If you attend your first cannabis trade show, where you will meet thousands of exhibitors and attendees, you should go prepared. No matter what level your cannabis business is, taking your time to craft a solid game plan is essential because it is the only way that will allow you to leave cannabis trade shows with new leads, new ideas, and promising potential partners.
Here are some tips to prepare for your first cannabis trade show:
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Search The Right Trade Show for Your Business
There are thousands of trade shows in the United States and outside the country. However, you need to know that no trade show is precisely the same as another. To pick the right one, you should be sure of two things: first, that it is specific for your industry, in this case, cannabis, and second, that it gives the proper planning and resources for you to thrive. Beyond its audience, you should choose trade shows that specifically address your area of interest and speak to your buyer persona.
If you have already paid for a booth in a trade show, don’t wait until one week before the show to start planning. Plan weeks, even months ahead of the event. If possible, hit up other cannabis business events to get booth ideas, learn what is popular with attendees, and check out your competition. You can also browse the internet for inspiration, create mood boards, plan with your marketing team extensively, and make sure that everything is ready when the day of the show arrives.
Remember to keep your email list informed about the cannabis business trade shows you are attending, why they should go, and other important things like giveaways and special discounts you will offer only at said trade shows.
Be Present Everywhere
Many trade shows, especially cannabis ones, do not only have an expo floor, but they also feature educational sessions where keynote speakers tell others about the industry. If possible, be one of those speakers. If that is not an option, be sure to go to these sessions because you can meet people, both vendors, and attendees, interested in your specific sector.
If you are going to be a speaker at a trade show, remember speaking at any conference doesn’t come easy., You will have to plan and remember that your main goal is to dish out knowledge, not sell, so don’t be too promotional or commercial in your presentation. Give tangible value to the audience, making them seek you for more.
Have a Rocking and Well Located Booth
It is essential that when you buy your booth space, you make sure you are well located. You want something near the entrance or the stage; places where people will notice you quickly.
You also have to be very detailed about your booth presentation. To capture an attendee or potential partner’s attention, you have to stand out from hundreds of booths.
- Some tips are: use height, which is an easy way to catch everyone’s attention; use props and floor graphics to make your booth very colorful for the eye.
- Use Lighting and creative electronics and, finally,
- Create a space where anyone can sit in your booth. Everyone gets tired at one point in a trade show, so offering them a place to rest is a great excuse to show them your services or products in a natural and friendly environment.
- Create an interactive experience where attendees can interact with your products or services. It is a way to sell everything without actually selling it.
- Offer a charging station and follow-up activities to build a relationship with them.
- Offer a value-added incentive like an e-book or instructional video only for those that interact with the products or services in your booth.
Give Stuff Away, Always
A very effective way to attract people to your booth is to give them free stuff. But not just any stuff, good stuff. By this, we mean, don’t just give them a pen with your cannabis brand on it; give them a massive bag with your name, email address, and social media handles where they can put everything they buy in the trade show. That way you will be unforgettable.
Before the trade show, sit with your marketing and content team to brainstorm creative stuff you can give to both attendees and vendors so that you come up with something they don’t just throw away in the first trash can available. Think about stuff they need in trade shows like water bottles or bags.
Get the Information Creatively
A beneficial fact about trade shows is that you can gather much info about future clients if you give away something or create some dynamic.
Think outside the box to create something that makes attendees give you their info details without seeming too overwhelming.
Also, have discounts even if they are small ones. People come to trade shows to look and to buy. Make sure your cannabis business has accessible prices if you want to sell.
Make Sure you are Remembered
The cannabis industry is a booming industry and very creative one. That’s why you can’t just sell your products or services at a cannabis trade show; you have to sell yourself because it is the only way in which potential leads or partners will pick you from the vast cannabis business sea existing. To do this, make sure you are in contact with people at every trade show. This can be tiring, but it is worth it. Nothing says “we care about you” to a customer more than the owner in front of their business.
These tips can help you navigate the cannabis trade show industry better. If you have more doubts about the industry, make sure to read our cannabis-specific articles that explain topics like cannabis federal legality, cannabis marketing, cannabis consulting, and more.