Interchange was a big success!
Follow-up event scheduled for November
Time is money. Everyone knows those famous words of advice. For business people, it’s especially true. Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched the cannabis industry grow and mature. Many things have changed, and it’s been fascinating to observe. One of the obvious signs that we are participating in an extremely young industry is the huge number of meet-ups, trade shows, expos and every other type of “canna-event” imaginable.
It was the same in the early days of CD-ROMs and the Internet. New business owners wanted to be around like-minded individuals, resulting in an endless array of events and trade shows. Of course, in the end, most of the events went away and a few big winners emerged. For the CD-ROM/gaming business, the major shows ended up being CES and E3. Most of the smaller shows disappeared because serious businesspeople can’t afford to spend endless hours traveling from event to event. Eventually, they have to stop traveling and take care of the tasks at hand. In other words, wasting time on shows and social gatherings is wasting money.
This is one of the reasons we’ve avoided the “me too” show business, and stayed neutral when it comes to events we support or sponsor. Obviously, some of the shows are better than others. In my mind, the biggest thing most of the shows lack is a more outward-looking selection of speakers. Past Cannabis Cup winners, who regularly speak at industry trade shows, are about as relevant to a large-scale commercial grow operation as a horse and buggy expert would be to managing an Indy 500 race team. I’d like to see more speakers who have real experience in agriculture and managing commercial greenhouses, experts in distribution/operations and other professionals who can bring outside management skills to a largely insulated industry that has historically looked inward.
We’ve decided to stay out of the trade show wars. However, we did see the need for an organized buyers market, and this resulted in Marijuana Venture’s Interchange event in June. Modeled after similar events in the media world, Interchange is a simple concept: For two days, vendors and buyers have a series of private meetings scheduled every half hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. We wanted to keep our first Interchange relatively small and manageable by limiting it to 25 retailers and 30 vendors. It was a huge success, and the feedback we received from both buyers and vendors was extremely positive. Everyone agreed that they got a lot of business done in a short period of time.
Here are a couple of comments from attendees after the event ended:
– “Interchange was an amazing success. I had one great meeting after another and did six months’ worth of work in two days.” Greg Walters, Prohibition Gold, Seattle.
– “I sold out of stock completely and could have moved another 500 pounds of bud if I had it.” Byron Miller, Techbud, Omak.
– “We opened up several new vendors during the show and look forward to the next one.” Troy Lozano, 2020 Solutions, Bellingham.
Because of the incredible success, we have booked the Renton Pavilion again and will be organizing a post-harvest Fall Interchange on Nov. 9-10. This time we will expand the event to include more than 50 major retailers, and the vendors will be limited to about 60. If your company is interested in participating in the Fall Interchange, contact us at 425-656-3621 and we can place you on the vendor list.