June 1998
Volume 25
Number 3

1998 RTDA Trade Show & Convention

August 8-11, Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

The 66th Annual RTDA Trade Show, slated for August 8-11 at Nashville, Tennessee's Opryland Hotel, will be the largest in RTDA history. The organization is expecting the number of booths to increase by almost 50 percent over last year's show in Orlando and has reserved 2,000 rooms at the hotel in anticipation. As of April 29, 378 companies had confirmed reservations for booth space.

The annual RTDA Trade Show & Exhibition remains the industry's leading retail tobacco trade event. Year after year, the RTDA Trade Show brings together the largest concentration of top manufacturers and distributors in the industry. Merchandise spans from cigars to pipes, tobaccos, accessories, and non-tobacco gift items. Many companies, in addition to exhibiting their products for retailers to inspect, offer show specials that aren't available anywhere else.

The organization is continually adding members to its ranks of tobacco retailers as well as associate member manufacturers and distributors.

Based on the results of questionnaires sent to last year's exhibitors, combined with new member requests, the RTDA has increased the number of exhibit booths to over 900 this year, up from 636 in 1997. Ira "Bill" Fader, executive director of the RTDA, says the Opryland exhibit hall is completely sold out, and there continues to be a waiting list for space.

In addition to the exhibition halls, the show will also feature two informational seminars, held before the trade floor opens. One will examine the growing popularity of pipes and tobaccos, and the other will explore the opportunities for increasing sales by setting up a cigar lounge. The event will also provide the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of manufacturers, distributors, and cigar industry leaders. The schedule will wrap up with the RTDA Dinner/Dance, the show's popular closing event.

The RTDA Trade Show & Convention is a closed show, open only to current RTDA members in good standing. To apply for membership, contact the RTDA at (410) 547-6996, or visit the trade group's website at http://www.rtda.org for an application.

Planning for Nashville
Nashville, known affectionately as "Music City" and the "Athens of the South," will undoubtedtly be a vibrant setting for this year's trade show. The Opryland Hotel is the centerpiece of the Opryland USA entertainment resort, which includes the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland, the General Jackson Showboat, the 18-hole Springhouse Golf Club, Opryland River Taxis, and the Wildhorse Saloon. In 1996, Opryland Hotel opened a 4.5 acre, glass-roofed area called "The Delta," which features themed restaurants, shopping, and a river system with guided boats.

For information on planning a longer stay in Nashville or to learn more about area attractions, contact the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tel: (615) 259-4700.

RTDA Schedule and Exhibitors List...