Region: Eastern Cannabis Business Conference
Exhibiting At Trade Shows 101
By Kaisha-Dyan McMillan
January 10, 2020

Exhibiting At Trade Shows 101

Cannabis trade shows are powerful opportunities for professionals from around the globe to meet, network, make deals, and learn what’s new and trending in the industry. A brand that exhibits at a cannabis convention is making an investment in their business, incurring costs for expo floor space, booth design and build-out, travel, staffing, brochures, swag, and much more. When you’ve put so much of your time, focus, and finances into exhibiting at a trade show, making the right first impression is critical to ensuring that investment yields positive returns. In this post, we explore some of the key considerations for cannabis business owners to make sure their trade show presence translates into success.

Tips and Tricks

Brands that exhibit at trade shows tend to do so with specific goals in mind: signing up new customers, raising brand awareness, meeting with prospective partners, making a big announcement, the list goes on. Your cannabis business is sharing space on the expo floor with hundreds of other companies, which means you have mere seconds to catch the attention of thousands of attendees on the move. 

A key tip for trade show exhibitors is to sign up early. This enables business owners to secure a prime location in an environment that’s first-come-first-served, while also leaving plenty of time to strategize in preparation for the show. To create maximum visual impact, booths should be thoughtfully designed to be eye-catching, attractive, and inviting. Consider unique features that not only attract visitors but keep them engaged – like incorporating interactive displays to showcase products or a comfortable area to rest and quietly network for a few minutes. Offering exclusive offers like show discounts or giveaways in exchange for attendee business cards or email sign-up can be effective at differentiating your brand from the countless other show exhibitors, while also strengthening your prospect list. 

The right swag can also make a visit to your booth memorable. A branded reusable water bottle, for example, is likely more useful to anyone walking a trade show for three days than a sticker or keychain would be. In addition to being environmentally conscious, having hundreds of people flash your logo every time they take a sip during the expo, then later in the outside world, can go a long way towards building brand awareness.

But even with the perfect booth, the work is only just beginning. In order to have a successful conference experience, business owners need only the best people representing their brand. That means everyone has dressed appropriately and focused only on interacting with the public – not playing on their phones or hanging out with their coworkers. Make sure your booth staff are equipped with lots of business cards to hand out (trust us, there’s no such thing as having too many) and pens for taking notes, because once the show is over, conducting follow up should be seamless.

Join the Conversation

Get more trade show exhibiting tips from the experts who know best during the educational session “The Power of the First Impression – Exhibiting At Trade Shows 101” during the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Northeast Cannabis Business Conference. Formerly Seed to Sale Show, #NECannaBizCon invites cannabis industry professionals to gain the latest regional insights, seek out emerging business opportunities, and expand their East Coast network at the industry’s only true B2B cannabis expo focusing on the Northeast market. Meet with NCIA members, entrepreneurs, policymakers, industry leaders, and services providers on 40,000 square feet of expo floor. It’s all happening February 19-20, 2020 at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center – Registration is now open!

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