Why is Growing Your Business Through Real Connections So Important?
Establishing and growing a brand for your company can make or break your success in the cannabis industry. Having real, reliable connections is essential for insider industry knowledge and a helping hand through the network you can trust.
If you have heard the saying, “your network is your net worth” then you understand the importance of
networking, but will still take some gems from these business networking tips for cannabis professionals.
Whether you are newly entering the cannabis industry or are an industry veteran looking to brush up on
cannabis networking 101 to launch a new brand. Rest assured this post will have something helpful for
The legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, so it is important to use
some gut discernment and a lot of face time in building your network of trusted associates, mentors,
and friends. Sadly, there are more horror stories than happy conclusions with business relationships
turning sour in the cannabis industry. That is why it is important to have regular check-ins with your
peers and colleagues through industry-specific networking events, trade shows. Including the occasional
coffee, lunch, or happy hour.
Do hit up industry trade shows, don’t dismiss events in your local cannabis community
Depending on how long you have worked in the cannabis industry, you may recognize or have attended
national industry events like MJBizCon and CannaCon. National, regional, and local industry trade shows
are a fantastic way to meet new clients, people from different markets, and target specific brands.
Along with suppliers and individuals that could serve as potential resources for your company.
Newer brands may consider exhibiting at events in a local market first. As regional and national shows
have exhibition prices that can exceed $3000 and price out newcomers with limited budgets. Do not let
that discourage you! Being at these larger events as an attendee is just as fruitful of an experience if you work it the right way.
In most cases, walking the floor with an attendee ticket will give you the chance to access multiple
companies and individuals in a shorter time. Researching floorplans beforehand and writing down
specific booths you would like to visit is a great strategy for managing trade shows as an attendee.
If you choose to walk the floor as an attendee, make sure you have business cards, samples, or swag to
give away, so people remember you and your brand. Setting offsite meetings for later in the day is a
wonderful way to get to know new connections on a one-to-one basis; while establishing mutual goals
without the distractions of events and trade shows.
Exhibiting Networking 101
Exhibiting at industry trade shows, on the other hand, will give your company a chance to introduce
itself to hundreds or even thousands of visitors, depending on the show. Also, you can do it on your own
terms in your own dedicated space. Maximize your time with trade show attendees by planning an off-site happy hour or dinner to invite select VIPs from your daily meetings.
After the show is over, plan to spend a week doing follow-ups with the business cards and contact
information you gathered at the event. Keep in mind that time is of the essence and the sooner you
reach out, the better your chance of making a lasting impression.
If you do not hear back upon first emailing your new contacts, don’t give up and try again in a week. Put
your energy towards the people who do respond and know that the people who believe in you and your
brand will want to stay connected.
The best way to stay connected and up to date with your business associates and acquaintances is to
make time to connect with them individually. Whether it is a simple phone call to check in after an
extended period or setting a meeting at a coffee shop to catch up after a few months have passed.
Doing so will help deepen your connections and keep you and your brand at the forefront of the people
who want to see you succeed in the cannabis industry.
Al Stein is the marketing manager at HAL Extraction Technology. Prior to joining HAL, Al’s career focused on building outside-the-box marketing and social campaigns for small and large brands both inside and out of the cannabis industry.