The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and with that growth comes an increasing demand for cannabis conferences and events, like the granddaddy, MJ Biz in Las Vegas. Obtaining media coverage at a crowded conference is almost never an accident. Maximize your event budget with these 3 strategies that will get you PR at MJ Biz.
Think Like a Journalist and Plan Ahead
When you think about your cannabis marketing budget and calendar, you probably think about your needs or your customer’s needs, but for effective press coverage, add journalists and their needs. We’ve helped our clients stand out from the competitive cannabis show floors like MJ Biz with ideas that make the lives of journalists easier. When you think about what the day is like for a journalist who visits the trade show floor, you’ll get some empathy for their jobs. They’re looking for trends readers will click through to read while also looking for a distinctive point of view that will be different from every other journalist’s article. Ultimately, the journalist has the same challenge as you: standing out from the very crowded field.
Look at the trends impacting the cannabis industry and ancillary topics for ideas that will get you ahead of the competition on the expo floor. Think about how these trends are impacting the larger economy or general public and think about how you can talk about that trend in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the conference. A well-oiled cannabis industry expo PR campaign will include social media, direct media outreach, and perhaps even a press release.
Double Down on Expo Activations
From sponsorships to events, to stunts and ambassadors, the reason everyone loves a cannabis conference is there are so many ways to elevate your presence and raise awareness when there’s a captive audience.
While cannabis samples aren’t allowed on trade show floors, many cannabis companies get around this by hosting private events – at MJ Biz in Las Vegas, there are literally 10-30 private cannabis events every night. Given the saturation of these events, many companies look to stand out in other ways.
Think about guerilla marketing campaigns that leave an impression by following the event attendees around the city. This could include everything from subtle cues to flash mobs. A treasure hunt that rewards attendees and drives them to your booth is a good idea. This kind of word of mouth can intrigue cannabis journalists and give them an incentive to learn more.
Invite Cannabis Journalists
Before the MJ Biz Conference in Las Vegas, think about what scheduled activities will happen in your booth. Having a schedule of appearances, activities, or activations at your booth gives everyone an incentive to be there at a certain time, and who doesn’t love a crowd?
Then, give journalists a sneak peek. Reach out to journalists who will be covering MJ Biz and give them the schedule of events, activations, and on-trend topics your company is talking about at MJ Biz so the media knows where to find you and what’s interesting. Consider providing assets like quotes, images, and/or b-roll videos to journalists in advance. Being a resource to journalists is always a great way to make in-roads with media.
MJ Biz is one of the biggest and best-attended cannabis conferences in the U.S., but it certainly isn’t the only one. We keep an updated list of cannabis conferences available for download.
If you’d like more on-brand and tailored ideas that will maximize your cannabis expo investment, contact us directly. But don’t wait – the best campaigns come from thoughtful planning.
While there is no blueprint for creating a successful hyper-growth company, many of these businesses share some common qualities that help them stand out in the crowd of tech startups. But first, it’s essential to understand what a hypergrowth business is.
What Is A Hypergrowth Business?
Hypergrowth businesses are businesses that maintain a rapid rate of growth over time. The term “hyper-growth” was first coined in the Harvard Business Review. To be called a “hyper-growth” business, it must have a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 40% or more. Businesses with “rapid growth” have a CAGR between 20% and 40%. And businesses with “normal growth” maintain a CAGR below 20%. Hypergrowth usually occurs before a business has fully matured.
Many startup businesses are looking to be the next big hyper-growth company. Amazon, Uber, and Facebook are all excellent examples of hyper-growth companies. However, many hyper-growth companies eventually take a quick downturn and ultimately fail. Many hyper-growth companies fail because they get so focused on growth that they neglect to plan for challenges that the business will most certainly face during its rapid rise, including overworked employees, marketing costs, and a customer-focused culture, and more.
How Hypergrowth Companies Stand Out
Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Uber all set themselves apart from other hypergrowth companies and continued to maintain a steady growth rate over time. You gain insight into how hypergrowth companies like these stand out from the competition by following these tips.
They Keep Track of Emerging Trends and Offer Customers Real Value
Because the market is constantly in flux and consumers are continuously rethinking their wants and needs, hypergrowth businesses understand that they must keep track of emerging trends. When they see an opportunity, they take it. When they see a gap in the marketplace, they fill it with a product or service that has value for customers. Hypergrowth businesses understand that perceived value is not enough; customers seek products and services that add real value to their lives. Being flexible and focused on the company’s target audience and their changing wants and needs enables hypergrowth businesses to scale rapidly when an opportunity becomes successful.
They Know How To Identify Areas for Growth
Most businesses grow by expanding their current customer base by regularly offering new products and services or by targeting new customers by diversifying the products and services they offer and testing opportunities in new markets. Hypergrowth companies are successful because they know how to identify the most significant opportunities for growth and then strategically pursue that opportunity while keeping an eye on product performance and marketplace trends.
They Hire Focused Leadership
Hypergrowth companies understand the value of competent, focused leadership. Hypergrowth businesses that fail often do so because company leadership got so focused on the company’s rapid growth that they were unable to focus on other challenges that would inevitably arise due to rapid expansion. Successful hypergrowth companies hire leadership that can focus on both scaling the business and scaling other business areas to match the company’s growth.
Successful business leaders do much more than share a vision for the company’s growth. They also move the business forward by spotting emerging trends and constantly adapting to the constantly changing market. While remaining focused on the overall vision, they also focus on executing a business strategy to achieve their business objectives.
They Value Their Employees
Hypergrowth companies value the people who work for them and strive to foster a healthy workplace culture. Overworking employees can quickly cause a business’s culture to become toxic. Hypergrowth businesses provide employees with rewards and benefits that have value. A good work-life balance is far more rewarding and important to the average worker than access to ping pong tables and craft beer on tap. Hypergrowth company leaders understand that their employees are the catalysts for rapid growth and that the company’s culture starts with its workers. Hypergrowth company leaders are intentional about developing a healthy and unique company culture from the outset.
They Turn Their Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
Successful hyper-growth companies turn their customers into ambassadors for their brand. There are few things more powerful for a company than its customers going out into the world and gushing about the company’s product or service. Hypergrowth businesses rely on word of mouth and constantly identify potential brand ambassadors to promote their products and services. In addition to customers, other brand ambassadors might be employees or industry influencers. No matter how they spread the word about your brand, word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools a business can leverage.
They Measure Their Success
Hypergrowth businesses understand that success doesn’t happen due to dumb luck. Successful hyper growth businesses are constantly tracking their successes and failures, gaining insights into what is working and what isn’t by harnessing as much data as they can — the more data, the better.
They Are Flexible and Innovative
Perhaps one of the most important qualities of successful hyper-growth businesses is their flexibility and ability to innovate constantly. In the digital age, the world is changing rapidly every day. Successful hyper-growth companies understand that to achieve success, they must be malleable, constantly reassessing consumers’ wants and needs and new marketplace opportunities. Because consumers today have more choice, successful hyper-growth companies must constantly innovate to stand out above other companies.
Marketing for Hypergrowth
How can you market your company for hyper-growth? Implementing a focused and strategic public relations campaign is one of the best methods for customer-driven companies that are on the brink of or are already experiencing hypergrowth. The keys to successful hyper-growth PR is to reach a broad audience, keep them engaged, and letting your service or product sell itself. Some ways to do this include:
- Running giveaways and other promotions to attract new customers and keep them engaged
- Keep your existing customers informed and engaged with your company
- Show all of your customers that you care, not just through words but through your actions
PR for fast-growing companies can be challenging, and especially for those experiencing hypergrowth. With so many tasks to complete, outsourcing some of these efforts to a company with specific experience with hypergrowth PR is often recommended.
Contact Avaans Media
The foundation of any company is its vision, but a successful hyper-growth company grows due to a solid business strategy that meets its goals. If you have questions about hyper-growth business strategies, the PR team at Avaans Media is here to answer all your questions. Contact us today to discuss your business objectives.
As of today, there are 108 cannabis business tradeshows and expos around the world listed on our conference resource. It’s near impossible to go to them all and more importantly when you choose one, how do you turn an event into a consumer or cannabis industry PR opportunity?
We’re coming up on the annual big daddy of cannabis conferences: MJ Biz. It’s easily the largest single show in North America. If you’re planning on exhibiting, you might be thinking about how you’ll stand out and get PR at MJ Biz. Lean on your cannabis pr agency to turn your next conference into a cannabis event marketing opportunity. Since you’re spending significant time, energy, and money to be at a tradeshow or conference, it’s really important that you maximize the investment. The very last thing you want to do is walk away from a cannabis tradeshow wondering if it will make any impact on your bottom line. There are multitudes of reasons to go to cannabis events and conferences, mainly because the networking with thought leaders, colleagues, and clients, (more on that later), but be clear on how why your strategies. Little known tip: I used to be an owner for an industry trade show, so I’ve seen how even small companies can become great with some elbow grease and creativity. I’ve seen brand leaders come out of nowhere and suddenly be the toast of the town, by simply being smart about how they leverage a tradeshow.
Let Cannabis PR and Cannabis Event Marketing Work Together:
It’s critical to collaborate with cannabis PR agency on cannabis event marketing. Whether you’re doing CBD marketing or THC marketing, each of these cannabis events has a cannabis marketing and PR role to play. Regardless of what size your booth is, think about how you can and will activate on and off the floor. The obvious answer is sponsorships, which you can approach from a brand goal perspective. If your goal is simply awareness and you can afford the branding dollars, a major sponsorship can offer many CBD marketing and THC marketing benefits including SEO, cannabis business perception, and usually, some “insider and VIP” benefits. But even if you can’t afford one of the top-tier sponsorships, there are still a multitude of PR-worthy cannabis event marketing options available to you.
One often overlooked cannabis business PR opportunity: consider sponsoring a notable speaker (besides yourself) for a session that will drive mentions and press for far less. Maybe sponsoring a section of the floor makes more sense or work with the conference organizers on an off-the-floor event value-add (who is paying for the champagne at the cocktail reception?). For cannabis event marketing to stand out, it’s not enough to sponsor, be thinking about the value of “word of mouth,” and activations that will be memorable and get people talking. This is where your PR agency can help you develop cannabis event marketing strategies that fit in well with your brand development and PR budget.
Employ Big Fish/Small Pond Cannabis PR & Cannabis Marketing Strategies
What if you need to hit one of the larger shows, but you feel overwhelmed by the multitude of choices that aren’t tier 1 tradeshow or conferences? This is a great time to dig deep and choose another tradeshow or expo which you’d like to own. Owning the conference at a regional conference may well provide more cannabis branding and marketing benefits than being in booth 2067 at the largest conference in the country. Don’t let your FOMO dictate your cannabis marketing and cannabis PR budgets – be strategic about what you’re planning on doing at each conference. Be clear on the objectives and stay laser-focused on supporting those strategies. Bring together your cannabis marketing and cannabis PR firms (if they’re different) to view each conference through an ROI, press, and word of mouth opportunity and stack rank your options.
Host Your Own Cannabis PR-Worthy Event
The cannabis industry loves to network. We’re tied to one another navigating this wild-wild west and we know: personal connections, trusted collaborators, friends, and partners make all the difference.
You don’t need a celebrity to earn media at your event (it doesn’t hurt though), but you do need to consider creative options. Gone are the days that simply providing THC and CBD samples are enough to pull together a crowd.
What can you do that’s on-brand to activate the space?
Is there a space that’s noteworthy in your area?
Can you partner with a nonprofit?
How can you create synergies between your brand and the press?
What access can you provide the press?
What insider opportunities can you give them and your most engaged customers and clients?
Shhhh…My Most Important Cannabis Marketing & PR Tip:
My insider tip on how to turn your own cannabis event into a cannabis PR worthy opportunity? Look around at what everyone else is doing – and do something else. Be the first, the original, the most fun. Be something notable, and it will earn you press for days. Cannabis industry PR agencies are usually particularly great at developing ideas that will capture the imagination of the “been-there-done-that press.” If your existing cannabis PR firm is anything like us – they have a few ideas they’ve been dying to deploy. Here’s a bonus tip: if you don’t have a big budget, don’t make your event do the heavy lifting during major seasonal or industry blow-outs. A great cannabis event marketing strategy is to hold an event during a “downtime” in the industry, which will invigorate and inspire your stakeholders, press, and customers.