For many of us in the cigar community, we’re getting back to large-scale cigar events after a horrible break called COVID, which is fantastic. Not only are we getting back to events, but it isn’t just you, there are more of them than ever. Of course, social media makes everything look better than it really is. Put it all together, you’ve got a lot of fifty-year-old cigar smokers suffering from FOMO the same way their kids or grandkids do over whatever kids do these days.
What is FOMO?
FOMO is an acronym for “fear of missing out.” Verywellmind.com defines the fear of missing out as, “the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem. It is also often exacerbated by social media like Instagram and Facebook.” This is a real thing. The best way to describe it for many folks is remembering when you were in high school or college and you literally thought you needed to go out every weekend night or couldn’t miss a party? That was FOMO.
There Are More Large Cigar Events Than Ever
It used to be there were only a handful of the large events or herfs. You may be familiar with established names like Cigar Heritage Festival, Big Smoke, the Drew Estate Barnsmokers, Black Smoke Miami, and Atlanta Cigar Week just to name a few. This year there are new or relaunched large events in Charleston, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Philadelphia, Orlando, Chicago, and Washington D.C. and this isn’t a complete list. Almost every major metro area now has its version of “Cigar Week.” Cigar Mike and I joke about “McDonough Cigar Week” being a reality sometime soon. (McDonough is a nice small city 20 miles south of Atlanta that really doesn’t need a cigar week)
Frankly, the advent of more, large cigar events is great. Some are more successful, better run, or more popular than others. That’s the natural course of things. Yet, on the whole, having more events that are more accessible to even more cigar smokers is a net positive.
Now You Can’t Be Everywhere
There are so many events now, that even the most engaged cigar smoker can’t be everywhere. In fact, often events are held simultaneously. Most of us, whether we’re consumers or event sponsors, have practical constraints like time and money. We have to start prioritizing events. Ask yourself questions. Which cigar events are most important to us? Location and practicality play a vital role, too. So, which ones are the most practical to attend? After all, if you’re not up for a road trip, then finding something close to home is a win.
Finally, you’ll also want to consider how the event is run. Not all events are run, set up, or deliver what every cigar enthusiast wants or needs. Find common ground that aligns with your desires or goals – what you hope to gain from the event. Which events are the most likely to be well run and deliver on what you want? Sometimes that means you need to get good at saying, “No,” even to cigar events. Declining an event doesn’t mean you don’t support the event. Instead, wish your BOTL/SOTL a successful event. It also doesn’t that you’ll never attend that particular event. It just means that this year, it doesn’t work for you. Be okay with that conversation.
Social Media drives FOMO related to Cigar Events
Let’s face it: social media isn’t reality. Everything looks great on social media. I’ve been to many mediocre events that look incredible online, but the reality turns out much different. No, I’m not going to mention names. We all have a good time at cigar events. If we didn’t we wouldn’t keep coming back. When you check your Facebook or IG at 11 pm on a Saturday, remember what you see at your local Cigar Week event isn’t always 100% reality. Your friends who are posting from there will still be your friends next week when they return. If they’re really good friends, they might even bring a cigar for you! But they’ll still be your friends and you’ll still be able to join them at the next cigar event.
Photo credit: Cigar Life Guy