June 13th, 2019
The Cannabis Edition
Last week was Canadian Cannabis Week! This is the unofficial Canadian Super Bowl of cannabis. One of the biggest events that took place last week was the four-day conference and expo hosted by Lift & Co.
Lift & Co was fucking lit! Being a part of one of the biggest Canadian cannabis industry events is honestly a spectacle that can’t be missed! However, surviving and making the best of a massive industry level event is definitely a skill that must be learned while on the job. Here are some tips that I have learned along the way.
Planning and What to Plan
I have definitely been the type to take things in stride and go with the flow, but after attending one or more conferences along the way. Research and planning can really save a lot of time and maximize your efforts. One thing that can really take your networking to the next level is the weeks leading up to the event, check in with your circle and see who will be there and make an effort to contact them about meeting up. This way you can set up a flexible schedule and provide some direction (literally) of where you’re going on the floor. This is also a chance to meet the people that you socialize with on social media! Everyone is on the same mindset to meet and mingle! Take advantage!
Checking the schedule for talks and panel discussions will definitely be beneficial but be realistic, sitting through eight talks in one day is not practical. Highlight the ones that are relevant to you and do talk-shifts. You want to observe but you also don’t want to miss out on sharing your story or the work you’re doing.
Don’t forget to take lunch breaks (or smoke breaks)!- Stay hungry but not literally!
Battle of the Business Cards
Business cards have been a hit or miss for me in the networking world. I’ve been trying to take on a paperless way of life and to minimize ninja-whacking business cards at people. However, there is still a power to the business card, especially if you are the one that can make the second connection.
I made a very strict rule with myself that if the person I am speaking with does not explicitly ask for a business card, I do not hand one out. I’m probably breaking every rule of networking custom. But this is only because I have left networking events, where I was completely drained of business cards and didn’t receive any follow-up. It’s just more practical and less wasteful to be the one that collects.
Be sure to designate a spot of where to put the cards you receive and write a small detail about the person that you interacted with so it’s easier to manage the email follow up afterwards. I once received cards from three different men who all shared the same name – it was an extra step to recall which card was from who. Being able to quickly jot down a detail of what they’re wearing or a topic you spoke with them about will really streamline the post follow up process.
What to Bring
This is the “Dora the Explorer” in me. Here’s my list of the things I bring with me to make sure I am fully prepared for if the ceiling decides to collapse on me. JK!
- External battery pack and charging cables;
- Small snack
- Extra Bag (foldable)
- Business cards
- Pen and notebook
Networking at conferences and expos is a skill best learnt on the job and the only way to perfect it is through consistency and attendance.
Being in attendance at this year’s Lift & Co Cannabis Expo was incredible! It was amazing to see how much busier the event has gotten. There’s actually a line up to network with people. Though the one thing that hasn’t changed is that the culture of the event is still the same. Open, transparent, and completely welcoming! Let’s keep it going, Canada!