Get to Know Dela Kumapley, Event Manager for Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo

Maker:L,Date:2017-8-29,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo is Canada’s largest cannabis expo. The successful show has grown tremendously over the years, and since the legalization of cannabis in October 2018, it addresses the hottest topic in the country. Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo returns June 6-9, 2019  and features an industry day, exhibitors from across North America and Europe, live cooking demos and a cannabis career fair.

We asked Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo Event Manager Dela Kumapley about her best practices, challenges and what to expect from the next show in June.

Q: How did you become Event Manager for Cannabis Expo?

Dela: I joined Lift & Co. in April 2018, one month before the 2018 Toronto Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo – definitely hit the ground running! I couldn’t pass up the chance to come on board at such an exciting time for the company and the industry, especially knowing that we were on the cusp of something truly historic – the recreational legalization of cannabis.

Q: What are some of the best practices that you have learned from planning a successful trade show?

Dela: My rule of thumb when planning a successful trade show is communication. In addition to our show management suppliers, the three most important parties I am in constant communication with are the MTCC Event Manager, the Catering Manager, and our show services supplier. Most aspects of the planning process will affect or require some form of input from one of these three parties, so it is important to keep everyone in the know.

Q: Tell us a bit about the show and how it has grown since its first year.

Dela: The Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo is the premier cannabis tradeshow in North America. Since the first Toronto show, the Expo has grown to over 250 exhibitors from Canada and around the world housed within 19,000 sq. ft. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The three-day Expo consists of Industry Day on Friday, and Consumer Weekend on Saturday and Sunday open to the public. The Main and Demo stages see approximately 50 sessions and workshops with 100 speakers including the industry’s most knowledgeable and inspiring movers and shakers. The Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo is Canada’s signature event for cannabis consumers, professionals and investors.

Q: Will the show be different or have new aspects now that cannabis is legal?

Dela: At the first Toronto Expo since the legalization of recreational cannabis consumption on October 17th, 2018, expect to see an array of exhibits from the biggest cannabis companies and featuring the latest products and cutting-edge technologies, a curated list of activities including a demo stage, and a compelling line-up of panels and presentations from the who’s who of the industry.

The Lift & Co. Expo brings businesses and consumers together in one place to meet, explore, understand and make better-informed decisions around cannabis. Note that in accordance with the Cannabis Act, cannabis cannot be displayed, given out, or sold by exhibitors on the show floor.

Q: What is your biggest challenge as Event Manager for Cannabis Expo?

Dela: The main challenge is time – we have just over 24 hours to transform the empty Metro Convention Centre tradeshow floor into Canada’s largest cannabis event. Last year’s Expo in Toronto brought in nearly 20,000 attendees, and the Expo floor is jam-packed with exhibitors that showcase their brands using engaging high-tech booths. Last year, for example, one of our exhibitors demonstrated how they use aquaponics using live fish to fertilize soil used to grow cannabis. These types of installations make the Expo a must-attend event for anyone interested in cannabis but can present logistical challenges and putting it all together in such a short window of time takes a lot of planning. It’s a huge lift but so satisfying to see it all come together.

Another challenge is overcoming the stigma associated with the industry and community. I think many attendees and passersby are pleasantly surprised by the creativity, scope and professionalism of all aspects of the Expo when they visit.

Q: How many exhibitors are forecasted for next year’s show? What type of exhibitors will be attending?

Dela: We are forecasting over 300 exhibitors for the 2019 show including Licensed Producers (LPs), retailers and ancillary services.

Q: What are some of the highlights that we can expect in 2019?

Dela: Visitors can expect to see booths dressed to impress! Every year, we see exhibitors invest more time, energy, and money into their booth builds in order to fully harness the opportunity to connect and engage both businesses and consumers who get more and more sophisticated.

Q: How do you motivate the event team?

Dela: Contributing to currently the most top-of-mind and most talked about industry in Canada is motivation enough for the event team! Lift & Co. (TSXV:LIFT) first launched in 2014 to support the medical cannabis community and being on the other side of recreational legalization is thrilling and keeps our creative juices flowing (and challenged) each and every day.

Q: What is the one thing that you triple check before the start of the show?

Dela: If every single piece of signage and printed collateral has been sent to print and that I provided the correct delivery address.

Q: What is the one thing you do after the last day of the show?

Dela: Express gratitude to every single team member and supplier who made the show possible and then take a few days off the grid to recharge.

For more information on the show, click here: https://liftexpo.ca/

For more best practices for event managers, click here: http://blog.mtccc.com/three-best-practices-for-planners-an-event-managers-perspective/

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