Thinking about attending a cannabis conference and wondering what kind of characters to expect? Here are the 7 stereotypes you’ll see at your next show.
Anyone who’s attended a cannabis conference knows it’s a, call it different, kind of event. Depending on the location and niche, venues range from sold out convention centers to community college gyms. But, no matter where I go, I seem to run into the same cast of characters, here are the 7 stereotypes you’ll see at your next show.
The suit either comes from a professional background or is trying to present that way. Besides the awkwardness of wearing a full suit to a cannabis conference, you’ll recognize this type by their sense of arrogance compared to others in the industry. The Suit often has preconceived notions about cannabis enthusiasts and will let those biases cloud their ability to network effectively. The Suit probably doesn’t smoke weed either, get out of here Suit.
White Collar Stoners
This type owns a cannabis business, works at one, or has a career that doesn’t frown upon cannabis use. They clearly smoke, a lot, but have their act together enough to be a fully functioning adult contributing to society. Imagine that? WCS attend shows to network and advance their career ambitions. The White Collar Stoner knows that these events are an opportunity to create long lasting relationships and probably has several successful ventures that originated at cannabis events.
The Stereotypical Stoner
This type forgot it’s 2017 and likely still has a Spicoli poster somewhere in their mom’s basement. We get it, you love weed, but your shirt, hat, backpack, and stench don’t need to scream it. This type wants legal cannabis but none of the restrictions that would lead to responsible use. They attend shows in groups to hang with buds, purchase pipes, merchandise, and other swag.
The Old Guard
Let us remember and respect those that carried the torch before us. The Old Guard has been fighting for cannabis rights for decades and we owe them a lot for taking things this far. The Old Guard doesn’t really like the commercialization of the plant and wants to it be homegrown and tax free. They will often beleaguer the progress being made and talk of Big Pharma taking over. The OG isn’t there for business, they are there to see old friends, make new ones, and recount stories from their youth. The OG also has fire week, so make friends and you might learn something cool and burn something special.
The Kingpin can be anyone at a show, so make sure you are cool to everyone. They might be wearing shorts and shirt, but you don’t know that the shirt represents a nutrient company they own doing over 10 million a year in sales. The Kingpin has created a successful cannabis business that is probably receiving a lot of attention. They’re at the show to expand their business or bask in their success. They are also going to the best after party, they might even be the host.
An extremely upbeat attitude, buzzwords, and bright, sometimes reddened, eyes are telltale signs of a millennial entrepreneur at a cannabis conference. They are there for a job, partnership, or investment and they don’t take much time in getting to the point. There might be an app or iPad involved. Side Note: Tradeshows are a great place to learn about potential places of employment, but temper your approach. Unless you’re at a career fair, the booth personnel are likely not involved in the recruiting process. Get their contact info, say thanks, send a killer follow up email.
The ME will respond best to direct communication. They will ask about the after party, but be prepared to smoke them out if you tell them where, cause the typical ME has terrible weed ethics.
These people come from outside the industry and generally have a negative outlook on cannabis, but they’re at least willing to attend a show to have their biases challenged. Tire Kickers range from competing industries to politicians and they enter the show looking to see what it’s all about and leave wide eyed with more questions than they entered with. Tire Kickers probably aren’t going to buy any product, yet, but they might buy into the legitimacy of the industry after a positive conversation or two.
Cannabis industry events are unique experiences that everyone should partake in at least once. Attending with an open mind and positive attitude will go miles in creating an enjoyable visit. Be on the look out for the usual suspects listed above and react accordingly.
Anyone I missed? Let me know in the comments, the industry is full of characters and I’m sure I missed someone.