With the right PR and cannabis event marketing strategy, you can build your network, gain exposure and make invaluable connections
Table of Contents
- What Is Cannabis Public Relations and Event Marketing All About?
- How Can a Good Cannabis PR Strategy Help Your Business?
- How Does Event Marketing Fit Into PR Strategy?
- How Can You Host the Ultimate Cannabis Event?
- Have You Found the Right PR and Event Professionals?
Cannabis Public Relations and Event Marketing are two powerful tools that can be used together to grow your media presence and connections within the cannabis industry to create an invaluable network of colleagues, collaborators and partners.
A holistic PR strategy can generate immediate business-boosting results when the multifaceted approach includes virtual and in-person events.
You know that old saying any press is good press? Well, that’s not entirely true, especially for emerging brands and businesses. So the main reason strategic PR is so useful to any business is the power it has to control the narrative about your brand. And this process alone is especially crucial given the current state of the cannabis industry.
Strict cannabis advertising rules from national advertisers, Google and Facebook keep businesses from being able to market and sell products in a direct way. Meanwhile, the marketplace is saturated with competitors that may have more presence, budget and connections than other contenders within the space.
To counter these advertising limitations and fierce competitors, it’s crucial to use PR tactics to get your business into the media cycle and spotlight its main differentiators through the lens of journalists and media influencers to gain earned-media relevance. In fact, good PR is so important to growing businesses, the current value of the PR market is estimated to surpass $93 billion by 2022. That’s a lot of story pitches!
Like PR, there’s an old saying that applies to the power of event marketing: It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Because when it comes down to growing your business, you’ll need the right connections. A business without a network is one without support. So imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have anyone to call on for advice, guidance or even supplies when a little help could mean more leads and sales.
Through events, you have a prime opportunity to make your brand seen, heard and remembered while also developing a business network of industry peers and partners. It all starts with hosting a must-attend event that brings together business leaders, industry insiders, media and more.
Before the pandemic, the private event planning market had generated nearly $5 billion dollars in value according to Statista. Now, the very nature of in-person events has changed, but they’re not extinct—far from it.
At the same time, virtual events have really taken off. From webinars and online speaking engagements to even casual happy hour hangs, the virtual space is a great way to continue making connections and spotlighting your brand, even when hosting an in-person event isn’t possible.
Coordinating interviews and media outreach are part of the cannabis PR game, sure, but so are must-attend events. Curated, exclusive event marketing can turn a company from nothing into something based on the fact that an event brings together influential people. You can sell your brand in real time to fellow humans.
With Event Marketing, you get to demo the wares, show your expertise and cement interest with a memorable good time. From this, you can generate useful connections and potential business leads, just from one night of having fun and chatting cannabis.
Here are a few tips to throw the ultimate in-person cannabis event:
- Devote part of your marketing budget toward an annual event
- Book your venue at least one year out from the event
- Create a social media and content campaign around your party
- Make your event invite-only to curate the guest list, theme and vibe
- Compile a dedicated guest list and send personal invitations and RSVPs to each guest
- Get extra funding for your event by finding sponsors
- Give sponsors the opportunity to promote their own brand while supporting yours
- Create fun, branded activations that sponsors and attendees can engage in (e.g. photo booths and interactive exhibits)
- Create specific and informative speaking engagements to add value
- Bring on the food and entertainment by budgeting for catering and a DJ or band
- Spotlight and celebrate your guests with an opening or closing toast
- Partner with Lyft, Uber or invest in ride-share coupons to ensure safe travel
- If you’re planning a destination event, partner with a nearby hotel to offer guests discounted lodging
At Grasslands, we have a unique perspective on cannabis PR because we are a Journalism-Minded Agency™ that grew out of our Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca’s years at The Cannabist as America’s first-ever Marijuana Editor for a major mainstream news organization (The Denver Post).
Our team of PR and Content Marketing specialists have built targeted media networks that can help you establish a solid strategy to illuminate your brand on the national level.
We also love creating high-level networking events like The Grasslands Party. Our events bring together top minds in cannabis and we’ve been all over: Boston, New Orleans, Oakland, Toronto, Denver, Austin and Las Vegas so far. By hosting this exclusive bash and helping entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country expand their networks and elevate countless brands, we know what it takes to run a successful event.
Let’s chat about how to incorporate PR and cannabis event marketing into your business plan and amp up your brand.