The burgeoning industry is starting to find new places to exhibit and sell beyond strictly “cannabis conferences”
A4 Group was awarded the Best Manufacturing prize in Frankfurt last month on October 13 at the World White Label Expo. They are a small manufacturing company focusing on the CBD space in Poland.
Congratulations go to the company as well as the event management company, Fortem International, for a well-deserved showing at an event that is bound to be popular in years to come for not only the CBD but THC industry as it becomes legal in Germany if not across the continent.
Free tickets to a well-run event are also a great draw.
Impact of Normalization of Cannabis on Trade Fairs
The impact on trade fairs once the plant is finally legalized in Germany if not other countries is going to be massive. Cannabis will increasingly not need “cannabis specific” conferences, at least not as they have currently been conformed, and will increasingly blend into other established venues.
This will take a few years. However, the preponderance of CBD companies in Frankfurt last month was a telling sign of the transition underway. It is not just this conference where it was noticeable, but others, including the rise of cannabis companies at other mainstreamed events, including but not limited to Expopharm and of course the CPHI now also underway in Frankfurt.
That said, it is a good transition. While cannabis conferences per se are clearly not going to disappear, their influence on the “scene” will take a smaller importance as firms can fit into other industries.
It will also allow for a much better mix of ideas and concepts to enter the new industry and ideas from it to flow into mainstream business practices.
It does not mean the cannabis conference is “dead.” What it does mean is that the entire segment will, inevitably, mature and shift into something a bit different post legalization.
B2C vs B2B Cannabis
It is going to be increasingly difficult to distinguish between B2C and B2B cannabis fairs. This is in part because, with a lack of advertising as an issue that is likely to continue, this is one of the best places to promote one’s firm. That is one of the benefits of trade fairs in this industry so far, just about everywhere.
That said, integrating into mainstream conferences and trade fairs will also ameliorate this a bit.
There is also likely to be increased competition on the conference front.
Unless B2B conferences clearly delineate their audiences, and stay specialized, they will almost certainly ending up merging with the bigger B2C events.
It was striking that this was the first conference I had been to where process was celebrated. Most of the cannabis industry trade fairs are more interested in bringing together producers and distributors as well as helping cannabis companies find money. How much of the heat generated at such fairs translates into “deal energy” is an immeasurable thing, beyond signed deals.
That said, as the industry matures, expect to see differentiation entering the market. Manufacturing, packaging, testing, and other issues are still in their infancy in the cannabis industry, no matter how evolved they are elsewhere. The great merging is about to begin, and the cannabis industry will be better for it.
So will the other industries that cannabis will end up influencing.
The great integration has just begun, and the resulting mixes, matches and hybrid solutions will be interesting to watch.