Region: Eastern Cannabis Business Conference
Are Association Conferences Worth Attending?
By Kaisha-Dyan McMillan
January 14, 2020

Are Association Conferences Worth Attending?

Technology has made communication on a global scale possible without anyone having to step foot on an airplane. Yet, association conferences remain among the most effective traditional event marketing activities around. For the emerging cannabis industry, which continues to endure under continued Federal prohibition with limited access to traditional advertising and marketing, association conferences are often the best bet for cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs to network, learn, hear from industry experts, find suppliers, and showcase their brands.

Attending a conference however requires significant upfront cost and a few days away from the office, leading many industry professionals to wonder: is it worth it? In this post, we see what the statistics reveal about the value of attending industry conferences.

The Power of Face-to-Face

Even in our largely digital world, face-to-face meetings reign supreme. A 2017 Statista report says 79% of U.S. marketers use event marketing to generate sales, and it seems to be paying off:

Marketing Charts reports that 68% of B2B marketers agree that live events generate the most leads. 

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents to the 2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey found events to be the most successful tactic for converting leads in the middle and late stages of the sales funnel.

According to, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that it can take an average of 3.5 sales calls to close a lead from an exhibition – faster than the reported 4.5 calls it takes to close a sale without an exhibition lead. 

And another CEIR finding shared by finds that meeting with a prospect at a tradeshow costs $142 – that’s $117 less than the $259 it costs to have a face-to-face meeting at their office.

What’s The ROI?

Spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars to attend a tradeshow is a huge investment, one that many small business owners and entrepreneurs may find difficult to justify. If the following statistics reveal one thing however, it’s that return in investment can be measured in more than one way: 

According to, 77% of executive decision-makers found at least one new supplier when attending their last trade show, demonstrating how effective conferences can be at helping build new business relationships. 

But at the end of the day, companies want to see returns that translate into dollars. Statista found that among U.S. marketers who used event marketing, 44% reported generating a 3:1 return on investment, while 14% reported even greater returns of 5:1.

Don’t miss out on securing your next big deal – join us for the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Northeast Cannabis Business Conference, coming February 19-20, 2020 at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center. Formerly Seed to Sale Show, #NECannaBizCon invites you to explore the latest regional insights, discover emerging business opportunities, and expand your 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. Registration is now open

register today

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