Cannabis Tradeshows During a Pandemic — Is the Future virtual?
As the world adjusts to pandemic mode, everything has become more virtual, and practically every industry has reexamined standard practices and interactions. Cannabis trade shows are no exception. Many have shifted from in-person events to online lectures, Zoom meetings and virtual vendors. Multiple states in North America’s cannabis industry received national and worldwide attention particularly, as cannabis was deemed an essential business by state and regional government leaders. This status led to a myriad of adjustments being made to accommodate safety recommendations, all while sales expanded rapidly. Now more than ever online forums for attending a virtual conference and learning are indispensable.
Pros to Attending a Virtual Cannabis Conference
Attending a virtual cannabis conference can have many advantages. Recording of events and lectures may be an option, depending on the rules of the organization, which makes being in two or three places at once possible, as well as the ability to review presented information at a later date. Time away from business and family is also greatly reduced. Additionally, there is no need to lug around a heavy bag full of materials — sign up to receive promo items and contact info via mail or email. Further, these events are a good reason, and potential business write-off, to upgrade office technology to a faster computer, clearer video camera or advanced smartphone.
Cons of Virtual Cannabis Conferences
Disadvantages to virtual trade shows do exist, just as disadvantages for in-person trade shows also exist. Although technology has progressed tremendously since the days of rotary phones, it is not without flaws. For example, sound quality can vary, especially when multiple people are speaking. A difference in platforms can cause this issue, as well as other frustrating glitches. Unlike in-person exhibits, a huge booth will not command the same presence online, but this can work to the advantage of smaller vendors.
New Platforms, New Opportunities
One of the best pieces of advice for virtual vendors at cannabis trade shows is to consider the experience as separate from a traditional in-person trade show. For vendors, instead of attempting to replicate or expecting the exact same experience, restructure as much as possible to appeal in new ways to a distracted attendee. Options include consideration of scheduling, virtual materials and mailed promos, and personal interactions with real-time links.
The overall consensus is live trade shows are not destined to disappear, but they are slow to make a comeback and may not occur for some time. In the meantime, virtual events are a comparable fit. Improvements are sure to happen, and quickly, to improve the experience for both vendors and attendees. In short, when the proverbial dust has cleared, there is room for both in-person and virtual trade show experiences. Each option has its place in the cannabis industry.
A New Experience
One recent virtual cannabis trade show, Virtual CannaCon, was hosted July 28-30 by CannaCon, the prominent cannabis event company. CannaCon provides a global business-to-business venue for cannabis, CBD and hemp businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and community partners. Their recent virtual event featured instructive seminars and Q&A sessions with industry specialists, networking rooms, and interesting new products and technologies on virtual display at exhibitor booths. For the first time in the history of CannaCon, anyone with WIFI was welcomed to attend.
FreshStor was happy to participate in the event as one of the featured virtual vendors. After experiencing the first Virtual CannaCon event, FreshStor Founder and President Gary Swanson and Senior Account Executive Ryan Parker weighed in with their thoughts. Here are seven tips for those who plan on attending a virtual conference cannabis conference:
- Advertise attendance on social media and websites to bring in the general public who may not know about the virtual event.
- Ensure all technology is downloaded and updated for smooth transitions.
- Remember virtual trade shows are new to all involved and feature various technologies and skill levels. Therefore hiccups are bound to occur.
- Research new products ahead of time and make note of any questions that arise to save time and help the vendor quickly understand concerns.
- Keep track of ideas to improve the experience, then share with organizers afterward.
- Allow extra time to be in the virtual event, as well as alternate methods to connect with others.
- Check your email! Most connections are solidified within the first week.
FreshStor created and manufactures the world’s smartest cannabis curing and storage container known as the CVault, as well as the new Evault with upgraded 316 pharma-grade steel for secure and sanitary storage of plant extracts such as cannabis oil, distillate, isolate, kief, etc. Our team welcomes interest and questions! Schedule a personal Zoom presentation and experience the benefits of virtual connections.