17 November 2022 |

Three pro tips for your next cannabis conference

By Kaitlin Domangue

1. Plan ahead

It might be a *little* late to plan all the way ahead this go around: but you still have the rest of today and tomorrow to plan meetings and make the most out of BizCon.

Walking into BizCon (or any large conference) without a plan is a guaranteed way to get nothing done. I learned this quickly at Benzinga, even with a pretty detailed plan! 

The key is to plan *just* enough without making yourself inflexible. 

That looks different for everyone, but for me: I won’t plan more than 3 one-on-one meetings in one day, so I have time to walk the floor, listen to sessions, rest & recharge, and get ready for all of my evening events! 

It also allows me to spend my undivided time with each meeting and not rush to meet the next person. And if you decide you want more meetings: you’ve given yourself room to do that! 

Pro tip: download the Blinq app and create a virtual business card to easily share your information! 

You’ll get a unique QR code people can scan with your number, email, LinkedIn, etc. Have them text you right away and save their contact to avoid the business card scramble or worse – notebook paper that gets lost :-)) 

2. Use day 1 wisely 

The MJBizCon expo floor is 320,000 square feet. There are over 1,400 exhibitors. And over 30,000 people in attendance. 

It’s safe to say it can be overwhelming. I experienced this yesterday on Day 1 and spent at least 30 minutes just learning the floor a little bit. 

One of the first things you should do is find a place to sit. 

If you don’t have a booth, you’ll need a place to sit and take occasional breaks. Locate a few public tables and meeting rooms when you arrive so you can take a break when you are ready! 

I walked up confident and calm yesterday until I hit the expo floor. I had to take a minute and absorb what was happening! I couldn’t even think about setting up meetings or finding my friends until I got my bearings a little bit. 

Keep your meetings light and expectations low on Day 1. 

3. Take it off the floor 

Even if you become a floor map expert and skip out on lunch to hit every booth, many meaningful conversations happen off the expo floor. 

There’s no shortage of events at any cannabis conference, especially MJBizCon. Ask around, see what after-conference events people in your circle are attending, and make a point to be there. 

Treat the events almost like a mini-conference. Who else is attending the event that you can have a conversation with? After-parties are NOT the time to forget your business goals. This is often where deals get done. 

Oh, and PLEASE, y’all: keep it classy. I’ve heard the cannabis crowd can get a bit ~crazy~ after 10 PM. Have a great time, but be respectful in the process 🙂