What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless it’s brokering new partnerships and strengthening business relationships. That’s because one thing that Las Vegas does well is host tradeshows. The city makes it easy to attend, entertain and network—and the CHAMPS Summer 2023 trade show was no exception.
From July 19-22, the Cannabis Now team descended on the sprawling cannabis counter-culture business event that serves North America’s headshops to shake hands, close business deals and do the thing we do best: Help our clients get the very most from their marketing spend.
The three-day counter-culture expo attracted thousands of attendees, including celebs, to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) for the three-day. The venue is known for hosting the world’s most prolific conferences, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), MJBizCon.
The CHAMPS Experience
At first glance, CHAMPS, akin to other larger-than-life B2B tradeshows, comes across as large, bright and overwhelming. However, taking a second look, it’s quite the opposite: Strategically aligned rows transition effortlessly from one area of sales to another, taking excited attendees from distribution through hardware. Booths of regulated products, including cannabis, functional mushrooms and psilocybin, were all vying for attention from attendees and other exhibitors.
Several newer vendors took the great leap into the US tradeshow hustle. Royal Queen Seeds, a European leader in wholesale cannabis seeds, enjoyed their first CHAMPS experience. “Participating in CHAMPS Las Vegas was an exhilarating experience for us,” said Shai Ramsahai, Royal Queen Seeds’ founder and CEO. “We were overjoyed to be part of this remarkable event for the first time. It was a wonderful opportunity to make connections as we position ourselves in the US market, and we were thrilled to receive such positive feedback from everyone who visited us.”
Focused on DIY psilocybin grow kits (spores not included), Oklahoma-based Pacific Substrates is teaching their customers how fun and easy growing mushrooms at home can be. “Seeing existing clients and making new ones is definitely our highlight at CHAMPS,” said Adam Petto, co-founder of Pacific Substrates. “We attend a lot of tradeshows across North America and CHAMPS is, by far, our favorite.”
Revelry Supply, one of North America’s best-selling brands of smell-proof bags and cases, couldn’t keep its smell-proof rolling kits on hand. “We just love attending CHAMPS,” said CEO Brandon Stewart. “The turnout is always great; people walking the floor are excited to discover new products and make deals. We can’t wait for the next show.”
Celebrity cannabis brands turned heads with fun and flashy attention-grabbing activations, like the massive wrestling ring from Hogan Health to represent iconic wrestler Hulk Hogan’s debut into the cannabis industry with Carma Holdings. Unfortunately, due to regulations around samples, the highly anticipated event couldn’t legally happen.
Various other celebrity brands also had their superstars show up to promote their brands to an excited audience, including Mike Tyson for Tyson 2.0 brands and Snoop Dogg for Death Row Cannabis. They were also handing out free, well-designed merch to lure new market share.
Summer Games Glass Event
And, of course, CHAMPS wouldn’t be CHAMPS without the iconic Glass Games. This year’s theme was “ROYGBIV,” which is an acronym for the sequence of colors that make up a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Oregon-based glass artist Chase Smith took home first prize with his multi-hued creation that he made in a mind-blowing three hours.
If you didn’t make it to the CHAMPS Summer 2023 trade show in Las Vegas, there are two more events you can attend before year’s end: the Denver show is taking place Sept. 27-28, and the Tampa version is from Oct. 25-27. Get all the details at champstradeshows.com.