Today, the Premium Cigar Association announced to the media that it would no longer charge the media any membership fees which also includes admission to the PCA Trade Show and Convention.
Beginning with the 2024 membership enrollment, the PCA will no longer charge members of the media for membership into the association. Media site owners and their teams will still be allowed to attend the annual trade show and will continue to receive regular updates from the PCA regarding the latest legislation, regulations and industry happenings.
The PCA says this change is being made following feedback they have received from numerous media regarding the price of membership and how the association handles media attendance at the trade show. Starting with PCA 2024 in March, media will be asked to apply for a specialized media/press badge to attend the annual trade show.
The PCA added that the media will have access to all Friday activities before the show, including the opening reception, and on all show days, media will have access to the show floor the same time as exhibitors to allow for some additional time for meetings and interviews.
In an email from Antoine Reid, he says “It is our hope that this change will cut down on the number of individuals using the media registration for the wrong reasons. We are currently working with exhibitors to ensure they encourage anyone seeking to come to the show with the intent of giving media coverage do so under the new system rather than giving them a badge meant for staff/employees.”
In years past, there have been issues with people attending the trade show who are not there for journalism purposes who have found loop holes with manufacturers giving them access to the show that have caused complains from exhibitors. The PCA seems to be trying to formalize the process for the true media representatives while also rewarding them by dropping the fee to attend.