What’s the Deal with MJBizCon?

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For those who haven’t been, MJBiz is the largest cannabis industry event in the world. From vaping pens to extraction machines, from CBD products for pets to actual dogs for your grow’s security needs, from lighting companies to financial services etc.

There was even a cameo by Gene Simons and few other celebrities. It is so big that it feels incredibly overwhelming. Walking all the aisles is a task that takes many hours.

But that’s what makes it inspiring. This industry has grown so much in such a short time and MJBiz is the representation of that.

This is a premium event not only in terms of quality but price tag as well. A 200 sqf (18m2) booth will cost you roughly 10000 USD. The booth building services will go from 6500 USD (a basic shell scheme stand) and up, and if you decide to rent furniture from the organiser you will be paying 350 USD for a small cabinet, or 1000 USD for a 48” TV. It is that expensive to exhibit at MJBiz!

And it’s not any cheaper for the attendees. They will pay 399 USD to walk the show.

Is it worth it? Depends on your needs. Companies get to establish a brand presence in the ‘place to be’ event, get to meet a lot of their leads plus acquire a ton of new ones. Everyone is at MJBiz which is why it’s a great place to understand our industry.

An event like this gives access to the kind of leads that one is enough to justify the investment to exhibit at the event (and several upcoming ones, and maybe even break even your company). The fact that it’s in Vegas also doesn’t hurt.

With all its glorious tackiness and glitz, it’s hard not to let loose, let go and make some memories there. Some which you’ll cherish and some which you’ll never again speak of.

Having participated in this event for years we can say it’s organized meticulously. For the most part. This year, on day 1 it took attendees about 2 hours to get in because the staff was inefficient in letting people in. Perhaps because the attendance confirmation was a tiny, pixelated bar code, or perhaps because to scan those they hired the cast of Cocoon.

For an event that lasts 21 hours total and costs 10 grand on average to exhibit those 2 hours are worth a lot of money. We are still to see if the organisers will make a statement regarding this snafu.

The event is preceded by a one day conference that costs 349 USD to attend. They have 3 tracks: a crash course of the entire marijuana industry, a science symposium and a hemp seminar.

I attended the crash course, was pleased with it but would recommend it with caution. On one hand I got to learn how much it costs to set up a dispensary, what the legal requirements are for running a business of infused products, why banks hate us, how to navigate marketing of an industry as regulated and controversial as ours etc. This was all beneficial.

On the other hand, far too many precious minutes of this event were spent explaining that ‘Indica = in da couch’ and ‘Sativa = stay up late’. I doubt there was anyone in the audience who didn’t know that, or what the difference between marijuana and hemp is. My colleague, a biologist was in the science symposium and was pleased with it.

Should you exhibit there? If you have the money, go for it. It will pay off more than print or digital because there is a good amount of serious growers who attend. Be careful about booth positioning!

There were some serious discrepancies in the traffic flow. Naturally, it all flowed to the right of the floor but then poorly propagated to other areas.

In other words, the mezzanine that was to the right of the entrance looked like a party in Ibiza, while the rest was like a waiting room at a spa salon. Not all of the time, but most of it.

MJBiz won’t let you just place your booth wherever you wish. They have a point system: you get one point for each dollar spent exhibiting with them and two points for each dollar spent advertising in Marijuana Business Magazine or on their digital platforms.

Based on your total number of points you get placed in a queue and get to state your preference from whatever is left over. The ‘Ibiza’ mezzanine was filled last. Exhibitors chose the central areas first and the mezzanine was allocated at the very end by companies with least amount of points. Ironically they got most of the traffic.

See you all in Vegas in December 2019!

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