Tens of thousands of visitors and more than 1,100 exhibitors swarmed the Las Vegas Convention Center over four days in October for MJBizCon 2021. The event traditionally is the largest on the calendar of cannabis trade shows and a must-visit for the “picks and shovels” ancillary companies that provide the tools for the plant-touching businesses to thrive.
mg Magazine reached out to some of the exhibitors to ask them how productive the show was for them and whether they achieved their goals.
Sarah Falvo of the Arcview Group, a financial services company, has attended the show many times. In 2021, “it was a very different experience due to the fact that everyone has been separated for so long,” she said. “The vibes and buzz were so high and there was just so much excitement in the air. I also learned there are — finally — more women coming into and working in the space, which is a wonderful thing.”
For Sagar Patel of seed-to-sale software solutions provider Forian, “The event as a whole was a success. We met with various potential customers, had a chance to convene with existing customers, learned about partnership and integration opportunities, and more.”
Packaging Company Calyx Containers always finds value in the show, but this year’s event was special, according to Simon Knobel. “To celebrate getting the cannabis community back together in person, our goal was to create four unforgettable Calyx experiences on the show floor to make this a return everyone would remember. The turnout was incredible — so many enthusiastic attendees all three days. We can still feel the energy from the show floor now that we’re back to business at home.”
Eric Vlosky of PurePressure, an extraction company, was glad to see movement toward a return to normalcy after more than a year of distant relationships. “MJBizCon 2021 was the best trade show we have been to in a long time,” he said. “It really felt like everything is coming back to normal for the industry in some key ways, and we were finally able to have meaningful in-person meetings with our prospects and customers.”
The 2021 show marked the first time newcomer Tyler Williams, founder and Chief Technical Officer for Cannabis Safety & Quality (CSQ), attended the event. He was struck by the similarities between cannabis and his former industry. “We were happy to get several leads and generate lots of interest around CSQ’s new cGMP/cGAP standards. Coming from the food-safety world, one part of the show that was particularly fascinating to me was how similar all of the tech and machinery dispersed across the show floor looked compared to what’s been circulating in the food industry for years.”
Lorrie Schultz of lighting company Fluence by OSRAM echoed the thoughts many other representatives mentioned. “After being away from our colleagues and friends from the industry for so long, the energy in the hall was incredible. We made hundreds of connections with growers, partners and retailers, and it was so refreshing to do so in person. For us, the 2021 event provided the perfect platform to debut numerous product innovations we couldn’t wait to share. We walked away empowered with customer feedback and energized to follow up on the invaluable conversations we had and synergies established within our booth. We are looking forward to connecting with our worldwide network at an even bigger event in 2022.”
HAL Extraction Technology’s Al Stein said, “We had a great time at MJBizCon this year and connected with many old faces as well as new ones. With this year boasting over 15,000 attendees, it was impossible to speak with everyone who stopped by our booth. So, we made a point to network at the plethora of brand-sponsored happy hours and parties, which proved to be incredibly fruitful for us this year.”
For Canadian vape manufacturer TOQi Technologies LTD, the show served as an opportunity to launch products in an international market and receive in-the-moment feedback. “We were so excited to be at MJBizCon, not just because we viewed the event as our U.S. expansion launch pad, but because we couldn’t wait to see how attendees would react to our products,” said representative Drew Henson. “There is nothing like seeing someone’s face light up when they like what you’re showing them — an enthusiasm that can’t be disguised by technology. You’re able to try different messaging, show different angles, and see what works and what doesn’t. We can’t do that over Zoom or a phone call, but we can do that at a trade show that brings thousands of people from all over the world together.
“It was interesting to witness the differences in markets; how a retail partner in Illinois reacts to a product versus someone from Puerto Rico,” he continued. “Seeing people’s excitement for our dab-on-the-go system helped us recognize that dabbing in the U.S. is becoming more ubiquitous and should continue to be a focus for our products. That’s the kind of insight we can’t get anywhere else except at a show like MJBizCon.”