VANCOUVER, British Columbia – After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Lift Vancouver 2023 returned with MCI USA as new management, renewed vigor and a vision for meeting the unique needs of audiences across the full cannabis ecosystem.
The event brought together thousands of cannabis industry members and consumers at the Vancouver Convention Centre from Jan. 12-14, and its 3,257 attendees exceeded attendance expectations. “Coming back after a three-year break there was concern about hitting our numbers. At first, we would have been happy with 2,500 but people were ready to come back, and we are very pleased to have exceeded that original number,” said Lindsay Roberts, Portfolio Lead, Lift Events & Experiences.
The last three years was a crucial period for the cannabis industry as it was just beginning to form and there was a strong need for people to get together and create a business community. “In more established industries it can be sometime before things change significantly. In a new industry, something new happens every three or four months. Things like new regulations, new competitors and new products, so face-to-face trade shows and conferences are extremely important,” said Roberts.
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The Lift team has convened the first cannabis industry event of 2023 with a high-energy expo floor, engaging speakers, lively networking and a strong element of community. Community-building features at the show included over 130 speakers and educational sessions, a brand pavilion, an outdoor networking lounge, a speakers’ corner, and a private screening of a documentary.
The event opened by acknowledging the Indigenous and legacy members of the cannabis producing community. Dennis Thomas-Whonoak, elected Councillor, Tsleil-Waututh Nation (People of the Inlet) performed a dedication and Xwelmexw Shxwexwo:s (Salish Thunderbird) entertained the attendees with a drum performance. Lift also partnered with the All Nations, an organization that weaves traditional Indigenous values with industry leading cultivation methods to craft the highest quality of cannabis.
Other a-ha moment components of Lift Vancouver 2023 included new super-charged consumer programs at the event, which featured multiple dedicated lounge areas, engaging panels and demonstrations and myriad opportunities for new brand and product discovery.
One significant development that occurred during the pandemic layoff was that MCI USA took over the management of Lift in 2020. Previously, the events were called Lift & Co. “The cannabis industry is poised to explode and a major player like MCI stepping in at this point gives it the legitimacy it needs to take the next step toward becoming a global industry,” Roberts said.
Reach Lindsay Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org