5 Tips for Better Cannabis Industry Networking
If you have worked in non-cannabis corporate America or pounded the pavement in the start-up world, you know that making the right connections can be an exhausting task. The thing about cannabis networking is that it has the potential to be way more fun than your standard industry trade show, and not just because no one really cares if you are just a little stoned (don’t go crazy).
Mindset is a huge part of cannabis networking. Depending on your personality, meeting a ton of new people can be exciting or it can be overwhelming. Regardless of where you fall in your perspective, remember that we are lucky to live in a day and age where there is enough de-stigmatization surrounding the industry that we are able to participate in a largely-legal cannabis market.
Seriously, it’s about time.
On top of that, you may have the opportunity to attend cool cannabis-specific networking events like the TeeHC Open Cannabis Golf Tournament. Here are a few ways to make the most of your cannabis industry networking opportunities.
1. Know Why You’re Here
Cannabis is a business, just like any other. Ok . . . that’s not exactly true. The cannabis industry is largely uncharted territory and it takes an adventurous mindset to want to get involved. Before you go about mingling with others, take a moment to reflect on what it is about the industry that drives you to be here. Not just here at the cannabis networking event, but here as in the cannabis industry.
Understanding your own motivation may help you identify others who are similarly motivated. For example, if you are a dispensary owner who is driven to educate your community about the wellness benefits of cannabis, you may find it beneficial to have a conversation with a sales representative of a wellness-focused CBD brand, or a pharmacist that works in the industry.
2. Understand the Industry
Like any other agricultural commodity, there are a lot of steps between putting seeds in the ground and the final product sale. Regardless of where you are along the path of getting cannabis into the hands of consumers, it is important to have a general understanding of the industry and its different components. This is especially true if you are new to the world of cannabis.
Here is a general overview of cannabis businesses that you may run across while networking:
- Seed breeders
- Cannabis growers (farmers)
- Product manufacturers
- Laboratories for product development or testing
- Compliance specialists
- Marketing firms
- Product brands
- Medical professionals
- Sales representatives
Having a solid understanding of the cannabis industry will ensure that you are not wasting time asking about big-picture industry processes when you should be learning more about how a specific company or person differentiates their business and how it relates to your own.
This may seem like really basic advice for those who have been in the industry for a while, but this particular industry is constantly changing. Do yourself a favor and brush up on the latest industry news before your cannabis networking event.
3. Attitude is Everything
Whether you are a high-level executive in a large, publicly-traded cannabisness, or a budtender who has only been on the job a few weeks, everyone is valuable.
Have you ever walked away from an interaction knowing the person you spoke to wasn’t actually listening and has already forgotten your name? Don’t be that guy who takes someone for granted. You may need that connection later on, and even if you don’t, being a nice person will go a long way.
Making people feel comfortable and valued is one of a professional’s greatest assets. You may not have all the answers, but if you meet someone during a cannabis networking event and they remember nothing else about you except that you were really nice and considerate, they are more likely to find a reason to work with you than they are the stuck up businessman with an abundance of resources.
4. Forward Thinking
The cannabis industry is still in its infancy, and there are so many possibilities on where it can take you. Research shows that 70% of all jobs are not published publicly on jobs sites and as many as 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections like those made while networking.
If you don’t currently have the position you want in the industry, that’s ok. There’s a good chance that the right opportunity or connection just hasn’t come along yet. Daydreams aside, focus on being the best at what you are doing now while making connections with people who may have the right opportunity for you later.
5. Take Action
Exchanging business cards or leave-behind marketing collateral is only the first step in making a meaningful cannabis networking connection. You have to have follow-up. Communicate your next steps to the person you are engaging with. This could sound like:
- “I’ll shoot you an email early next week”
- “Do you want to grab coffee sometime this month?”
- “Let’s hop on a call soon to talk more about that.”
- “I’ll find and message you on Linkedin.”
- “Here is my calendar. What day can we meet?”
- “I will text you as soon as I know more.”
Set the expectation that you will speak again. Obviously, this may not apply to everyone you meet through cannabis industry networking, but sending out one quick email could go a long way in achieving a meaningful connection. According to one Linkedin study, 35% of participants reported that a casual conversation through Linkedin messaging led to a business opportunity.
Cannabis Networking at the TeeHC Open
When you are strategizing the best way to prepare for this cannabis industry networking opportunity, recognize that the TeeHC open is very different (in a good way) from what you are used to.
- 18 holes of golf
- Mini golf (for the casual golfers)
- Helicopter ball drop raffle
- Stoned slow flow yoga and sound bath
- Guest speakers
- Happy hour drinks
- Cigar truck
- Team building game show
- Dedicated networking opportunities
- Much more
We’re all here to make friends and have a good time. The most important thing you can bring with you for the best possible experience is a positive mindset.
To learn more about how you can attend this exclusive event, visit our Event page.