The cannabis events 2019 season is almost upon us. If you plan on having an event booth at one of the many cannabis conferences taking place across the country, then you are going to want to stand out. Nothing will throw a bigger wrench into your cannabis marketing plans than having a boring, run-of-the-mill booth. Cannabis conferences are all about showing off your brand at its best, and in this guide, we’ll show you what makes a good event booth and how to make the most of a limited budget.
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9 Ways to Make Your Event Booth Better
1. Get Creative
Whether your budget is $100 or $100,000, creativity will be your biggest asset in standing out at a cannabis conference. While most event booths will have a simple table, a sign bearing their brand name, and maybe a banner or two; you need to think outside the box. Here’s a great example.
This is an exhibit booth for a company called Apple Wine Films & Photography. Working with limited space, the company got creative and decided to bring the outdoors inside. For many of the attendees spending all day cooped up at the conference, this little slice of outside was probably a treat. Try creating a backdrop where attendees can take a photo, use portable or modular displays, or even try to find a unique piece of art or decoration to draw people in. You don’t necessarily have to follow these exact ideas, but you do need to be as unconventional.
2. Use Social Proof to Increase Interest
Social proof is understood as the idea where people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation. Or to put it more simply: Monkey see, monkey do. Sometimes people become more interested in a cannabis event booth if there is a crowd of people standing around it. Use that to your advantage. If you have extra members of your team, have them dress as conference attendees, and stand around your booth. You don’t necessarily need a flash mob hanging around your event booth, but having a few extra bodies can help create the sense people are interested in your brand and that others should be interested too. You can also drum up interest in your booth by turning to social media. Create a unique hashtag and start promoting your booth in the weeks leading up to the event. The more buzz you can create, the more likely people are to visit your booth when the conference comes aroundGames and Giveaways
3. Games and Giveaways
You may think that your cannabis brand is the most exciting brand in the world, and it very well may be, but if there is nothing to do at your event booth, then people won’t care what it is you do. A great way to generate interest in your cannabis conference booth is by having games and giveaways. At MJBizCon last year, the cannabis dispensary Planet 13 drew everyone’s attention by having a wheel that people could spin and win prizes branded with the company’s logo. It was an incredibly simple idea, and it’s an idea that almost anyone can copy. You can also try having a raffle. Not only is it easy to do, but it’s also a great way to gather contact info as well.
4. Arrange Pre-Show Meetings
Cannabis events are a great place to meet potential investors and business partners, so use that to your advantage. In the weeks leading up to a cannabis conference, arrange meetings with potential clients and partners, and have them meet you at your booth. The effect of this is two-fold. There is a strong potential that you may walk out of the meeting with a new lead or business relationship. More than that, though, you also play into the social proof concept as outlined above. People will see you meeting with other high-level executives and assume that you are also an important high-level executive, which in turn will generate more interest in both your booth and your brand.
5. Create an Experience
One of the most effective ways of making a big splash at a cannabis conference is by turning your booth into an experience. Pamphlets are nice, but most people don’t care about reading bits of information, they want something they can tell people about. One of the best examples of turning a booth into an experience is the company Charity Water. Charity Water specializes in creating clean drinkable water for people in developing countries. At their exhibit booth, they have something called the “Water Walk” where visitors are invited to carry two 40lbs jugs of water across a 50-yard platform. Not only is this a unique and memorable experience, but it also helps visitors empathize with those in developing countries that have to do this every day. Find your booth’s Water Walk and make it memorable.
6. Use Video
In the age of never-ending distraction, static images are unlikely to garner attention at cannabis events. If you want people to pay attention to your event booth, you will want to create a promotional video. Even if you’re working with a small budget, there are plenty of exhibit booth vendors that can incorporate a video screen into your booth design. Create a video that helps inform potential booth visitors about your brand and how it relates to them. Pro-Tip: Make sure the video’s message can be understood without sound. Conference floors can be noisy, and you don’t want your brand’s message to get lost in translation.
7. Give Attendees a Place to Sit
This is by far the simplest and most cost-effective way to garner attention at cannabis events. For most of the day, conference attendees will be walking all over the place, and many of them won’t be wearing the proper foot attire (sneakers don’t look good with business suits). What better way to bring in a crowd than by giving them what they really want: a place to sit down. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on furniture either. A few days before the event, try to look around at some local thrift shops for furniture. If the furniture doesn’t match, buy a couple of slipcovers and you’re all set! Not only will you save some money, but you’ll also save the feet of some very tired cannabis conference attendees.
8. Free Food and Water
Another cheap and simple way for your booth to gain extra attention is by providing food and water to conference attendees. More often than naught, conference venues will gauge attendees by selling bottled water for $5 and food for even more than that. Use that to your advantage. Buy a few cases of water and a variety of single-serving snacks (think pretzels, chips, candy) and start handing them out. Not only will people be thankful for the small relief, but they will also be more likely to remember your brand. This works exceptionally well if you have a place for people to sit as well.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to use Roll-Up Banners
Roll-up banners are a staple of cannabis events and for a good reason. They are cheap, mobile, and can grab people’s attention when used effectively. For the most part, people will use roll-up banners to display their brand logo, which is not necessarily a bad idea. However, if you’re just using roll-up banners for your logo, you’re not utilizing their full potential. Use roll-up banners to display important brand information and incorporate interesting graphics. It’s not sexy or flashy, but it is cheap, effective, and something that you can use for future cannabis conferences as well.
The surest way to sink your cannabis marketing plans is by having a boring booth. Luckily for you, there are countless ways for you to spice up your cannabis conference booth without breaking your budget. No matter how you choose to decorate your booth for cannabis events, as long as you think outside the box and play towards your strengths, you’re sure to stand out wherever you go.