What is the USA CBD Expo?
For those looking to sample, purchase, partner or network in the blooming CBD industry, this year’s first USA CBD Expo in Las Vegas delivered. With over 10,000 attendees from all over the world (including a big showing from international visitors from China, Australia and Europe), this expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center was hopping from opening day to closing night.
For exhibitors and attendees, the three-day expo from February 13th — 15th offered the largest collection of CBD-themed products in the nation. From hemp seed wholesalers to CBD-specialized online payment gateways, those in the industry had the opportunity to rub elbows with colleagues and browse the latest and greatest innovations in one massive (and we mean massive) convention hall.
Attendees also flooded the Main Stage and Conference Rooms to hear over 40 experts speak on CBD-related topics throughout the conference. Some big hits included “How CBD Will Save Football” delivered by NFL football player Kyle Turley, and “CBD as a Pathway to a Better Lifestyle” from Olympic champion Dara Torres. And of course, BigCommerce’s very own Meghan Stabler took the Main Stage on Day One (more on her talk below).
With four more USA CBD Expos planned throughout the U.S. and Columbia this year, it’s safe to say this conference delivers on its promise: to be THE go-to event for any person or business looking to grow in the budding CBD industry this year and beyond.
Why Attend the CBD Expo?
For EpicShops, this was our first major expo event. Working in the ecommerce web development field for 10+ years, we’ve recently expanded into the CBD realm with clients across the U.S. Being based in Oregon, we’re in the CBD epicenter of the nation’s growers and producers, and many have come to us with questions about navigating the ever-changing world of CBD online sales. This expo gave us the opportunity to get up close and personal with the movers and shakers in the industry, and deliver timely and relevant news back to our friends in CBD-land.
We also had the honor of partnering with BigCommerce for our Expo exhibit booth (cue dreamy eyes and fireworks!). We stood alongside Chris, Ben, Evan, and Nicholas from BigCommerce to share ways in which our favorite ecommerce platform has greenlit CBD and hemp sales, and provides full access to their full suite of tools that help improve conversion rates and drive sales.
Our own Brandon Kirkland was there soap-boxing on conversion rate optimization and educating business owners on the importance of not only getting visitors to their websites and stores, but then also making it easy for them to convert into customers and come back for purchases again and again.
Being a BigCommerce partner for over 10 years, this was a great chance to work together and share what’s possible for CBD growers and producers in the world of online sales. As many of the companies we spoke with are looking to fast-track their marketing, payment gateways, and sales journeys, it was an ideal time to be in front of the CBD crowd with solutions that work (and are currently working) on BigCommerce stores.
Plus, we had a spinner.
Like, a really cool spinner.
And anyone who stopped by to chat at our booth had the chance to spin the wheel and win some very cool BigCommerce schwag and gear. We may have even pocketed some of the prizes for ourselves…shhhh…
From healthcare professionals to NFL football players, the attendees, exhibitors, and speakers represented a wide range of enthusiasts and experts on the topic of CBD. Organizers of the Las Vegas expo highlighted the venue’s ability to hold a huge crowd, and in that, they succeeded. Each day we met hundreds of passersby perusing booths to learn about everything from topical CBD application to marketing a CBD-based business online.
Visitors came from as far away as Hong Kong and Sydney to learn about and try new products, connect with suppliers, and network within the industry. Our partners at BigCommerce spent time each day going out into the crowd, meeting new faces, shaking new hands, and answering inquiring minds’ questions about the future of CBD and ecommerce.
All in all, we found ourselves in the company each day of leaders in their fields. Growers who are employing new processing methods, culinary enthusiasts experimenting with new flavors, and innovators who are ready to connect the dots and facilitate the next BIG THING in hemp and CBD.
The sheer variety of CBD-related products was absolutely incredible. Ever had CBD-infused popcorn? Visit the folks at Kana Korn. Interested in hemp-infused coffee? Check out Cynergy gourmet coffee and tea blends. And our favorite: CBD Pillow. That’s right! A pillow with fabric infused with CBD that slow-releases all night long. Sounds relaxing, right?
Lucky for us, our booth was near the Main Stage where we could wander over and listen to the conference’s top speakers covering all aspects of the CBD and Hemp industry. The primary goal was to educate attendees by providing a comprehensive list of topics all conference-long, including business, science, law, health, and more.
We were star-struck with BigCommerce’s own Meghan Stabler on the Main Stage during the first day of the Expo. Her topic, “Ecommerce and CBD — What You Need to Know in 2020” highlighted the fact that within the next five years, the global hemp-derived CBD market is expected to reach a colossal $760 million. In order for entrepreneurs, farmers and businesses to take advantage of this global movement, they need to know how to properly and legally market and sell their CBD products online.
This is where BigCommerce comes in. The platform is dialed in for CBD marketing and sales, and a great fit for businesses of all sizes — from a solo-preneur operation just starting out, all the way up to Fortune 500 companies.
CBD consumers are looking for oils, balms, capsules, sprays, edibles, publications, supplements and so much more, and the more accessible companies can make their products online, the better. Meghan confirmed that now is a great time to invest in SEO, educational content, networking, and industry trade shows. Influencers are another great opportunity to get visibility and traffic and reach a captive audience of buyers online.
The power of BigCommerce’s platform was not lost on the attendees, as many came to our co-hosted booth following Meghan’s talk. Entrepreneurs in the CBD industry right now want choices, security, and clarity when it comes to the best options for showcasing their products online — that’s for sure. Meeting a lot of these business owners face-to-face helped us to not only further understand what those in the industry are looking for right now, but also offer personal guidance when it comes to ecommerce sales.
And we have to mention…
Our favorite marketers of the entire conference showed up at the very end, as we were packing up. They weren’t vendors. They weren’t attendees. They weren’t organizers. They were Girl Scouts.
As the flood of conference visitors left the building, they all walked by a mother and her two kids who set up shop outside the Expo doors. These kids were slinging Girl Scout cookies to a crowd that had just spent three days on their feet — talk about a captive audience! Just about everyone pumped the brakes and bought a box on their way out. We saw a lot during the conference and were dazzled by all sorts of vendors and products, but none stuck with us like these young, clever entrepreneurs.
Or at least more in the CBD world. The USA CBD Expo has four more locations planned for this year, and that momentum is expected to keep growing in the coming years. It’s an industry on the rise, and business-savvy entrepreneurs from all over the world are gathering to share ideas on how to best support each other during this time of monumental CBD and hemp industry growth.
The main takeaway from the conference was the feeling that “we are stronger together.” When we share innovations, breakthroughs, technologies, and methods, we all move the CBD dial forward for a win-win-win all around. It’s an exciting time to be involved in CBD, and a great chance for us to continue driving ahead of the curve by partnering with BigCommerce to offer our clients the very best ecommerce tools and technology available.
After a very eventful weekend away in Las Vegas, we’re convinced now even more than ever: CBD is fresh, it’s new, it’s intriguing, and we’re pumped to continue being a part of the world-wide movement, too. A big thank you to BigCommerce for joining us on that wild Las Vegas ride, and we look forward to working with our new CBD-focused clients and partners in the year to come!