The Cashinbis team is back from our biggest trade event yet, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in Los Angeles, and so thankful to have been a part of this stellar business and networking opportunity in our home state.
With three great parties to help attendees unwind and network, a perpetually packed exposition floor, over 70 speakers, and an impressive amount of media coverage, a cannabis entrepreneur or established industry professional could not ask for much more.
As a company, even with a handful of team members in attendance, there was no way we could have covered every individual piece of the event. However, we did our best to provide you a recap here.
Strength in Networking
To start off the conference, our team attended the Women Grow party on Wednesday night at the Hotel Figueroa downtown, sponsored by Leafly. A giant leaf logo projected onto the side of the hotel let us know we were in the right place, and we encountered hundreds of influential cannabis industry professionals inside. Cashinbis employs a few Women Grow ladies; we love what they do, and judging from the high caliber of attendees at their party, apparently the industry is also starting to take note.
On Thursday, another party was held, giving attendees a chance to catch up with people they’d met earlier at the conference. The hybrid indoor-outdoor venue had the feel of an industrial art gallery and was complemented by a non-medicated chocolate fountain.
Extra events like these really tie together the networking experience. Talking business with someone on the expo floor is where a lot of great relationships and deals are begun, but many people tend to loosen up with a cocktail and a festive atmosphere, making.
Of course, the “after-party” culture is a concept native to Los Angeles, and we commend event organizers for recognizing the value in a fun night out and helping to promote these social gatherings outside of the normal conference programming.
Spectrum of Education
Apart from the people in attendance, the other highlight of this trade show was the speaking roster. Over 70 speakers made up dozens of educational sessions per day. We’re not entirely sure how the vendor floor remained busy and buzzing while all of these great sessions were going on, but nonetheless we sat in on as many as we could and picked a few of our favorite sessions.
Cashinbis Interviews Keynote Speaker/Grammy Winner Melissa Etheridge
How To Crush It On Instagram – Using social media is a huge challenge in this industry; one that we are constantly trying to address and remedy for our various clients. Lauren Gibbs, Director of Social Strategy for Women Grow, shared some basic Instagram principles and tactics she personally used to supplement the female empowerment organization’s explosive growth. Instagram being one of the channels that we would like to grow for our company, we enjoyed the insights presented on the efficacy of hashtags and branding with strong visual appeal.
But What About The Kids? – Keynote speaker Ethan Nadelmann of Drug Policy Alliance hosted this session to address issues that many parents and safety professionals in the industry are facing, both in talking to their children and considering ways to curb their access to cannabis and other adult substances. Panelists debunked inaccurate and ineffective “gateway drug” rhetoric and drug war scare tactics, while discussing timely research into teen cannabis use.
Hitting the Floor
One of the biggest factors in a trade show is vendor satisfaction. Herein lie an entirely different set of factors based on the type of event and target customer or audience of the vendors in attendance. From what we could gauge, covering the expo floor and doing live interviews with entrepreneurs and CEOs, there was limitless opportunity for business-to-business relationship building.
Across the floor were several technology solutions and ancillary service companies, seeking to do business with the wider spectrum of cannabusinesses, but there were also some local California cultivators and fine edibles manufacturers working on branding themselves to the consumers and dispensary owners in attendance.
Rounding out the exhibitors were several print and online media companies, including us, creating content around the various speakers and exhibitors (many of whom are VIPs and not easily accessible!). CNBC cameras were rolling and we truly couldn’t be happier to see all of the positive attention and quality content that was created at this expo.
When attending a trade show, either as an entrepreneur or as an exhibiting company, it’s important to think about the ROI (Return on Investment) or ROE (Return on Engagement) you will be getting as a result of your presence. The CWCBE was a well-rounded B2B conference with plenty of opportunities for networking and learning new things about the cannabis industry, from all angles. We highly recommend attending next year’s Cannabis World Congress events on both East and West Coasts.
What questions do you have about attending a trade show or event? Join the conversation and comment below!