As I write this, I’m just back from our third RAD (Retail and Dispensary) Expo in Portland, Oregon. The show went really well, and the feedback from both exhibitors and attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
In the current environment, where there are cannabis trade shows, meet-ups, expos and conferences just about every week, standing out from the crowd is difficult. Attendance is down across the board, and many events have felt the pinch as a result. Not the RAD Expo. Our show is growing.
Like Marijuana Venture, the RAD Expo was conceived from Day 1 as a highly focused business event. The plan was not to go after everyone and every conceivable vendor, but to build a trade event specifically for the retail side of the business with only exhibitors and speakers that offered something of real value to dispensaries and would-be retailers. For us this meant forgoing the “easy money” associated with charging an entry fee for the general public, selling booths to vendors that weren’t a good fit or collecting speaking fees from folks with little or no real-world experience.
In a sense, you could call RAD Expo the non-traditional cannabis show. Unlike other events, no one at RAD Expo had to wait in two-hour lines to get a badge, put up with huge crowds of lookie-loos or listen to investor pitches from people with questionable motivations or qualifications. On the RAD Expo show floor, it was the same thing: Store owners didn’t have to wade through miles of greenhouses, extraction manufacturers, nutrients or gimmicky products to find vendors with goods aimed at them.
The entire event has been planned with one purpose: To help retailers with their business. Period.
We took the same approach on the speaker side. Our speakers were experienced in retail and came from various backgrounds and experience levels that offered real advice to those who took the time to listen.
The feedback we got from folks who attended our speaker sessions and panels was incredible, and everyone I talked to told me that they had never been to a cannabis trade event where they learned so much from the presenters.
Anyone who’s been following this business and paying attention knows by now that the promise of easy money and giant profits were mostly a pipe dream.
The Green Rush hysteria in early states to legalize recreational, adult-use cannabis is finally stabilizing to a point where the dreamers have been mostly weeded out. Now, the smart, hard-working business people have started making decent profits. In Oregon and Washington, the huge oversupply of flower has been replaced by a more balanced supply/demand situation, and things are normalizing.
The remaining business owners are now focused on refining their models, increasing profits and getting on with the hard work required to run a successful business.
At Marijuana Venture, our goal is to continue to bring valuable information and products to the cannabis business community, and RAD Expo 2020 will follow a clear path blazed by the first three. It will be a professional, focused, business-only event for the retail side of the business.
See you at the next RAD Expo sometime in the fall of 2020!