The Super Bowl of Cannabis, MJBizCon in Las Vegas, is coming up on mid-November. Whether this is your first attempt or an annual trek some planning is in order. There is so much to see and so many people to meet that many attendees leave saying “What Happened?” This will be my fourth consecutive year and I have seen the attendance triple in that timeframe. Advance planning is a must. I had the chance to interview Cassandra Farrington the CEO and Co-founder of Marijuana Business Daily who puts on MJBizCon. She offered the following suggestions:
- Stay Close-by. This is a lengthy and exhausting event. You will want to go back to the room mid-day for a break perhaps. Staying on the North end of the Strip would be best. The Westgate, Stratosphere and SLS are all large properties fairly close to the Las Vegas Convention Center. The South end of the Strip could be a 25 minute Uber ride especially in the morning. “At the end of the day you might well want to change before you head out to after events which are mostly within a short distance of the Convention Center” says Farrington.
- Plan a couple of evening events ahead of time. Many of the VIP events are sold out by the time the show starts. If you can try to get one per evening scheduled in and then leave some room for extras as you mingle with exhibitors and attendees. There are many events each evening and something to fit everyone’s taste. The MJBizCon website will list these events under “affiliated events”.
- Cassandra suggested that attendees “Pace yourself and know yourself. Understand it is a marathon.” I can assure you that you will not starve or be under served with party favors here. Complimentary Food offerings in the Exhibit hall are really all you need during the day and surprisingly good. Receptions go into the wee hours like 4-5 am. I have had appointments at 1am. This does not add up to an early start to the next day, so my advice is not to schedule anything early mornings. When you go home do not plan anything for the weekend. You will be as tired as jet lag on a 20 hour flight.
- Study the Agenda. I know this sounds trite but how many of us do go over the conference Agenda and Exhibitor list before arriving? MJBizCon has become so big that you can easily get lost without a plan. Pick a favorite Pre-Conference session. On Tuesday for example MJBizCon will be conducting the Institutional Investor Conference. These have a smaller intimate environment with like-minded people. Keep that theme with any presentations you attend. This way you will interact with folks that you are more likely to learn from and keep in touch with.
- Think ahead as to how you are going to remember everyone your meet. Perhaps taking their photo with badge clearly present is a good way if they don’t mind. Make notes on your phone after you meet people. With 20,000 attendees you will be hard-pressed to remember everyone.
Cassandra ended our conversation by reminding readers that this is a fun event with incredible energy. This is one of the top events in Las Vegas now and almost all residents seem to embrace it. There is a BUZZ which you will pick up as soon as you tell your Uber driver why you are in town.
Published: September 18, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News