Guest Post: The Canna Consortium: "How to Effectively Market your Business at...Trade Shows"

The rapid legalization of medical and recreational cannabis across the country is creating an influx of new cannabis businesses and cannabis-focused trade shows. Cannabis trade shows and events can be a great channel for effective in-person marketing. However, planning for a successful trade show begins long before the actual event. Follow these tips to market your business at a cannabis trade show to create solid leads and new connections.


Getting ready for a trade show begins long before the actual date of the show. Knowing how to effectively market your business to create solid leads takes time. It is a delicate balance of just enough but not over the top. Spending your marketing budget on the worthwhile aspects of a cannabis trade show can create solid brand awareness and loyalty within your customer base.


Booth Style

The first thing to consider when planning a trade show is what your booth will look like. Trade shows are crowded with exhibitors and attendees walking the floor. So a custom booth design will help your business stand out from the crowd. While many trade show booths are extravagant, effective marketing is possible with a simpler and more budget-friendly setup.

Before you start designing signs and banners, have a clear idea of your brand’s visual guidelines—including logo, color scheme, and font – and stick to a consistent look. Make sure your booth signage clearly communicates what your business does. Potential new clients may not recognize your brand by name. Make sure your fliers, brochures, and business cards are consistent with your signage to begin developing strong visual brand recognition.

If you’re not experienced in visual design, consider hiring a professional graphic designer to ensure your trade show booth will look sharp and professional. Even if you don’t have the budget for the most elaborate booth on the floor, many sign printing shops offer in-house design services.


Swag

Promotional giveaways are another way to generate buzz and market your business at cannabis trade shows. They can draw in potential leads to your booth throughout the show. A well-designed hat or t-shirt can bring potential new clients to your booth. Along with promoting brand recognition long after the trade show ends. Especially if your giveaway items are used regularly.

If swag items aren’t your style, try running a sweepstake for an item or gift card to your business. Ask people who stop by your booth to opt-in to your email newsletter list to be entered in the contest. This way you have the chance to make a personal connection and stay in touch with new leads after the trade show ends.


Market business After Cannabis Trade Shows

Hosting a supplemental event is a larger investment, but it can have a great ROI in creating personal connections with current and future customers. And don’t discount the brand recognition and email list opt-ins these events can generate. A post-trade show happy hour at a venue near the event allows people to wind down and connect in person. Creating a buzz around your brand. The trade show floor can be incredibly overwhelming. So inviting VIPs to an event after trade show hours makes your brand much more memorable.

Marketing your business at a cannabis trade show takes a lot of planning and preparation. Yet when done correctly it can be an invaluable tool for effective in-person marketing. Digital options are great tools for marketers, but cannabis industry events are a unique opportunity to make genuine industry connections that can lead to growth opportunities and brand loyalty.


This post written by Lauren Huefner was originally featured on The Canna Consortium Blog, located here.