5 Steps to Picking the Best CannaEvents

Share:

How to Choose The Best Events In The Cannabis Industry

Because, trust us…only some of them are worth your time.

Whether you are a pioneer or new to cannabusiness, surely you have noticed the flood of events throughout the cannabis industry! There’s an incredible abundance of conferences, seminars, trainings, panels, expos, brunches, lunches, parties, and more.  It is an exciting thing to have so many options, but it is also an overwhelming thing when you can’t decide which are really worth going to.  YES, there are events that are not worth going to.   

 

The issue I faced when I first started in the industry and the issue I see many new cannabis industry professionals encounter is – how in the world are you supposed to decide on which events are worth attending?  Since I love to network, I dove in to events immediately upon joining the cannabis industry.  Parties, women’s events, Sunday brunches, conferences, expos…the works. When I first started I was so excited that I didn’t have much of a decision making process, I attended any event I found out about. I went to some events that I absolutely loved where I had fun, expanded my network and learned about new products.  Then there were some events where I regretted attending the second I showed up. After a number and variation of cannabis industry events, I can now say that I have a real way to decide which events to attend and which to let pass by.

 

I will not be giving you a definite list of events that are worth going to, for a couple of reasons. First, there are so many events out there that surely there are innumerable worthy events that I know nothing about.  Secondly, the number of events is increasing at such a rapid pace that there could be a worthy event launched this very second and I wouldn’t want you to miss out just because it didn’t make the list.

 

What I WILL do is give you the process of cannabis event selection that I have learned to use as a cannabis entrepreneur. The 5 basic phases to choosing the best cannabis industry events for you to attend are:

PHASE 1: Cut the Fat

PHASE 2: Define Your Desired Outcome

PHASE 3: Compare and Contrast

PHASE 4: Decision Time

Phase 5:  Have Fun!

You can use this process to pre-plan your event going, or to assess an event that comes across spontaneously (this happens frequently).   This process could work with any industry, and with any event attendance process.  It is especially pertinent in cannabis because being such a new industry, not only are there an overwhelming number of events to choose from, but many of them are far from well put together.

 

Before we dive in to the process, I ask that you think of any event that you go to as an investment.  You are investing your time, energy and/or money in to every event you attend,  and those are valuable resources!

cannabis events

PHASE 1: Cut The Fat

Now, there are a few very basic questions which allow you to quickly eliminate a chunk of the events:

 

Q1: Do you have the time and resources to go to an event:

 Out of town? 

 Out of state? 

 Out of country?   

 

Answering Q1, allows you to eliminate any cannabis industry events that are not within your current geographic wingspan.

 

Q2: Are there any dates which are already booked by your everyday business and/or life?

Answering Q2, helps eliminate any cannabis industry events that occur during your blacked out dates.

 

 

Q3: What is your budget?

Determine what you are able to spend.  Answering Q3, allows you to eliminate any cannabis industry events that far exceed your spending threshold. 

Remember to factor in travel expenses as well when evaluating out of town events.  Also, you may want to set spending thresholds per type of event. – have a spending threshold for industry parties, and a separate ad likely increased spending threshold for conferences or investor events.

 

 cannabis events

PHASE 2: Define Your Desired Outcome  

 

The return on investment is basically a goal you are looking to achieve by attending an event.  It’s your WHY.  WHY you go to an event = What return you are looking for on your invested energy, time and/or money.  Returns could include things like:

  • Expanded industry network
  • Joy
  • Experience with products
  • More in depth industry knowledge
  • Clients
  • New Friends
  • Experience something new
  • etc.

 

Be specific with the return you are looking for.  For instance, if it’s a 3-day event, and you are spending $1,000 – How many new connections do you need to walk away with in order to feel like it was a cannabis industry event worth attending?  Or how many new products do you need to learn about?  Further, what role should your new connections play within the industry, and what types of products do you want to learn about (tech, consumable, ancillary)?

 

Defining your desired return on investment allows you to be intentional about your purpose in attending any given event.  For instance, if you are an entrepreneur looking to expand your industry network, an edibles cooking class wouldn’t optimally suit you. Could you possibly go to the edibles cooking class and meet someone you didn’t expect? Absolutely.  But the probability of you receiving your desired return would be increased by instead attending a cannabis business conference with networking events, after parties and nearby bars and restaurants where other attendees might hang out.

 

Boom!  Now you know where you can go, when you can go, how much you are willing to spend to attend and WHY you are willing to invest your time, energy and/or money.  Now on to phase 3…

 

comparing events

PHASE 3: Compare and Contrast

 

Make a mental or physical checklist/grading rubric that you use to decide which events are most likely to provide your desired return on investment.

 

For Example:

You look online to plan your event attendance for the next quarter and you find 7 events within your available dates, spending threshold, and geographical area.  You don’t want to spend all of your time at events, so you want to select 3 of the 7 to attend.  Your desired ROI is an expanded network of industry professionals, at the owner or administrator level. 

 

So now you make a checklist (mentally or on paper) based on your desired ROI and use it as a grading rubric.

 

In this example your checklist/grading rubric could include:

  • Number of people who have attended this event in the past
  • Number of people projected to event this year
  • Visibility of event
  • Number of speakers
  • Credibility of the speakers on a scale of 1-3 (Are they people you would want to meet and would the people you want to know, know these people?)
  • Bars and restaurants near conference
  • Are there times set aside for networking?
  • Are there likely to be after parties?

 

Adjust your rubric per situation.  For instance, if your desired ROI was to learn about new products, you would want to add something like “number of booths at expo” because the more booths at the expo, the greater your chance of receiving your desired ROI of learning about new products.

 

 better times cannabis events

PHASE 4: Decision Time

Make your choice!  If you are looking at one event, decide yes or no.  If, as in the previous example, you find multiple events within your available dates, willingness to pay, and geographical area, and you want to attend only a few events.  Choose the few that score the best based on your checklist/rubric!

 

PHASE 5:  Have Fun!

Once you choose your events, go and enjoy yourself!  Whatever parties, seminars, brunches, conferences or expos you choose using this system will surely be a blast.  Especially if you attend with your vibes on high.

 

So, let’s recap. This process is pretty simple but can go right out the window when you are overwhelmed with the number and types of events that the cannabis industry offers.

 

PHASE 1: Cut the Fat

PHASE 2: Define Your Desired Outcome

PHASE 3: Compare and Contrast

PHASE 4: Decision Time

Phase 5:  Have Fun!

Share:
The J. Whitney Group

Leave a reply