REVOLUTIONIZE Your Cannabis Tradeshow Strategy with One Cheap and Easy Trick

Our clients run the spectrum from dispensaries to cultivators to equipment manufacturers.  While trade shows aren’t a good strategy for all of them, they remain a valuable source of business for some of our business to business clients. Because trade shows can be expensive, here at Hybrid we’re always looking for ways to optimize and squeeze as much value as possible out of each event.  That’s how we came up with the TRAVELER TRICK.  Now what if I told you that for about $20 per lead, you could accomplish three things:You’d pay that money at every trade show, for every top lead.  The traveler trick is very simple: coffee “travelers” from Starbucks, physically delivered by you, to your lead’s booth. (A traveler is a 64oz box of coffee, complete with cups, milk, cream, sugar, all in a handy carrying container.) It’s the logistics and planning that make it or break it. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 coffee traveler for each lead’s booth (we’ve done up to 15 in a day, so you’ll need to prioritize your leads based on value beforehand.)
  2. A collapsible, fabric wagon. You can get them from Costco or Amazon
  3. Gift tags with your logo on them (and enough space to hand-write a note.) About the size of a business card is perfect, so just order business cards from VistaPrint or somewhere quick that are blank on one side, your logo on the other. Best to go with a matte finish rather than gloss, it’s a touch easier to write on. 
  4. Colored twine that reflects your brand colors. Yep it’s a detail, but details matter. Get hemp twine to make it a talking point. Etsy has it in every color. 
Now that you know what you need, it’s organization that makes it work. Here’s what you’ll do, and a rough timeline. 


Order your gift tags with enough time to make sure they get to you with plenty of wiggle room.


When you’re researching who’s going to be there and who you’d like to target, come up with your list of 10-15 ideal customers. These are going to be your traveler targets. Print out the trade show map, and have it noted where each lead’s booth is located.


Make sure all your gift tags are hand-written to each lead, and that your booth number is on them. Try something like this:
To the team at XYZ company, Enjoy some coffee on us! Have a great show- Your friends at YOUR COMPANY Booth #1234


Get in touch with the Starbucks closest to the convention center. Let them know exactly what you need and when you need it, as it will take considerable prep on their part for an order that size.


This needs to be done on opening day, and before the doors open. That’s your best opportunity to shake hands with a few people, get the coffee in their hands when they need it, and establish your presence and availability for the rest of the event. Give yourself at least 2 hours before show start, probably more depending on where the Starbucks is, how spread out the expo hall is, etc.  If Starbucks has done their job, the travelers will be ready and waiting for your pickup. That’s where the wagon comes in- you can typically carry 6-8 travelers in the wagon, so can get everything to your car in 2 trips, and from your car to the expo hall in 2 trips. Or, if the Starbucks is close enough, it’s helpful to skip the car altogether.  Get all the travelers to your booth and get the gift cards tied on. Now it’s time for your big moment.


You need to delivery the travelers by hand, personally, to each booth. Don’t roll the wagon around the expo hall, it will lessen the impact if your lead see’s that you’re passing travelers out to a bunch of people rather than just them. Always try to have a specific person to ask for, but otherwise, just find whoever looks like they are in charge, introduce yourself and who you work for, shake their hand, and let them know that you thought they might like a bit of coffee to help kick off the start of the show. You’ll be amazed at how well this works. We’ve done it many times, and people love it. It kick-starts relationships, opens doors, and sets the stage for the type of treatment your leads can expect from you when they become customers.  Why does it work? It’s simple. People love coffee, people love free, and people love to feel like they are personally important to you.  Give it a try yourself and let us know how it turns out!


“Hands, touching hands Reaching out, touching me, touching you…”