The legalization of cannabis is ongoing in many states across the U.S. and in many countries worldwide. In response to the steady expansion of the industry, the first marijuana business conference—MJBizCon—was held in Las Vegas in 2012. In 2020 MJBizCon is in its ninth year! It’s hosted by Marijuana Business Daily® (MJBizDaily), an online news site that serves the national and global cannabis industry.
Why Exhibit at MJBizCon?
The legal cannabis industry is still in its infancy, and so is MJBizCon. But this event is already one of the biggest and most important in the industry. It has rapidly expanded—from a three-day weekend in 2012 to a week-long event in 2019. This reflects how huge the industry now is. As of 2019, MJBizCon is not only the biggest cannabis conference in the country, it’s also the fastest-growing trade show overall. And with lots of room for individual businesses to grow within the cannabis industry, this is the show to be at!
2018 MJBizCon Quick Stats
- 27,600 attendees from all 50 states and 60 countries around the world
- 1,027 exhibitors
- 158 speakers
- 35+ conference sessions
The 2018 event was huge, attracting over 27,000 attendees. In 2019 it’s going to be even bigger. Over 35,000 attendees are expected at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
One reason the event is expanding so quickly is that the cannabis business covers a wide range of sectors and professions. From growers and manufacturers to retail stores and cannabis dispensaries, online stores, medical research, healthcare workers, and the legal profession, there’s a diverse range of companies involved. Many businesses have the chance to forge relationships with others in this growing industry.
What’s Happening at MJBizCon in 2020?
With the 2019 event barely over, details on MJBizCon 2020 are yet to be announced. But it’s guaranteed to be huge, immensely valuable to people in the industry. In fact, in honor of the event’s huge global reach, the week of the event has been dubbed by the Board of Clark County Commissioners and the City of Las Vegas as MJBizCon Week.
In 2019 the five-day conference included:
- Investor Intelligence Conference with two days of workshops and roundtables for high-net-worth and accredited investors
- Associations Day – A program to help more organizations attend the event
- The official conference, which ran from December 11 to 13
MJBizCon is attended by people in all sectors of the marijuana business. Attendees include small cannabis cultivators and retailers and the sales reps, managers, and executives of large multi-state and global companies. These include tech and R&D companies as well as large-scale producers and retailers.
In 2019 featured exhibitors at MJBizCon included:
- Agrinamics, a company that builds hydroponic growing systems
- Capna Fabrications, an R&D company focused on technology for cannabis extraction
- Cascade Sciences, manufacturers of industrial dehydration/drying equipment
- Hypur™, a leading provider of electronic payment technology
- Medicine Man Technologies, provider of consulting and infrastructure services to businesses in the cannabis industry
- Smart Fog®, a company that manufactures commercial humidifiers
That’s just a small sample of the over 1,000 companies exhibiting at MJBizCon in 2019. Other industries showing up on the 2019 exhibitor list include:
- Food technology
- Agriculture and farming
- IT service providers
- Marketing and advertising companies
- Electronics manufacturers
- Packaging and labeling suppliers
- Insurance and legal providers
- And more
Speakers and Sessions
Speaker sessions for 2019 were aimed at B2B audiences, covering a wide range of topics, including new trends in the cannabis industry, emerging national and global markets, and new research and tech. The 2020 speaker list hasn’t yet been finalized, but if last year’s schedule is anything to go by, it will offer excellent value.
The featured speakers from 2019 included:
- Keynote speaker Marc Randolph, Founding CEO of Netflix
- Erin Alexander – Associate General Counsel, Cresco Labs®
- Michael Bronstein – President, American Trade Association for Cannabis & Hemp
- Wes Burk – President, Emerald Scientific
- Samantha Collins – Chief Marketing Officer, Bhang
- Antonio Frazier – VP of Operations, CannaSafe
- Andrew Freedman – General Partner, Caldwell Capital
- Saphira Galoob – Executive Director, National Cannabis Roundtable
- Naomi Granger – Co-Founder & COO, Dope CFO
- Neal Levine – Cannabis Trade Federation
General sessions included a wide range of topics:
- Regulations and licensing
- Taxes and legal issues
- Marketing and branding
- Research and development
- Emerging technology
MJBizDaily Cannabis Industry Awards
New in 2019, this event celebrates individuals and companies that are driving the industry forward. Categories recognize the impact that people and companies are having at the community, state, and national levels through innovation, sustainable business practices, and giving back to communities. These categories cover growers, manufacturers, and retailers across the country, honoring those who have made the biggest impact in their communities.
How to Focus Your Booth Design
The cannabis industry is young and growing. There are many new—and established—businesses all looking to capture a part of this expanding market. Many of them are also hoping to establish themselves as industry leaders. In this new industry, a “pecking order” has yet to be established, and there are few well-known players. Attending a marijuana business conference is your chance to claim your place in the industry and become one of them.
All of this points to branding as being one of your most important concerns when it comes to booth design. Whether you’re running a start-up or hoping to position your established business in a new industry, branding is the key. You must determine what makes the MJBizCon audience unique, decide how you want them to perceive your organization, and then make sure your branding does that for you.
Your exhibit should try to do the following:
- Showcase what your organization is good at and make it relevant to your target audience.
- Show your audience how your products or services can solve their problems.
- Make your most important pieces of information bite-size to prevent info overload – If people feel overwhelmed, they stop paying attention.
- Include multimedia to attract attention and provide information.
- Add interactive elements to make your booth more interesting and engaging than other exhibits at the cannabis business conference.
In a newer industry, the most effective kinds of exhibits are the ones that are highly visible in a crowded hall. Visibility is all-important at MJBizCon because with few established players, you have a better chance to capture audience attention for yourself. You’re not competing with well-established industry giants because there aren’t any yet. It’s a prime opportunity to claim your share. MJBizCon is the kind of show where your exhibit should focus on being visually impressive and highly visible. Think large custom exhibits, memorable graphics, interactive elements, and other features that command attention. A great presentation or product demonstration is useful too. The more visually interesting you can make it, the better!
A Can’t-Miss Event for Anyone Who’s Serious About Getting Ahead in the Industry
MJBizCon is the biggest and fastest-growing event in the marijuana industry. As such, it’s a high priority event for any individual or company working in the business. Even if you’re not, it’s worth considering whether your organization might find a new market by making an appearance.