Any person working in the cannabis industry for very long saw their LinkedIn feeds packed to the gills last week and the previous week buzzing about “weed week” in Vegas.
For the tenth year in a row, the biggest and most touted event in the cannabis industry has been MJBizCon. This year things worked a little differently and once again, those in Sin City found more than one new connection and got to see the highly anticipated MJUnpacked in person.
Greenway was fortunate to attend MJUnpacked the virtual version way back in May of 2020 and quickly concluded that it was setting the standard for virtual events for the industry with the deliberate and well-designed online experience. This year, MJUnpacked returned to in-person, and like MJBizCon, there was no shortage of industry people excited to participate in the face-to-face iteration of Jage Media’s trademark event.
While initially there were assumptions that MJUnpacked and MJBizCon were competitors during Weed Week, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, not only did these two events complement each other, but MJUnpacked offered a more refined approach for its audience and attendees. The “big” conference was being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and was open to anyone willing to purchase a ticket and associated travel expenses and it’s definitely an important experience for those new to the industry and those who are preplanning for their operations.
Across town, at the Mandalay Bay, Unpacked was open to brands to exhibit their wares in a spacious exhibit space giving them the opportunity to showcase their products in the way they best found fit, and each display featured LUCID Green QR codes for more information.
MJ Unpacked featured speaker sessions on multiple stages and catered to every aspect of the cannabis industry, including social equity, brand strategy, pricing, technology, the list goes on.
What made Unpacked even more unique was the free entry for retailers – brands want to be in front of retailers and retailers don’t always have a devoted staff member to stay apprised of new products and brands. With more space and devoted areas for networking near the brand displays, the result was a great way to truly connect and talk, not simply grab branded lip balm. (Don’t get us wrong, lip balm is great, but who needs 100 of them?)
The agenda for Unpacked attendees included speaker sessions on multiple stages and catered to several functional areas of our industry, including social equity, brand strategy, pricing, technology, the list goes on. Remembering that our industry might be unique, but that ALL businesses need ancillary services the Unpacked experience encompassed every facet of the supply chain in terms of retailers and brands.
This might all sound very basic, but to understand the sheer scope of the work required to carry off such an event is rarely seen by attendees, and we loved that MJUnpacked brought the creativity and fun of their virtual events to life in Vegas.
Perhaps most impressive is that Jage Media seems to have cared for EVERY detail, including great placement of people and resources to help – a full bar for those who needed to purchase a mid-day refreshment, live music, and friendly staff.
When we spoke to Kim Jage last year about the impressive experience that MJUnpacked 2020 Virtual was, she and the Jage Media team were already gearing up for the “when we go back…” mentality that all live event producers continue to deal with over a year later. Said Christie Hefner (yes, Hugh’s daughter and a strategic advisor to the cannabis industry) of this year’s event, “This is a very exciting moment for the cannabis industry as it comes into its own, driven by the momentum of legalization, the on trend focus on health and wellness, and the growing appreciation of the power of brands. This conference provides a special opportunity for leaders to both share ideas and build relationships.”
Thursday night’s exclusive Blues Brothers concert featuring Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, and the Sacred Hearts benefiting Last Prisoner Project received high marks for both fun and 100% of proceeds to support this critical non-profit.
Blues Brothers | Jage Media
Want to read more about MJUnpacked? Check out the recap from MJ Brand Insights HERE.