The Canadian Cannabis Summit (CCS) was the first conference in Western Canada to bring together medical and therapeutic professionals, policymakers and law enforcement, investment and business strategists, innovation, technology and community leaders. CCS had its very first event in June of 2018 at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. The three-day event was an in-house project put on by the Full Blast Creative team. From both a business and social perspective, we saw the need for a conference that could bring together professionals to discuss how cannabis is shaping and changing Canadian industries. With the legalization of cannabis around the corner, we formed the idea of bringing together a variety of industry experts to discuss the changes that will be seen after legalization, and create conversation around what is going on right now.
POLICY & REGULATIONS
Canadian cannabis regulations and Federal legislation will be announced by the Federal Government with the upcoming legalization of recreational Marijuana in July 2018.
Research, case studies, extraction methods, THC, CBD, accreditation and standards in laboratories and greenhouses.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Therapeutic and medical treatments, personal well-being, lifestyle, fitness, public health and safety.
MARKETING & ADVERTISING
Discussing the complex guidelines on branding cannabis products and services. Public health, education and preventing use in youth.
GROWING & CULTIVATION
Exploring the process and journey of seed to sale, cultivation technologies, and the foreseen challenges of tracking and taking inventory of cannabis products.
Investor opportunities, trends and innovations, markets, and insurance.
With 2018 being the first year of the Cannabis Summit, FBC needed to build a foundation and create a new brand from scratch. This required great attention to detail, quality control, and creativity from the team here at FBC. We needed to find a venue, sponsors, speakers, an AV team, create marketing collateral and sell tickets. There were very few tasks that seemed straightforward, and as we closed in on the event, new tasks often popped up that were not originally accounted for. The team took every challenge in stride. With close to a full year of planning, on June 6th, 2018 we saw all the hard work fall into place as our team kicked off CCS.
With the goal to educate and inform attendees on the Cannabis industry, the 2018 summit was, by every definition, a success, and FBC has already begun planning for the 2019 Summit.
As this was the first year of CCS, we needed to start from the beginning with every detail. Since we didn't have an established brand, there was no familiarity, credibility or trust associated with CCS. We needed to incorporate that with each communication to potential sponsors and speakers. We also needed to find ways to break down barriers and prior assumptions related to cannabis, and clarify that CCS was not another “bong show “or “hemp trade-show, but actually, a place for academics, professionals, and entrepreneurs to come and be educated. With these barriers in mind, we had to push our creativity to be both clear and informative in our initial branding.
The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and although it is widely discussed and has taken space in our media, there is still a lot of negativity surrounding the industry. We found that many people are closet cannabis users or are afraid of being associated with the industry. We wanted to invite individuals who are in the cannabis industry and individuals who are wanting to know more about the industry. At first ticket sales were not ideal, but as we grew closer to the event we saw a major increase, and sold 250 tickets to our very first event.
Finding sponsors was a trying effort because let’s be honest, without our partners and sponsors the Summit would not have been possible. Securing sponsors is always a challenge all on its own, and we were entering our first year with a brand that was not well known. Convincing companies to jump on board and take a financial risk can be a difficult pursuit for anyone. This becomes increasingly more challenging when your cause relates to an unfamiliar industry such as cannabis. Building relationships with these brands took a lot of hard work and dedication from our team. Thankfully, everyone at FBC truly believes in CCS, and we were able to communicate our passions, ideas, and goals. Through our conversations with potential sponsors, we successfully built trust and secured thirteen sponsors.
To ensure that we were providing attendees with the best information and education we started searching for the best speakers in multiple industries. We gathered speakers from investing, medical, cooking, marketing, engineering and the government, to name a few industries. Speakers provided insight into the reality of cannabis and how it is becoming more present in different industries, and the changes we will expect to see after legalization. We were able to obtain 31 speakers who were scheduled between the two-day event.
Being a creative marketing agency, FBC had no problem finding creative ways to market the Summit. We had a clear goal of who we wanted to reach and a clear message we wanted our audience to know. From there, it was about creating social media campaigns, newsletter mail-out campaigns, radio ads, and making sure we weren’t violating any marketing regulations around cannabis.
Our design team put their heads together and started producing amazing graphics that completely captured and demonstrated what CCS is. From there, they applied those concepts to; brochures, lanyards, posters, banners, swag bags, stickers, a website, and graphics to go along with social media and newsletter content.
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Full Blast Creative is an award-winning, full service, Calgary marketing agency. We help brands excel in marketing and sales through web development, e-commerce solutions, social media management, SEO & SEM, email marketing, print design, and photo & video production.
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