When it to ways to promote a cannabis business, the options are limited. Extremely limited.
Online paid ad channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or more recently Tik Tok all have strict policies when it comes to advertising cannabis.
When you consider that eCommerce is booming, and internet-based businesses have captured an increasing percentage of sales in 2024, this is an ever-increasing issue for the cannabis Industry.
Entrepreneurs In This Space Need Expos
Entrepreneurs take risks to a) jump into cannabis and b) launch Hemp or Marijuana brands online. Unfortunately, there isn’t much they can do to create noise and interest through paid online advertising.
This also applies in B2B, as cannabis manufacturers and white labelers cannot market to potential brands downstream to serve more customers.
Thankfully, tradeshows such as the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo brought to the nation by Weedmaps and held by the Southwest Event Group changed the game for medical marijuana expos.
So what was the SWCCExpo, and why was it so important for medical cannabis and the B2B space?
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SWCC – The Premier Educational Medical Cannabis Expo
Launched in 2014, when medical cannabis was still in its very early days (although today, we’ve still got a long way to go), the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo brought together thought leaders and business owners together.
Given how early in the discussion of medical marijuana this expo was, it not only stirred up some interesting conversations but picked up stories from those helped by cannabis and the impact federal legalization could have on the nation.
Two years later, the same team launched the SECC – otherwise known as the South East Cannabis Conference.
Within a few years, both cannabis expos were held in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (SWCC) and Phoenix, Arizona (SECC), leading to coast to coast coverage in 2 events and each between 150-300 exhibitors.
From 2014, the expo became an immediate success and has had visitors attend from the USA, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The Cannabis World Of Tomorrow
Being strictly a business-to-business event, SWCC & SECC quickly picked up traction both on a regional and national level as an educational conference for those looking to enter or increase revenue within the cannabis industry.
Coined the cannabis world of tomorrow, the event was headlined by famous key note speakers, including the ex-prime minister of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and published author Bruce Barcott.
Other Speakers & Guests
Ex-NFL players attending the expo raised its profile and prominent doctors in the field outside of keynote speakers.
As the event matured and viewpoints started to shift across the nation in respect to the applicability of medical cannabis and the interest in CBD Hemp oil, Pro athletes came out in support of cannabis, catapulting the expo even further.
While being an 18+ event, it’s important to note the organizers explicitly banned cannabis use outside of federally legal Hemp-derived CBD!
Medical Pot Expos Looking Ahead
The future looks bright for B2B cannabis and especially events like the SWCC & SECC Expo.
With an initial and natural expansion into Mexico, where federal legalization is likely to move faster, SWCC partners have yielded interest internationally in creating events to nurture the B2B medical cannabis industry.