Tips For Going to Women Grow
Tips For Going To Women Grow
By Angela Viesti @AngelasAshes420
In the Cannabis Industry, it’s all about who you know and what you know
When I started to explore a career in cannabis I knew no one in the industry and very little about the plant - other than what I liked and how to get it. I knew I could self-educate with online research and podcasts to get the what, but where would I go to find the who?
My first stop was the Los Angeles Chapter of Women Grow, a national network of professionals in the cannabis space with monthly events in 45 cities and counting. Although their primary focus is on female leaders in the industry, men are welcome and highly encouraged to attend! This was the best place for me to start and I’ve made some of my most meaningful connections at these events.
Before the Event – Prepare Yourself!
Make sure you bring business cards! They’re really inexpensive at any office supply store, and you don’t need to be a business owner or have a logo to get them; I used a template and my personal contact information on mine. Be prepared to talk about what you want to do in the industry, and bring questions and ideas to discuss. If you don’t really know what you want to do or what’s out there, that’s ok! This is a great place to connect with people, learn about the latest products and business opportunities, and meet the guest speaker. The cannabis industry is very innovative, so do your homework if you plan on talking to the guest speaker; you don’t want to give them a blank stare when they talk about their specialty.
At the Event – Talk to People! Attendees, Event Organizers, Volunteers, the Guest Speaker
The goal here is to meet to as many people as possible and make new contacts because each person offers a different perspective and could be an invaluable connection. Get the guest speaker’s attention before they take the stage; afterwards they’ll be bombarded by attendees, and the beginning of the event is less noisy. The opposite is true of the event organizers and volunteers; once the speaking portion of the event is over, a majority of their work is done. They’re also easier to identify after you’ve seen them in action. When you’re networking, think not only about what information you’re looking for, but also if you have any resources that might be useful; this will turn conversations into lasting relationships and build your network. Conversations should be somewhat short and to the point, but always be polite, and make sure to listen and get the person’s business card. However, if you really hit it off with someone, enjoy getting to know them! This industry is very unique and has a community-like feel. Plus, there’s always the next month’s event!
After the Event – Reach Out and Connect!
I always leave Women Grow events feeling ultra-inspired by the collective energy of all the passionate people I meet. It’s important to strike while the iron is hot and reach out to all your new contacts as soon as possible, typically within 48 hours; you don’t want them to forget you if too much time passes. Connect with the Chapter via social media, Facebook groups, and email lists to stay up to date with future events and news. If you’re eager to get involved, but still don’t know exactly where to start, volunteer! The organizers may need help during events or a photographer, for example. And finally, consider attending another Chapter’s event to get a wider scope of the industry; each Chapter is different and it’s a great way to expand your network.
The Gateway to the Future
Just nine months ago, I nervously stepped foot into my first Women Grow event with a family member who accompanied me for support and quickly realized that this was the industry I belonged in. Opportunities open up daily in this space, and I encourage anyone who’s curious about exploring a blossoming new industry to start at a Women Grow Signature Networking Event taking place the first Thursday of each month in most cities (not L.A., of course). If you’re shy like I was, then bring a friend to ease your anxiety, but trust me, you’ll talk to more people without a crutch.
For more information or to find a Chapter near you, visit Womengrow.com