The days and weeks are flying past, bringing us ever closer to the end of the year and the MJBiz cannabis conference in Las Vegas. Known as MJBizCon, it’s the largest cannabis convention and a must-attend event for anyone in the cannabis industry. Here are some tips to make the most of MJBizCon 2019.
Before You Attend
Even before you walk into the Las Vegas Convention Center on December 11th, you should have a clear idea of your goals. This can easily be divided into two key elements:
- What do you want to learn?
- Who do you want to meet?
Keep in mind that these aren’t mutually exclusive experiences. You might try to touch base with an existing contact, making a plan to sit next to each other at a session that you both find worthwhile. Or, you might have the goal of meeting a thought leader in your niche by sitting in on their panel discussion and waiting to chat to them afterwards.
To maximize your time attending sessions and walking the show floor, you’ll want to use the MJBizCon show planner. It will let you keep track of booths you want to visit and make sure you aren’t racing from one end of the convention center to the other. For example, you might want to see our Chief Revenue Officer, Tyler Beuerlein, talk about cannabis banking legislation and then have a longer conversation at the Hypur booth at MJBizCon. Keep in mind that the show floor can be disorienting and overwhelming, so get a feel for the layout on the map and figure out which days you’ll want to be in each area.
Make sure that you balance your mix of walking the show floor, attending panel discussions, and attending networking events. MJBizCon Las Vegas has a variety of lunch and cocktail events, so find the combination that works best for your cannabis business.
If you know that you want to attend a specific panel discussion, feel free to introduce yourself ahead of time and say that you’re excited to hear them present at the event. Speakers are always nervous that no one will show up, and it can be a wonderful opportunity to make a connection with an influential person in the cannabis industry.
Heading to MJBizCon?
Wear comfortable shoes. This is seriously one of the most important things at a convention. By the end of large events like MJBizCon Las Vegas, many attendees will complain to each other about how sore their feet are. You will probably take 12,000 steps or more per day, so plan for that.
Pack a power bank. Everyone will be swapping details, sharing on social media, and generally using electronic devices more than usual. Bring a fully charged power bank to the show floor and not only will your phone stay on the whole time, but you’ll also gain extra popularity by helping others who need a charge.
Bring more business cards than you think you’ll need. MJBizCon 2019 is predicted to have 40,000 people in attendance. Even if you only meet 1% of them, that’s 400 people. Hand out your business cards like candy, you never know who will be thrilled to get in touch with you
Go beyond business cards by connecting on LinkedIn. If you meet someone new, don’t be shy to ask for their social media handles, particularly on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can even take it a step further by taking a selfie with your new connections and sharing it on social media, tagging the contacts and the event. It will help you to keep track of names and faces after the event, plus showcase to the cannabis industry just how useful MJBizCon was for your cannabis business.
Finally, prepare to be surprised. Some panels might teach you more in an hour than you could have learned in a month of business. Wandering the show floor might lead to the discovery of a business you didn’t know existed that becomes your new, most-important partnership. Avoid being jaded or cynical and try to make the most of the frenetic and exhilarating experience.
After the Event
Once you catch up on sleep or get over a post-convention cold, it’s time for some friendly follow-up. Send an email or a LinkedIn message to say how great it was to meet each person, even if you’re not sure that you’ll work together in the future. If you believe there are partnership opportunities with the person or business, this is a great time to schedule a phone call or face-to-face meeting to build upon the relationship.
You will also want to share the resources you gained at MJBizCon with your business. Talk about something you learned at your next staff meeting, give a lunch-and-learn about a great panel you attended, or give a co-worker the business card of a worthwhile contact you met. Spread your new skills, knowledge, and connections. Not only will this build goodwill among your colleagues, it will prove the Return on Investment (ROI) of MJBizCon to the whole cannabis business.
Hypur is excited to be attending MJBizCon 2019 in Las Vegas. Make sure that you add our booth to your show planner, and if this guide was helpful for you, please let us know. You can also tag us in your social media at the event with #HypurMJBiz.