Convention & Vending Booth Tips for #ganjapreneurs

Conventions are usually not places you make amazing sales. It’s more about putting your company out there, networking, and laying the foundation for future sales. As an artist friend of mine said, “You hope to break even.” Knowing that, it’s worthwhile to be strategic about which conventions you or your business will attend. Put research into the event before and after committing to attendance to help the convention go as well as possible for you.

Take the time to reach out to the organizer/s of the convention and develop a professional relationship with them. Likewise, check out the confirmed attendees to see how your business fits with the convention and to start developing online relationships before the convention. Then if you do attend the convention or another related event, you’re “recognizing each other” from social media rather than meeting someone totally new.

Things to consider:

Are there any special rules for the convention? For a #ganjapreneur, a convention where you can be open about your product being used in conjunction with marijuana could be quite different from a convention where you have to talk around it.

If possible, do some word of mouth research regarding the convention with a knowledgeable businessperson in the field. But remember, just because an event was busy one year doesn’t guarantee success this year. Also do research on related events that may be taking place in the area around those dates, as events in the cannabis industry do tend to proliferate.

What is the majority at the convention: entrepreneurs, established businesses, or a mix? What sub-markets are the other vendors aiming at?

Ask the organizer of the event what press, if any, will be at the event.

How much space will the convention give you? How much do you need to effectively demonstrate and sell your product?

Is there an opportunity to do a demonstration of the product? This helps generate traffic and sales at your booth.

Whether and how to give out free samples of your product a) not at all, b) to businesspeople you connect with only, or c) to the public.

What is the cost of the booth in comparison to other forms of marketing?

Is it a convention you want to have a booth at, or a convention you want to network at without investing in a booth?

What is the clientele of the convention and how does it fit into your business strategy?

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