Christie Lunsford speaking at Women Grow’s Denver Launch.
With so many Cannabis events and industry groups popping up, it can be difficult to choose which events are worth your time and which you can skip. These are the factors I consider when choosing the events that I attend and I encourage you to leave your tips in the comments.
Is This a First-Time Event?
All organizations go through growing pains putting on their first large events. If the organization doesn’t have a track record of events in the industry, you’ll want to examine it a little more closely. The National Cannabis Industry Association is an example of an organization that has an established track record of holding quality events.
Where is it Being Held?
There’s two parts of this question. First if the event is being held in or near the state you’d like to be doing cannabis business in, then it’s more likely you’ll meet contacts to do work in that state. Second you can checkout the venue they have chosen. More expensive venues don’t necessarily mean it’ll be a higher quality event but it does mean you may be more comfortable. For example, I rarely attend events at the Denver Mart because it is better equipped for swap meets than industry conferences.
When is it Being Held?
This is a loose rule of thumb but generally events held during the week attract more professionals while events on the weekends will attract consumers & hobbyists. People currently in the industry are more likely to be at a weekday event, whereas people with day jobs probably won’t be able to attend.
Who is Sponsoring?
This isn’t a perfect science but it’s a good sign if the event is being sponsored by at least a few companies you’ve heard good things about. If you haven’t seen any of the sponsors before you’ll have to wonder why the event attracted companies that you aren’t familiar with.
Who is Speaking?
This is my top deciding factor in attending an event. If you haven’t heard of the people or companies presenting, the conference probably did not try very hard to attract top talent. If all the speakers are also sponsors, you’ll probably be stuck listening to sales pitches instead of information. A good sign is if they are featuring folks from Women Grow’s Speaker Bureau, which we’ve vetted for expertise. Another good sign is if their speakers are diverse in background, companies, and affiliations. Typically organizations that only pick speakers from their personal network won’t have the highest quality speakers available.
A good example of an event with a diverse set of speakers chosen by an editorial board (not by sponsorship) is Marijuana Business Daily’s Marijuana Business Conference & Expo. Women Grow is throwing the official kick-off party to the conference on November 12th, RSVP to join us. Plus save $50 on conference registration with the code “ThanksWomenGrow.”