Hall of Flowers Santa Rosa quickly approaches. The 2022 Santa Rosa trade show will bring 1250 buyers and over 300 exhibitors to the Sonoma County Fairground for our biggest homecoming yet.
Santa Rosa was our inaugural show. This is where Hall of Flowers was born. We are proud to have our roots in Northern California. It is among the Redwoods we will host our largest trade show in the series. And it’s the only Hall of Flowers locale (so far) to feature unique conference elements like our insightful speakers at Core Conversations.
But how does a cannabis brand stand out among the competition? With 300 exhibitors, how do these growers and producers really grab the attention of the retailer and ultimately, the consumer? We spoke with some of the best buyers in the industry to see what they look for on the floor.
Here are 10 tips from buyers to brands for ways to stand out among the competition.
- Quality is everything: “Bring your heat. This is where everyone shows who is who. Show you care,” says Jimi Devine, journalist and buyer at Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley. “A lot of brands have dented their overall image in poor showings at Hall of Flowers.”
- Know your product: “As far as brands go, I really like it when I stop at a booth and the crew really knows their products inside and out,” says Creedence Perkins, a buyer at Moe Greens. Make sure you can answer the tough questions and really understand what you’re offering to consumers. Be well-read in your brand’s language.
- Put the Flower in Hall of Flowers: “Flower is still king, as much as we all love the latest and greatest gummies,” says Devine. “That’s what people will be the most critical of as they try and compare everything against the pack, myself included.”
- Innovative, savory edibles: “I’m excited to see new edibles that help with sleep, and I hope to see innovation on the savory side of the market. New infused drinks with complex flavors that resemble craft cocktails are something I’m interested in as well,” says Andrés Rigal, co-founder and buyer at The Green Queen in Downtown LA.
- Tell a compelling brand story: “As a buyer I keep an eye out for product quality, innovation and a compelling brand story that will resonate with my customers,” says Rigal. “LGBTQ+, women and BIPOC-led brands remain a priority.”
- Think long term: “Understanding every component of what goes into the product is what we look for,” says Alana Hellman, VP of Supply Chain at Mankind Dispensary. “We grade cannabis products several ways, come prepared to dig deep into all facets of your brand. It’s a delicate balance between supply chain and marketing/sales support so long-term partnership is critical.”
- Be a tastemaker: You don’t need to follow the pack. Instead, try leading it. Never-before-seen products are what some buyers are looking for. “We want to collaborate with artisan, small-batch, legacy operators in innovative ways,” says Hellman. Her retail’s goal is to bring a unique product, “to the tastemakers and mainstream customers of California, the best cannabis market in the world.”
- Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation: “Brands stand out to me at Hall of Flowers by demonstrating their personality from their booth presentation to one-on-one interactions,” says Green Qween’s Rigal. “Most importantly, I look for authenticity.”
- Use your time wisely: Make sure to connect with the growers, brand owners, and retailers you want to work with first. You have some of the best cultivators in the world at your fingertips, all in the same space. That’s a huge advantage. Use it. “I’m always excited to see flower,” says Perkins. “As a grower, it’s what I’m still really passionate about even after all these years.”
- Slow down and enjoy the day: “We all are so busy grinding day in and day out we never get a chance to sit back and smoke and enjoy each others company,” says Perkins. After business is done, enjoy yourself. Connect with friends. Make the most of it.
See you at Hall of Flowers.