NATO. This may not sound like an event for a vaper to visit, but for anyone looking to expand their horizons and find additional sales channels, this show is worth your time.

How It Began…

NATO began in 2002 and supports the tobacco industry. This model is one much needed by the vaping industry with advocacy, but more aligned with business development and legislation.

NATO gets involved with regulations at every level and has become a powerful force to support their members.

Until 2016, they had their own annual convention in Las Vegas, but abandoned that distraction two years ago to focus more on personalized action and lobbying efforts.

TPE has been innovative since they began about 12 years ago, and were one of the first tobacco-centric events to invite vapers and vaping products into their family. I have attended TPE for several years and it is usually a smorgasbord of different exhibitors offering vape, hookah, and tobacco in all forms. Most recently they have added glassware and alternative products, plus general merchandise that is found in convenience stores nationwide.

The TPE show is owned by Kretak International, owners of Phillips and King International, a major distribution giant for many tobacco products.

The Key is Knowledge!

One of the best things about TPE and NATO is the quality of the educational and informative speakers they invite. This year the Industry outlook will hold several sessions presented by noteworthy experts.

This year’s lineup includes speakers covering timely topics like: local legislation, marketing, finance, and Thomas Briant, NATO Executive Director; VMR CEO Jan Verleur; Brittani Cushman, VP for External Affairs for Turning Point, and PAX Labs CEO, Tyler Goldman.

In the past, luminaries who provided insights have included former director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Dr. Mitch Zeller and Wells Fargo Securities Managing Director of Equity Research, Bonnie Herzog.

Don Burke, with Management Science Associates, will once again provide his annual overview and projections for 2018 along with RBC Capital Markets Wall Street Analyst, Nik Modi covering the Wall Street Industry Update

In years past, the show floor was segmented into mini ‘kingdoms,’ each with its own niche. Since many vapers don’t like to be near tobacco, tobacco and hookah were combined with shisha in one quadrant and general merchandise in another. Alternative products, including glassware, pipes, CBD and general paraphernalia were grouped in another, and vape had its own section.

Please note that this event is B2B only—no consumers or public invited. For information visit tobaccoplusexpo.com and be at the massive Las Vegas Convention center on January 31 – February 1, 2018.

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