Pop up cannabis events have been around forever.
True, but the type of pop up cannabis events that we see today have less in common with the typical idea of a bunch of kids meeting up to smoke some weed behind the field house, and a lot more in common with temporary venues such as restaurants, supper clubs, forage dinners, and so on. For any number of chefs and event promoters in the cannabis space, temporary events using guerrilla marketing tactics is the new deal, and while it’s showing a clear profit with much less downside than some of the more traditional types of events, we expect to see the trend continue.
Before we go any further in this article, we do want to make it very clear that we are not talking about impromptu smokeouts – or even well planned events – that fall outside the bounds of state legal cannabis use. So if you are in a state that has no legal cannabis sales or use laws on the books, this article is not for you.
Let’s say you are in a state that allows for private consumption parties, tasting events, cup competitions, etc – then we are talking specifically to you. For several years now, one of the stock standard ideas has been to use SMS messaging to send out location and other details to event goers. This is an effective means of getting through to the folks that are attending your event, but it’s such a rudimentary method at this stage in the technology that you might as well write your invitations in crayon and put them in the snail mail.
What do you mean you don’t take cash for advertising?
I’m sure that some of our friends in the app business will step up about now and start pushing their app – how great it is, how easy it is, how much reach it has… until the sound of ‘who really cares’ takes over the background noise and drowns them out. Again – nothing wrong with apps, unless you want to pay to develop and support one, or you want to be at someone else’s mercy – like say they decide they don’t want to allow you to pay for your ad spots in cash any more since they want to go public and they’re scared that if they are taking so much cash they won’t be a good candidate for an IPO.
If you happen to be a customer of the company that is no longer taking cash, things could be tough for you – whether you’re running pop up cannabis events or you simply have a dispensary that hosts events with brands on premise – if you are looking at ways to maintain or increase your exposure, then you should probably pay close attention to this blog article, since everything in it is very easily adaptable to your circumstances.
What is the events producer’s successful formula?
Let’s take a quick look at the basics:
- What information do you need to get out?
- How often do you need to push out info?
- How many people need to receive your info?
- What actions do these people likely need to take after getting your message?
- How can you make it easier on people who are getting your message?
No rocket science here, just a simple list of what pop up cannabis events need to cover in their marketing messages, from the planning to the execution. We’ll quickly go down the list and mark the pros and cons for mobile wallet events tickets and marketing versus SMS or other app based components. Ready?
Information that needs to be distributed includes times, dates, costs, specific legal information (no one under 21, for instance, or cash only, or medical card required for admittance) at a minimum; more detail like menus for pop up cannabis chef events or themes for parties and so on. If you’ve got more than 240 characters worth of info, you’re looking at multiple texts, that’s not ideal.
How often you want to push out information is totally up to you; people with daily specials or lots of events tend to message more frequently than those with a more relaxed schedule. Again, if you are using SMS, all those push messages start to add up over the course of a monthly bill.
How many SMS messages you send out is the crux of how much your bill runs every month. Perhaps you are making so much money that you don’t care, but then again if you’re running a successful business you will care.
When you want someone to take an action based on your message, this is where things get sticky. In SMS messaging you are restricted to choosing a single action per message (maybe you have more available characters but do you want to confuse your peeps that way?), and if you were advertising on one of the existing apps (Weedmaps, Leafly, EventHi, Rush, MassRoots, whatever) then you are handing them your users information with the explicit agreement that they can use it to market for other companies if they choose to do so. And you’re paying them big dollars for the privilege. You don’t own your own customers.
Get ’em out of their seats and into the aisles.
Let’s say you want to provide a link to the Map, to your IG profile, to a website with the menu, to a second website that belongs to the chef, and to three different sponsors. Wow, that seems like a lot of links, and that’s going to take a lot of (unread) SMS messages to get all that information out there. Have fun figuring that one out.
How can you get your people to take the action you want them to take after getting the message that you want them to see? And make sure that your people are your own, that you aren’t inadvertently giving them to other apps or companies who may decide to market or advertise to them without you being the subject of those ads?
Time for the closer.
Yep, we’re at the point where I’m selling you something. You knew it had to happen, this is, after all, the CannabisWallet blog, and while we don’t always beat you in the face with promotions, this time we are.
The interesting part of using mobile wallets to message, advertise, and notify is that you own your data, the cost is minimal, and you can send beautiful messages to your beautiful people and make them feel like they are special enough that they will not ignore your Calls to Action, but instead they will click through, RSVP, show up – to the right location at the right time – – take gorgeous pics of your fabulous event and post them on social media; all of this will happen seamlessly via the back of the pass.