Trade shows are a huge part of public relations for any size company. They are one of the few opportunities we get for in-person meetings with potential clients – so much marketing and branding these days happens on the web and the phone. An opportunity to meet a client in person is a valuable chance to create a relationship and make a good impression.
For this reason, it is important to make sure the time and money you put into trade shows and your trade show exhibits are well spent, effective, and not wasted on mistakes. Let me offer you a few DON’Ts to try to help you leverage your trade show investments for the best possible ROI.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The common mistake of trying to impress would-be clients with the size of your trade show booth space is one of the worst trade show mistakes one could make. Spending money and renting more floor space to simulate your office environment is just a huge waste.
What is important is integrity, honesty, and personability – be sure to bring those with you! Big spaces and great looking trade show displays can be very effective if used wisely, but “big” always costs more, so be sure it is the best use of your marketing dollars.
It’s Bad Not To Have Goals
When asked to state your goal for the trade show, I hope your answer is a little more substantial than “get more sales.” The trade show circuit should be just one facet of your total marketing plan. You are there to showcase your business’s human element, and it should be used as one of many tools to better serve your clients’ needs and desires.
Keep It Simple
Keep your graphics and text on your trade show displays simple and to the point. A cluttered confusing mess communicates exactly that – a cluttered confusing message. You want potential clients to meet with you and then leave with a sense of confidence in you and your organization, with a solid understanding of what you can do for them. You don’t want them to run away screaming and have night terrors – or make jokes – about your bad graphics decisions.
Giveaways or Throwaways
“Shwag” and baubles are fine, but they should be relevant to your company’s offerings and remind people of your company when they use your little gifts. Drug companies giving away pens that look like syringes is clever; software companies giving away mouse pads is clever and useful; data analysis company giving away combs, that’s just dumb. Again, be the one they remember for having promotional giveaways that are cool and relevant – not something dumb.
Staff Needs To Be Trained
Trade shows are a big deal, and some of your most important clients and accounts will definitely make an appearance at them. Your booth staff should be your best sales and PR people – this is not a practice field, it is the big leagues, and your stars should be on the field. This is critical – having a couple of bad apples at the show can completely derail all of the other things you did right…
If you do not have staff and resort to hiring temp staff, this is okay too. If you have pretty simple and straightforward products or rely more on looks rather than complex technical details, then temp staff may work out just fine. Just make sure you learn how to hire the best temp staff for your next trade show.
Don’t Drop The Ball
Yes, another sports analogy, sorry, but it’s true. After you contact potential clients and gather a lead, you must follow up on that lead right after the trade show has ended. After all, it doesn’t mean anything until those deals are sealed, and your bottom line gets fatter.
Wait a few days after the trade show to send out a follow-up email. This will give your leads the time to get back home if they traveled, settle back in, and give some serious thought to everything they learned and experienced at the trade show.
Keep It Clean
You and your company have spent a lot of time, money, and effort to attend the trade shows; don’t screw it up by not sprucing up. You want your trade show displays, tables, and general area to be as clean and well stocked on the last day, just like it all looked on the first day of the show. A little daily house cleaning can make a huge impression and a big difference.
Party Until You Get A Lead
Parties and socializing are part of the trade shows off-hours activities. Don’t let the idea of an after-work drink fool you. You are still at work and should be working. The social element of trade shows can help you to meet new colleagues and schmooze old ones. Just keep the party aspect in check and remember, while at the show, you are working 24/7.
For more, check when renting a booth is best or how to create stunning trade show booths.
The Right Trade Show Booth Ideas Attract Visitors and Generate Leads
It is important to understand that the best trade show booth ideas attract visitors and help you achieve your trade show goals and objectives. Every aspect of your booth plays a role in this, from the booth design to your product demo and everything in between.
Here are a few more trade show booth ideas to attract visitors to your exhibition.
Marketing on and leveraging social media is beneficial for any size business. Promote the trade show and your brand ahead of the trade show, keep each attendee up to date with what is going on, and offer a social media wall or photo booth where each attendee can take a photo and upload and share it on their social media platforms. It will also boost brand recognition.
We discussed the importance of having good quality giveaways and promotional products. So, why not make the giveaway process a bit more interactive and engaging by introducing a prize wheel? Let booth visitors spin the wheel and earn their prize.
To make it even more immersive, introduce virtual reality or augmented reality to your exhibition stand. This will get booth visitors and allow you to showcase your products. A product demo is a great way to utilize virtual reality in your exhibition booth. It will also definitely increase brand awareness and keep your company name in the mind of each potential client.
This was just a small sampling of what you can do in your exhibition booth to attract visitors and spread brand awareness. No matter what you choose to do, make sure everything is done with purpose. For more information on display design, contact us at American-Image today. We have everything you need to create a memorable booth design to attract your target audience.
Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936 (Robert Capa)
“We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: ‘We need more guns,’ they’ll argue. ‘Fewer gun safety laws.’ Does anybody really believe that?”
— President Obama, Statement on the Shootings at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon
Another mass shooting, another call for more gun control. And yet, if the past predicts the future, those calls won’t go far and will probably even spark a rise in guns sales, as they have after many of the recent mass shootings in the US. If more gun legislation is really “common-sense,” then why doesn’t it happen?
To understand this, it’s necessary to understand the psychology of guns and gun owners, rather than falling into the familiar trap of blaming the National Rifle Association (NRA), Republicans, and Congress or writing off individuals who are wary of legislation as crazy “gun nuts” who don’t care that children are dying from gun violence. In keeping with this goal, I will refer to the two sides of the gun debate simply as “pro-gun” and “anti-gun” instead of framing this as a liberal/conservative or Democratic/Republican divide. In America, this divide — like so many hot-button issues these days – is split firmly down the middle. The most recent Gallup Poll indicates that 42% of Americans have a gun in the home (the General Society Survey puts this number closer to 30%) and 52% want guns laws either kept as they are (38%) or made less strict (14%). Over the past 25 years, the number of people who want more strict gun laws has decreased from a high of 78% in 1990 to the 2012 low of 44%. This despite the fact that “active shooter incidents” have increased since 2000,1 although gun homicide in general has decreased significantly in the past two decades.2
If there’s any chance of reform in gun legislation, legislators and “anti-gun” proponents are going to have to understand why the “pro-gun” half the of country owns guns, likes guns, and sometimes invokes the NRA slogan “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” when the issue of gun control comes up. Here are 3 answers to that question:
1. Gun culture is American culture.
In some pockets of America, especially in the South, people are brought up around guns. They are taught to use them (and use them safely) at an early age and being gifted a first gun, going hunting with one’s father, and competing in NRA and 4H-Club sponsored shooting events are rights of passage.
Lest you dismiss this as some antiquated pastime of rural “red states,” keep in mind that the US was founded on violent revolt with guns, such that the right to gun ownership was included in the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution (of course, people endlessly debate its meaning, but the latest US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller interpreted “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” as an individual right). The notion of the American hero as a gun-toting freedom fighter has been firmly planted into public consciousness for more than 200 years. As I’ve written in an article published in Aeon magazine about mass shootings called “Running Amok”:
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“Over the past century, generations of US boys have grown up romanticizing the Wild West by playing ‘cowboys and Indians’ with replica six-shooters, battling each other as ‘cops and robbers’ armed with plastic revolvers, or staging vast campaigns of toy soldiers in which opposing armies were gunned down in droves. More recently, ‘first-person shooter’ simulations featuring both military and criminal role-plays have become some of the most successful video games of all time. A casual perusal of the top-grossing films of the past two decades is replete with examples of movies intended for children and adults alike that glorify gun violence along with posters featuring heroes posing with firearms, even in comedies.”
Guns are therefore part of American culture, regardless of regional differences and red or blue states. It’s estimated that there are 310,000,000 civilian-owned guns in the US now, with 89 firearms for every 100 residents such that the US is far ahead of any other country in per capita gun ownership. A total ban on gun ownership is highly unlikely to happen in the US and begs the question of how those 300 million guns would ever be rounded up, even if a gun ban were to ever be legislated.
2. Shooting guns is fun.
If you want to understand the appeal of guns, you need to hold one in your hand and shoot it. The bottom line is it’s fun. For those of us who grew up watching cowboy movies, war movies, James Bond movies, and the like, the irresistible urge to act out the hero with toy guns starts at an early age. A progression from squirt guns to video games, paintball, Airsoft and BB guns, and going to the shooting range with the real thing is natural enough.
A number of articles have described the thrill of shooting guns. A “liberal European reporter” wrote in the Economist:
“…from afar, American gun culture appears utterly insane. Americans are far more likely to murder someone or to kill themselves than people in almost all Western European countries, largely because guns make it easier… Yet shooting is fun. And what European – and liberal Americans – often don’t realize is that these deadly weapons are also an accessible, affordable, and interesting hobby for millions of people.”
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Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor has said:
“Gun control advocates ask, ‘Why does anyone need this particular kind of gun, like an AR-15 (an assault rifle similar to the one used by the US military)? The reason people like an AR-15 is because it’s fun to shoot.”
Jenna Glasser, a self-described “bright blue dot in a red state” wrote:
“Here’s the truth about guns that no one, on either side of the debate, wants to tell you: shooting them is fun. I’m a bleeding-hearted, left-leaning liberal and I get a cheap, easy thrill out of shooting my little .38 caliber pistol. The “I am woman; hear me roar,” thrill I’ve gotten the few times I shot an Uzi, AK, or even a Glock is enough to leave a tremble running up my arms (though in reality, that’s likely just kickback). But the emotional component here is huge. That thrill at the range translates to confidence outside of it. And confidence was a great comfort.”
Just what is it that makes shooting fun? There’s an undeniable sense of power that comes from shooting a gun. A patient of mine once told me that guns were for cowards, but he was a 200-plus-lb. African American man who had won well more than his share of fistfights though the years. Psychologically speaking, guns aren’t so much the tool of a coward, as a way for someone to equalize power and overcome perceived oppression. In America, that dynamic began with our independence from England and hasn’t faded since.
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Beyond the unavoidable Freudian link between guns and potency, there’s also an addicting quality to trying to improve your accuracy with a target at the range. It’s the same kind of hook that makes video games and golf so habit-forming — if I just do it a little better, maybe I can score a bulls-eye, or get to the next level, or hit a hole-in-one on the next attempt. Hunting carries a similar appear, but on an even more primordial level.
Shooting has been an Olympic sport since the first games in 1896, with 17 different events in the modern summer Olympics, and 53 cumulative gold medals won by the US, the most of any nation by far. Outside the Olympics, amateurs and professionals alike enjoy target practice at the range; skeet, trap, and sporting clays; competitions involving speed and precision; as well as action shooting.
If anti-gun proponents are to understand the rhetoric of “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands,” they need to get a sense of what kind of pleasure would be taken away with more restrictive gun control. If pleasure seems like a stupid reason to expose oneself to danger, remember that it’s pro-gun conservatives who are more likely to oppose the legalization of marijuana.
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3. Guns make gun owners feel safer
If there’s a commonality between the pro-gun and anti-gun divide, it’s that people feel the world is unsafe (despite the fact that the world, including the US, has become increasingly more safe in terms of homicide). On the one hand, suburban, white parents who are strongly anti-gun are up in arms (pun intended) about gun control because they feel their children are endangered in places where they shouldn’t be (in contrast, inner-city gun violence among black youth doesn’t tend to spark national talk of gun control). And so, banning guns completely seems like a rational solution. On the other hand, pro-gun advocates have similar concerns, but they feel that arming themselves is the only way to keep them safe. In their view, more permissive gun laws allowing open-carry and concealed-carry firearms or arming teachers with guns in schools is therefore the sensible path.
From a psychological perspective, it’s less important whether guns actually make us safer and more important whether guns make us feel safer. But nonetheless, let’s start with some “facts.” The preponderance of available evidence indicates that having a gun in the home is associated with a greater risk of accidental death, homicide, suicide, and a greater risk especially of female and childhood death by firearm.3 As a result, the significant public health risk of firearm ownership has become a known dictum in the medical literature. What’s much less well known is whether firearm ownership really prevents violent victimization. Methodologically, it’s extremely difficult to detect a deterrent effect of gun ownership, when preventative outcomes are hypothetical (i.e. in cases of purported gun self-defense, it isn’t really possible to know what would have happened if one didn’t have a gun in the same situation). Nonetheless, a 2013 summary by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Committee concluded that “gun ownership protects against serious injury when guns are used defensively.”4 For example, a 2004 study by Jongyeon Tark and Gary Kleck found that:
“self-protection in general, both forceful and nonforceful, reduced the likelihood of property loss and injury, compared to nonresistance. A variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury…”5
If this leaves things ambiguous, clarity seems to lie in relative risk. Statistically, the risk of accidental death, homicide, or suicide associated with gun ownership appears to be substantially greater than the potential benefit of gun ownership as a deterrent to violent crime in the home.3
But once again, it’s perception that is reality in terms of psychological understanding. According to the 2014 Gallup Poll, 63% of Americans believed that having a gun in the home makes it a safer place — a substantial increase from less than 50% from 1993 to 2006. A older study from 1999 found that those who believed that having a gun makes the home safer were more likely to be young, male, and affiliated with the Republican party; to have no children at home; to have finished 12 years or fewer of education; and to have low levels of trust in police for protection.6
With beliefs firmly in place on either side of the debate, confirmation bias means that individuals pick and choose data, citing studies that support their views while discounting those that don’t. Statistics and studies aside then, the self-defense aspect of gun ownership is vital to understanding the pro-gun stance. Sixty percent (60%) of gun owners in the 2014 Gallup Poll stated that they own guns for self-defense with 49% owning guns for hunting or other recreation. If gun owners are worried about their safety and believe that they themselves – and not a call to 911 – are most likely to provide protection, then gun control legislation that would limited ownership is perceived as an outright threat (if that seems ridiculous, consider that many people do not live within ready reach of law enforcement, and even when they do, a 5 or 10 minute wait for police to arrive on scene can be the difference between life and death in an acutely dangerous situation). If however, as an anti-gun proponent, you don’t feel in particular danger at home, or you feel well-protected by police, then its gun ownership that’s perceived as the threat. With both sides of the gun debate fearful for the lives of their families, it’s no wonder our country is at an impasse.
Pistols used in the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, 1804
If movement is to be made towards greater gun control, it’s going to require a battle of “hearts and minds” in which attitudes about gun ownership are gradually transformed, just as they have changed over time about civil rights issues, tobacco use, and the legalization of cannabis. In order to effect such change, three things will be needed to get the ball rolling.
First, anti-gun advocates must realize that a complete ban on private gun ownership, nor the kind of sweeping gun restrictions imposed in Canada, Australia, and the UK, is probably not a realistic goal in the US at this time. Less ambitious reforms with a high likelihood of actually reducing gun violence are more likely to gain wider support.
Second, public health efforts should be directed at educating people about the significant risks of gun ownership. Public service messages could take a page out of the anti-smoking campaign’s playbook, highlighting the morbidity and mortality associated with gun ownership, especially among women and children, and taking steps to phase out the glamorization of gun violence from entertainment. Gun safety classes should be taught on a larger scale and could be mandated for ownership. The cavalier way that many people treat firearms is a disservice to all, regardless of one’s stance on gun control.
Third, anti-gun proponents are going to have to address the perceived benefits of gun ownership. That needs to start from a place of knowledge. Pro-gun advocates cringe when proposed legislation involves irrational, fear-based restrictions against things like “assault rifles.” Mention “assault rifles” and “high-capacity clips” to pro-gunners and be prepared for some eye-rolling, or worse. To those that know their way around firearms, terms like “assault rifle” or “military-style firearms” are ill-defined at best and unconvincingly associated with increased risk. If you’re going to talk about gun control legislation, know the difference between a fully automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon. Know the difference between a magazine and a clip. Know that high-capacity magazine bans are easily thwarted by carrying multiple low-capacity magazines. Know why hollow-point rounds (so-called “cop-killer bullets”) are in some ways safer than full metal jacket rounds. Speaking from ignorance is a non-starter in terms winning over hearts and minds, just as talk of the female body having ways to “shut that whole thing down” in the setting of rape will never inform the abortion debate.
If rational gun control reform is to ever happen, anti-gun proponents must steer clear of popular myths about gun violence and mass shootings and think about proposals to limit gun ownership to those most at risk for committing gun violence without taking away the pleasure and sense of safety responsible pro-gunners associate with firearm ownership. Although the majority of Americans in the Gallup poll didn’t want gun laws changed, as many as 91% did support background checks for all gun purchases. In fact, background checks are already the rule. Where the system breaks down is when states fail to report concerning individuals, such as those involuntarily admitted for psychiatric hospitalization because of suicidality or homicidality, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Likewise, private gun sales and transfers that are not processed through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) are immune to background checks, in some cases creating the “gun show loophole” (while pro-gun control advocates claim that 40% of gun sales occur without a background check, other sources suggest the number is more like 4%). Those gaps offer room for meaningful improvement, though pro-gun advocates will always be concerned that a universal background check is equivalent to a gun registry that could eventually be used to enforce a total gun ban. That’s not slippery-slope paranoia – while anti-gun advocates often claim they aren’t asking for a gun ban, wouldn’t most jump at the chance to ban guns altogether if the opportunity arose?
In the end, the common sense that President Obama calls for dictates that only gun control likely to actually decrease illegal gun violence is worth legislating. Pro-gun advocates will point out that the majority of criminal offenses involving guns are committed with guns illegally obtained from the “street” or from friends or family. Based on a Department of Justice survey of incarcerated criminals who used guns in crime, only 14% utilized guns purchased through legal means that would be addressed by a universal background check.7 It’s for this reason that pro-gun advocates are wary that gun control legislation will take guns away from responsible, law-abiding citizens and place them into the hands of criminals.
And so, while a universal background check might be a reasonable start to gun control reform, proposals should be revised to better screen out those who shouldn’t have access to firearms (no easy task) and should include safeguards ensuring the right to legal gun ownership by responsible adults, but won’t do anything to address the problem of illegal gun ownership.
The more you actually know about guns, the more complicated rational gun reform becomes. But we need a complicated analysis of effective remedies to gun violence, not emotion-based, knee-jerk responses. With all the concern about mass shootings in white American suburbia, where is the talk about how to solve the problem of inner-city youth violence, such as in Chicago where the gun-related deaths outnumber deaths by mass shootings by orders of magnitude? Is gun control legislation likely to help there? In the wake of yet another mass shooting, where are they calls to understand and prevent violence in at-risk youth and culture at large?
As I’ve argued elsewhere in my Aeon article about mass shootings and in a previous blogpost here, I’d like to see less finger-pointing to external factors like guns or video games — which lead to politically expedient band-aid approaches — and more attention directed inwards at ourselves and our culture devoted to the prevention of violence in the first place. That would certainly seem to be the most appropriate domain for psychology, psychiatry, and public mental health.
These 4 States Could Approve Adult-Use in November 2020
The 2020 election in the United States will be a turning point for Americans in many walks of life, and the cannabis industry is no different. Four states have the opportunity to legalize adult-use cannabis thanks to ballot initiatives passed earlier this year.
Consumers in these states will no doubt desire high-end cannabis products like ice water hash and solventless concentrates, should voters decide to approve these measures. Each of these four states reached this point in their unique ways, but one thing holds – the people have spoken, and they believe it’s time to decide on recreational laws in their state.
Arizona – Passed Adult Use
After an adult-use measure failed to pass in Arizona in 2016, it’s back on the general election ballot in 2020. This year’s initiative, Prop 207: The Smart and Safe Arizona act, was led by the group Smart and Safe Arizona. State officials qualified Prop 207 for this year’s ballot on August 10.
If passed, adults aged 21 and older would be legally able to possess up to one ounce of cannabis with up to 5 grams of concentrates. Possession of over an ounce but under 2.5 ounces would be considered a petty offense. The offense would likely result in a fine for the offender. Possessing more than 2.5 ounces is an arrestable offense, although at this time, it is unclear if the crime would be for simple possession or for possession with intent to deliver.
Residents who live alone could legally grow up to 6 plants, while homes with two or more adults grow up to 12 plants. An excise tax of 16% would be placed on the sale of cannabis products when dispensaries open on April 5, 2021, at the latest.
Cannabis consumption is permitted only in residents’ privacy – not in public places such as sidewalks and parks. Consuming in public would also be considered a petty offense. Operating any motor vehicle (even a boat or a plane) while high would be a punishable offense under the state’s zero-tolerance policy. Edibles would be capped at 10mg, with packages of edibles limited to a total of 100mg.
Connoisseurs in the Grand Canyon state already have a love for solventless extractions and similar products like ice water hash. However, interest from multiple state operators (MSOs) to establish dispensaries isn’t as high as other states because it is hard to get a license in Arizona.
The quick turnaround in states like Arizona, making a speedy transition from medical to possible recreational, reflects a fundamental shift in attitudes towards cannabis that Americans now have. According to the Pew Research Center, this rapid shift in state cannabis markets is thanks to a change in public perception, as 67 percent of Americans now favor legal cannabis.
If Prop 207 passes in Arizona, it is likely to infuriate one prohibitionist in particular – former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio lost to his former deputy in his run for reelection as sheriff. Although Arpaio claimed to support medical cannabis “kind of,” NORML gave the former sheriff an F grade on cannabis policy because the former Sheriff “has one of the worst records on cannabis justice in the history of American politics.”
New Jersey – Passed Adult Use
Although most cannabis legalization policy initiatives are qualified via signatures, New Jersey is unique. Voters will decide this year on Public Question 1. If passed, an amendment will be made to the state constitution legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and over. If approved, the Garden State will become the third in the northeast U.S. to legalize adult use. The state commission overseeing the sale of medical cannabis would also oversee the adult-use market.
Massachusetts was first in the Northeast to legalize adult-use, with sales becoming fully operational as of November 2018. Voters in Vermont decided they wanted legal cannabis in July of 2018, becoming the second in the Northeast to do so, but recreational sales have not yet gone into effect. If passed, sales in New Jersey could become operational faster than most states because policymakers laid out legal weed sales last year – with the Assembly falling short of passing the law by only five votes.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari (D) introduced the previous legalization bill that narrowly failed to pass. Still, he believes New Jersey can be “a leader” in the Northeast for recreational sales, according to Marijuana Moment.
“Public Question No. 1 would also create a legalized cannabis marketplace overseen by the State’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” the Senator added.
New Jersey’s people overwhelmingly support legal cannabis, with seven out of ten voters polled indicating as such earlier this summer. Another more recent poll showed voters supporting the measure by a ratio of 2 to 1. One of the more notable of those with roots in the garden state showing public support for the effort is filmmaker Kevin Smith, well-known for his films Clerks, Dogma, and the Jay and Silent Bob movies.
Despite this overwhelming support, 70 municipalities already said no to legal sales in their area. NJ.com reports that police in the state are still making 100 simple possession arrests a day, of which a disproportionate number are people of color.
Montana – Passed Adult Use
In June, Montana activists collected a total of more than 130,000 signatures from supporting voters, qualifying two state ballot initiatives. Statutory Initiative 190 would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in the state, as well as the possession and consumption of limited amounts. The MT Department of Revenue would oversee the licensing and regulation of sales, cultivation, and transport of cannabis products.
Activists with the organization New Approach Montana spearheaded the legalization campaign and the two ballot initiatives, saying that taxes and fees could generate about $48 million a year by 2025. If passed, a 20% tax would be placed on non-medical cannabis sales in Montana, with particular revenue accounts for conservation programs, substance abuse treatment, and veterans’ services.
However, there is a bit of a snag in the legalization efforts of the people of Montana. The state constitution defines people over 18 and older as adults, “except that the legislature or the people by initiative may establish the legal age of purchasing, consuming, or possessing alcoholic beverages,” according to New Approach MT.
For the legalization of adult-use to happen in Montana, Constitutional Initiative 118 would have to pass, which would allow the state legislature to establish the legal age of purchasing and consuming cannabis. The second initiative stipulates that only persons 21 or older in Montana can consume cannabis.
Opponents of the two ballot questions, Wrong for Montana, attempted a last-minute lawsuit, arguing to the state Supreme Court that the initiatives violated state law by appropriating money to particular programs. The Supreme Court rejected the suiters’ petition, stating that they failed to demonstrate reasons to move the case to the high court urgently. Such claims must first be heard by the state trial and appeals courts.
As such, Montana citizens will vote on the two initiatives as planned.
South Dakota – Passed Both Medical and Adult Use
South Dakota could create history if it passes two cannabis-related ballot questions.
Led by policy reform activists from the groups South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws and New Approach South Dakota, voters will decide on whether to enact into law both medical and recreational cannabis simultaneously. Measure 26 would establish a medical cannabis program for patients with qualifying conditions with doctors’ recommendations. Constitutional Amendment A would establish regulation and licensing for the sale of cannabis to adults 21 and older for recreational purposes, as well as protect medical patients’ access to plant medicine.
If enough voters say yes to amendment A and Measure 26, South Dakota could become the first state to pass recreational and medical at the same time. The unprecedented occurrence would come during an unparalleled year and create an uncharted path in American cannabis laws. If both ballot measures pass, South Dakota officials would have to establish regulations and policies for two emerging markets simultaneously.
South Dakota’s medical cannabis program appears to have garnered much voter support, including an ad from a retired state police officer. However, there isn’t as much support for the recreational market, which could fail and possibly be voted on again in 2022 and 2024. The most prominent legalization opponent is South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), who appeared in an ad from the No Way On Amendment A committee. The governor says she’s heard from law enforcement and addiction counselors who favor the continued prohibition of cannabis.
As the legal Marijuana business continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it is expected to run into some difficulty in the more conservative states. Overall the Cannabis display case industry is growing extremely fast and our company is in the middle of hiring additional carpenters and glass and aluminum specialist to meet the demand.
Balancing Compliance With Environmental Sustainability
While it’s important for the legal cannabis industry to ensure patients have access to medicine, push for policy that removes the plant from the purview of law enforcement, and proactively address the harms of the drug war, there’s one area of social justice that directly impacts the lives of every human: protecting the environment.
From increased awareness of illegal trespass grows to the importance of sustainable farming practices and much more, cannabis business owners and operators must find a way to prioritize environmental sustainability while also building a viable industry. In this post, we explore why tackling plastic packaging and the waste from vape products is the first order of business.
The Plastic & E-Waste Problem
E-cigarettes and cannabis vaping have increased in popularity over the last decade. As a result, there’s an even greater burden on the environment with batteries, pods, and pens winding up in landfill and increasing the risk of ground and water contamination. Between China’s role as the epicenter of vape component manufacturing, and legal cannabis existing under state-led regulatory structures as opposed to federal legalization, there is no central recycling or other disposal program in place to help consumers understand how to properly dispose of e-waste.
At the same time, legal markets mandating the use of single-use, child-resistant, and other protective packaging in addition to exit bags at retail has contributed to the industry’s continued reliance upon plastic, despite the rampant pollution it causes.
These realities underscore the critical need for the industry to seek out innovative solutions that balance legal compliance with environmental sustainability. Companies have started sourcing other materials for their packaging designs including glass, hemp, and even plastic removed from the ocean. On the retail side, some stores have activated loyalty programs to encourage customers to return packaging to the store for recycling. And individual jurisdictions have started educating consumers about what’s recyclable, reusable, or trash from their cannabis product packaging.
Driven in part by the coronavirus outbreak placing Chinese manufacturing on hold, cannabis companies are already looking to American sources for managing possible lapses in the supply chain. If adopted on a larger scale, with time, the move could ultimately shift vape manufacturing to the U.S., making it possible to create a system of domestic production in which setting and enforcing national guidelines for environmental sustainability will be the utmost priority.
Join us for many educational panels on these topics the upcoming Cannabis Business Summit in San Francisco, happening September 29 – October 1, 2020 at Moscone Center. The National Cannabis Industry Association started advocating for a responsible cannabis industry a decade ago, and in celebration of its 10th year, NCIA brings its business-to-business cannabis tradeshow to the birthplace of the medical cannabis movement. Cannabis business owners and operators won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet industry leaders, explore products and services to help grow their business, and learn the latest insights from the industry’s largest and most influential trade association.
The pandemic is pausing a lot of things in our brands, but what we can still do is create effective content for our audience. Here’s how.
The country is slowly going on lockdown, one state after another – and people are very actively following social distancing due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As of now, this is affecting a lot of brands as production is lowering, sales are lowering, and there isn’t really much a brand can do at their workplace right now.
However, as a brand, gaining visibility is one of the most important things in this day and age. Digital visibility is what builds brands – and during this time, when there isn’t anything else you can do with your brand, you can focus on building visibility for your brand.
One of the best ways to gain visibility for your brand is by providing your audience top-quality content to engage them with so that your brand is radiated into them and the next time they’re shopping for a canna-bev, they go ‘yes, this is the brand I want to try’.
Yes, we know creating content can be tough, but that’s what we’re here to help you with. Let’s get into the content train and take a trip on how to create effective content for your cannabis drinks brand.
1. Define your audience
Before you go ahead and create any sort of content, you need to know who your audience is. Who are you selling your cannabis drinks to? Are you targeting a younger generation? Or are you going for the more middle-aged group? It’s important to know your target audience because your content is going to be based around that.
Think about it this way, if you’re targeting a drinker between the ages of 21-30, and you create a video about something to do with the 70s, then they definitely aren’t going to relate. Similarly, if you have an older audience and you create content around a TV show that they probably won’t watch, then your content is going to be of waste as well.
So, the best thing to do is first think of your audience. Who do you want drinking your cannabis beverages? Who is going to be drinking it? And why are they going to be drinking it? This way, you’ll know exactly who to create content for.
• Differentiate your brand
As a brand, to grab an audience, you need to stand out. The only way you’re going to stand out in front of your audience is if you’re offering them something different from other brands out there – especially your competitors.
Your customers don’t want the same Simpsons meme that every second cannabis beverage brand is probably creating. Give them something different. Why is your product different? And how are you going to offer your customers something completely different from other brands? That’s what will catch their eye, and that’s how you will gain visibility – and in turn, higher sales as well.
You want people not only to recognize you, but also remember you – and differentiating yourself from other brands is what is going to help with that.
• Making a mark in the consumer’s eyes
There’s a lot of content going around on the internet, so how are you going to make sure that your content is drilled into your customer’s eyes and mind? How are you going to make sure that they remember your brand out of the hundred posts they saw on social media today?
Show your audience who you are, over and over again, but in different ways. Talk about your products in different ways, you can do podcasts, or product reviews. Tell your brand’s story to your audience. Customers usually relate to a brand through their story. Talk about solutions that your brand can offer. All in all, make your brand prominent in front of the consumer.
In the end, it all boils down to, what can you do to make sure your consumers remember you? Is there something in your logo that is going to stand out? Or is it your messaging?
Here’s how you can make a mark:
Podcasts – people are constantly listening to podcasts right now. Create a podcast for your brand where you tell your story, talk about your cannabis beverages, and engage with your audience. You can even do a q&a on your podcast with your audience.
Blogs – use blogs to leverage traction on your website. Make sure you have a website! Write about your products, do interviews with different people in your brands. You can also write blogs about people talking about your cannabis beverages. Share your success stories. This will make people trust your brand a little more.
Online tastings and reviews – Do an online tasting. Not everyone can come out and taste your beverages due to the pandemic, so do it for them – or get an influencer to do it for you. People listen to influencers and do what they are doing. Taste your drinks in a video, tell your audience how the drink tastes, tell them what they can eat with it, how much they can drink, and how they can drink it. This will make them eager to try out your cannabis beverages.
Infographics – develop infographics about your products, how to drink, what to drink it with. Information is something that customers are always looking for.
• Invest in promoting your content
You’re creating valuable content alright, but if no one is going to see it, then what’s the point?
When you create your content, whether it’s blogs, videos, or anything else, you need to go the extra mile to make sure others can see it.
Allocate a budget for promoting your content on social media. For most people, social media has become a way of life, and if they see your content on their feeds constantly, it’s going to drill into their minds pretty well. So run ads and boosts on social media so people can see your brand.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association is taking a multi-pronged approach to support more women and people of color in the cannabis industry.
Through economic empowerment, community reinvestment, restorative justice, and education and research, this non-profit is committed to including communities of color in a post-prohibition future.
What is the Minority Cannabis Business Association?
The Minority Cannabis Business Association or MCBA is a not for profit organization located in Oregon that was created to progress the cannabis industry by increasing the diversity of business owners, employees, and even consumers.
MCBA Co-founder Dr. Tiffany Bowden refers to herself as “inclusionist”. To paraphrase her own definition, “inclusionist” means actualizing a world that works for everybody by identifying and interrogating different equity measures and improving conditions for the most structurally disadvantaged. She sees education, networking, business mentorship, policy work, and corrections in the justice system as an ecosystem of goals capable of advancing the cause of greater diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry, from seed to sale.
Their mission is to create equal success for cannabusinesses and promotes economic empowerment for communities of color.
Individuals and corporations in the cannabis industry or interested in entering the industry have a lot to gain from membership and participation with MCBA.
The MCBA has 3 objectives that they live by. These objectives are what drives the Minority Cannabis Business associations to promote equality in the cannabis industry.
• ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Increase the number and success of minority business owners and career professionals by assuring equal access to industry opportunity and promoting positive practices
• SOCIAL JUSTICE: Assist in reducing the number of people imprisoned with non-violent cannabis offenses and ensure people with non-violent cannabis offenses have fair access to the cannabis industry
• PATIENT/CONSUMER AWARENESS: Increase knowledge in minority communities on how cannabis can be an effective medicine and safe consumer good
Minority Cannabis History
The recent history of cannabis in the United States is predominantly a history of prohibition and racist abuse of people of color by law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and society. The opportunity to consume or produce any cannabis product only became legal for medical use in California in 1996, following decades of terror and grossly disproportionate incarceration of people of color.
Because the legal expansion of the cannabis industry is now happening on a state by state basis, there are different regulatory and cost burdens imposed on different aspects of cannabis businesses. The ongoing federal criminalization of cannabis imposes a significant level of risk in entering the industry. Staying in the industry means staying on the right side of the law. These barriers to entry and the specter of criminal enforcement, already disproportionately imposed on people of color, suppress racial diversity in legal cannabis businesses.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association was created in 2015 in order to mitigate these inequities through both direct and indirect support of women and people of color.
How to Join MCBA
In exchange for its members’ contributions, MCBA offers a litany of educational materials, events, networking opportunities, and high levels of engagement with other cannabis industry professionals. Individuals and companies who wish to contribute and participate can choose from several levels of membership, detailed at the MCBA website. Each category of membership contains tiered levels, in which the benefits of membership accumulate and increase with higher levels of contribution.
Individual Memberships include:
• Supporter—For $100 annually, individual Supporter members receive free access to online educational resources. Live online events with industry experts, monthly digital newsletter, breaking news, advance notice of MCBA networking events, and a lapel pin are all included at this level.
• Advocate—In addition to the benefits of a Supporter membership, Advocate members receive complimentary tickets to MCBA events and the opportunity to work in a committee, all for $500 annually or $50 monthly.
• Professional—Individual professional members also receive a digital badge to display on their websites and the opportunity to participate in MCBA Lobby Days for $1,000 annually or $100 monthly.
Corporate Memberships include:
• Ally—For $2,500 annually, corporate Ally members receive all the same benefits as individual Professional members, plus their company logo on the MCBA website.
• Advisor—Corporate Advisor members also get the opportunity to cultivate a topic for one educational story in the MCBA newsletter, at a cost of $5,000 annually.
• Champion—The Champion membership level adds the opportunity for an executive to appear in MCBA’s 1-minute mentor series, for $10,000 annually.
• Influencer—For $25,000 annually, the Influencer membership adds a year-long, cultivated social media campaign.
• Game Changer—Game Changer members, for $50,000 annually, also receive invitation-only federal lobbying update calls, participation in MCBA’s Bi-Annual Mastermind Session, and direct access to the MCBA federal lobbying team.
• Power Player—Power Player members contribute $100,000 annually. In addition to all the benefits of the Game Changer membership, they receive access to a customized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion road map; an MCBA curated event and party at its headquarters or an external location; a quarterly Executive Update call; and inclusion in flagship programming such as expungement clinics.
Economic Empowerment Through Management and Startup Consulting
The MCBA economically empowers aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs on the legal and regulatory environments in the states where they plan to operate.
The organization stays current on every idiosyncratic legal detail to ensure its members can be confident in their business operations. Direct management and startup consultancy and business coaching are available for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Professional advice might involve any area of the business, at any point in its development. Marketing research, branding and sales strategy are all critical areas of small business development beyond its initial application and establishment. MCBA organizes state to state education expos, job fairs, and career fairs where people interested in any aspect of the cannabis business—from seed to sale—can meet, find job opportunities, and develop referral networks.
Economic Empowerment Through Engagement
At several membership levels, MCBA members have opportunities to steer the conversation.
They can work with MCBA to develop topics published in the newsletter, participate in working committees, collaborate with the organization’s executives, and influence its lobbying activities. In creating these opportunities, MCBA facilitates entrepreneurs and industry professionals in teaching and learning together about the most cutting edge factors affecting their businesses. It also builds solidarity and leverage within the cannabis industry that it can use to develop better laws and policies.
Education and Research Through Representation
Within ostensibly positive and non-judgmental cannabis industry publications, people of color—especially Black and Latino people—are often portrayed as rastas and rappers.
While these types of personas can be authentic and appealing, they are also stereotyped as consumers or “users,” which can reinforce racist stigma both inside and outside the industry. MCBA’s educational goals go beyond business consulting and into diversifying the image of people of color in the cannabis industry.
This includes developing profiles and highlighting people of color who own and manage cannabis businesses.
Restorative Justice Work
Most states that have legalized marijuana have not included automatic retroactive measures to address its past criminalization. People of color have been historically more heavily policed—more frequently stopped, arrested, and convicted of marijuana possession or distribution. In fully legalized states, criminal records still keep a disproportionate number of people of color out of the legal cannabis industry. On top of that, past convictions can cause individuals to be disenfranchised—to lose their right to vote—in some states.
Even in states that do not disenfranchise for all felonies, people with past convictions often believe that they have lost the right to vote. Leaving past marijuana convictions intact chills voting participation by individuals who have fulfilled all their obligations to the state.
One of the cumulative effects of the War on Drugs is that it wrongfully and immorally stifled millions of individuals’ ability to participate in democratic processes. Had these voices been included in elections and public bodies, the federal government and states might already have moved policy away from retribution and incarceration in general, and away from cannabis prohibition.
Perhaps subconsciously affirming the true goals of the War on Drugs and “tough on crime” rhetoric, in states where marijuana is not yet legal to produce or possess, law enforcement actually increased its targeting and prosecuting people of color for non-violent crimes related to marijuana. The MCBA works to support criminal record expungement, which in most cases also means the reinstatement of voting rights.
Community Reinvestment Through Policy
It has been clear for decades that marijuana poses far fewer risks to users compared to other substances, including legal prescription medications. The real risks to individuals who use or possess marijuana are by-products of its legal prohibition and the militarization of police in the U.S.
The risks to non-users are also by-products of prohibition. Families lost wage earners, individuals lost housing and job opportunities, and entire communities have been destabilized by prohibition. Including women and people of color in the cannabis industry means ensuring that, for example, tax revenue from cannabis businesses goes to rebuild the communities that endured the most harm due to prohibition.
The legacy of the federal War on Drugs is one of failure, racist moral panic, and willful obliviousness to evidence-based harm reduction strategies. As states and the U.S. advance beyond this mindset, it is critical to correct the harms and abandon the stereotypes attached to that legacy.
MCBA lobbies the federal government for law and policy changes in the long term to eliminate the stigma of criminality that burdens people of color in the cannabis industry. It also created model municipal and state legislation to advance equity as legalization advances.
MCBA members have a significant opportunity to contribute to the substance of these efforts and lead their own businesses to resilient success. Anyone interested in justice issues and the cannabis industry would benefit from joining.
As you may know, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. The virus has been detected in numerous locations internationally, including in the United States. As coronavirus continues to spread across the country and world, we wanted to reach out to you regarding preparations underway at McCormick Place. The number one priority for the team at McCormick Place is the health and safety of our campus guests. We have no reason to believe coronavirus is present on our campus but will immediately inform our guests if we have reason to believe otherwise. We are working closely with public health officials to follow all recommendations and best practices regarding the virus. There have been no disruptions to any of the operations on our campus. We are more than happy to work with you to develop plans and procedures specific to your event. We have also already taken several steps, including:
• Increased cleaning – Our janitorial team adheres to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants. We are using Virex II 256, a recommended hospital-grade disinfectant, for cleaning.
• In addition to the restrooms, we are using Virex II 256 on the high touch areas, such as:
o All info desks
o All entrance revolving door handles, main door handles, and push bars
o Public furniture
o Water fountains
o High-touch points in meeting rooms (door handles, podiums, etc.)
• Increased hand sanitizer stations. We now have more hand sanitizer stations at high traffic locations. These stations are mobile, allowing us to deploy them based on the event schedules and traffics.
• Staff training – All McCormick Place Security, Fire Safety, EMT and paramedic personnel have guidelines from our medical advisor on how to recognize possible symptoms of Coronavirus. In addition, our First Aid staff has received precautionary training in the event a guest came to our attention with Coronavirus-like symptoms.
• Increased the outside air intake/air change rate during event hours.
If you have questions about your specific event, please contact your Event Manager. For more information, please review our Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions.
Protecting yourself from the virus
Some ways to protect yourself against coronavirus include:
• Avoid contact with people who are sick
• Stay home if you are sick
• Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue
• Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and services
• Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
• Frequently use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
For more information on protecting yourself from coronavirus, please review the information provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. In December 2019, a new kind of coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified as the cause of various cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus has been detected in 50 areas internationally, including the United States. The virus is thought to be spread from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet of each other).
All our display cases are customizable.
Just contact us, one of our representatives will assist you. We manufacture display cases according to detailed rendered 3D drawings that are forwarded to the customer for prior approval.
If you have a specific idea, all you have to do is send it to us. Deliver a drawing with size and layout requirements and tell us what color and finishes you wish your display to have.
Using 3D design software, we will provide you with a fully dimensioned CAD drawing for your approval.
Once the order confirmation and drawings are approved and signed off by the customer the display cases are then manufactured. And just before shipping, our customers receive photographs of their displays before they leave one of our manufacturing facilities.