We have no doubt about the benefits that medical cannabis has on various illnesses and diseases. There is good evidence in robust human clinical trials that cannabis is of benefit for a variety of ailments whether they be physical, mental, or social.
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So far in our How to Market Your Cannabis Business series, we’ve gone over general marketing do’s and don’ts, traditional marketing channel opportunities, digital marketing and advertising strategies, and social media tactics. In part 5, we’ll cover some advice for cannabis businesses who are interested in marketing opportunities through events and sponsorships.
Marketing at events can be a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Events give you the opportunity to connect face-to-face with your customers and vendors, collect opportunity leads, and build relationships. Here are some quick tips on how to get the most out of your events and sponsorship opportunities.
Research the Right Events to Attend
Look for communities of cannabis enthusiasts and other like-minded interest groups and events to participate in. Outlining your top business goals will help you find events that are most impactful. Don’t shy away from being selective in which events to attend — you should be participating in events that are relevant and make sense for your business!
Start Slowly and Measure Impact
There are a lot of events popping up in the cannabis industry, so it’s easy to wear yourself out and lighten your wallet in the process. If you’re new to the whole events game, start off small and try to hit up a local consumer event or B2B mixer as an attendee. Get a feel for how these events are run, who’s in attendance and how they interact with the crowd, and what the estimated costs are to participate on a more impactful level (e.g., as an event sponsor, to secure a booth).
Go into each event with specific goals in mind, and after you’ve attended an event and gathered some information from an attendee’s perspective, measure any sort of impact your presence made. Did you pass out business cards? How many new industry contacts did you make? Did you gain new customers? If you’re blindly attending every industry event in your area without determining which ones you need to hit to achieve your specific goals, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time, money, and effort on events that might not be making the biggest difference in growing your business.
Don’t Just Have a Booth
Think outside the booth! You don’t necessarily have to default to securing a booth at each event you want to attend. Booths can be expensive, so if you don’t want to make that type of investment just yet, that’s totally fine. Be creative and bring a message or something new to showcase, whether you’re walking around polling attendees, filming video interviews, speaking at panels, encouraging dance-offs in the parking lot — whatever your angle, give it some thought, plan it out, make it happen, and measure your results. If it worked great, fantastic! If not, go back to the drawing board and think of another option to bring attention to your brand and make the biggest impact.
Elevate Your Promotional Swag
Cheap plastic junk that attendees will immediately throw away does nothing for your brand; in fact, some people may view it as cheapening your brand and contributing to the excess quantities of trash the world is already producing. If you’re going to create some promotional material to pass out at events, think of something fun or useful that attendees might appreciate, such as rolling papers, grinders, or other handy accessories. Non-industry goodies that are appreciated at events include water bottles, gum or mints, hand sanitizer or wipes, and eye drops.
Before you choose which swag to bring, make sure it complies with the event’s guidelines — for example, some functions prohibit stickers from being passed out, and others won’t allow cannabis in any form.
Integrate Social Media
Social media can help you better track your impact at events. Share fun event photos with your followers, create a hashtag for your brand and the event to track engagement, use the event-specific hashtag to interact with other attendees and make connections, or run event-specific contests or promotions to help bring your presence at physical events into your digital channels.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.