When is a Smaller Trade Show Better Than a Big One?

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When is a Smaller Trade Show Better Than a Big One? by Patricia Miller

What makes a cannabis event worthwhile? It’s not always about the size of the expo floor or the number of attendees. Sometimes, smaller is better. Events that offer educational seminars in line with attendees’ businesses, plus curated exhibitors in those same verticals, can create a more targeted and fulfilling experience.

Know Your Niche and Master It

When educational content is focused on the same sectors as the exhibiting brands, both exhibitors and attendees can find the information and services they need. An event focused on cultivation, for instance, should offer pertinent educational sessions and invite exhibitors with complimentary services and products. This creates a cultivation-centric ecosystem where every person in attendance is expanding their knowledge of their niche.

When a trade show is crafted with deliberation, even small-to-midsize events can offer exceptional value for both exhibitors and attendees. Some events that have found success with this approach include the Cannabis Conference, the Natural Products Expo, and the Cannabis Drinks Expo. Cannabis & Tech Today attended this year’s Cannabis Conference to discover how an intimate venue can leave a big impression.

A Closer Look at a Carefully Crafted Trade Show

The Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino hosted the 2022 Cannabis Conference. Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Dispensary, and Hemp Grower presented the event. Its educational content is tailored to cultivators, retailers, and processors, with exhibitors reflecting a similar demographic.

The resulting experience is impactful, offering attendees and exhibitors access to informative sessions and peers in their respective fields. Cannabis & Tech Today spoke with attendees and exhibitors to find out how the show stacked up to their expectations.

Attendees listening to an educational seminar at the Cannabis Conference 2022.

Exhibitor Insights

Brett Cherniak, VP of sales for urban-gro, said his company returned to Cannabis Conference as exhibitors after taking a few years off during the pandemic. He noted it’s an important event for urban-gro to see “who the new players are in the cultivation arena.”

When asked about the quality of networking at the event, Cherniak said, “We’ve been very pleased with the overall attendance and the quality of conversations and engagements that we’ve had.”

Jennifer Schulman, marketing strategist for ItemGrabber Green via Fortune Web Marketing, said ItemGrabber Green has been at Cannabis Conference for the last two years. The company specializes in cannabis supplies and equipment.

“We like this show because it’s a lot of people who are starting out, and it really fits the model for what we do because we can help them from day one through six years of operation. So, this audience is perfect for us,” Schulman said.

Who’s Attending and Why?

Many attendees use the show to network with like-minded people. The Paris Hotel is an excellent venue for meeting new people thanks to its reasonably-sized expo floor.

A portion of the expo floor at the Paris Hotel & Casino

A networking mixer on the first night of the Cannabis Conference gives everyone a chance to mingle over a drink, the first two of which are included with one’s event pass.

Others are scouting the venue to see if exhibiting would be worthwhile.

Tyler Williams, chief technical officer at Cannabis Safety & Quality (CSQ), said his company has been considering exhibiting for some time. “It’s just one of those shows that, although this is our first year, it’s been on our radar for a while. This was our year to come and check it out to see if we want to put a booth in it for next year.”

If you’re seeking events with excellent ROI, smaller trade shows pack in a lot of value for the expense. Less competition for face time and a slower pace offer deeper connections. Connections are more likely to remember one another thanks to additional time spent building those relationships. It’s much harder to create lasting impressions at a mega show like MJBizCon.

Ultimately, that’s what trade shows are designed to do. They connect people in the industry and hopefully teach them something new along the way. That’s where small-to-midsize trade shows can offer exceptional value.

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