Insurance Journal Ad & Marketing

Why Didn’t We End It at 4:20? A Recap of the Insuring Cannabis Virtual Summit

By | October 21, 2019

I was skeptical when our CEO suggested it. “We should have an online conference about cannabis insurance,” he said. This was on the heels of an extremely popular Insuring Cannabis newsletter launch earlier this year. The reason for my reluctance? I remembered the early days of online conferences. You know the ones. With ‘virtual booths’ and odd cartoon characters walking around a virtual trade floor.

We looked at several examples of more modern ones. They were super cool. We created a website. Sponsor packages. Put together a content review panel. Guidelines. Checklists. Timelines. Online creative. Print creative. Emails. Badges. PR. Social media packs. Call for speakers form. (By the way, check this out: within 2 hours of sending the call for speakers email, we had 20 proposals. By the time we closed the call for speakers, there were over 90! Extremely knowledgeable folks submitted. From educators to risk managers, carriers and retail agents. We put a little ‘P.S.’ on the bottom of the call for speakers offering free summit registration. From that, over 300 signed up in 4 days. That was BEFORE any other promotion. Soon, we had the sponsor support of CannGen, Merlinos, Cannasure, and NCRMA.

This event took many hours of work from many different departments. Hours in addition to our regular gigs. Not gonna lie. It was a bit painful. But last Thursday, Oct 17, 2019, we did it! We had a live conference from 9am PST through 4:10 PST. Why we didn’t end it at 4:20 I have no idea. But I digress…

Was it perfect? No. There were a few tech glitches. Behind the scenes, it was terrifying. And exhilarating. But when you consider that we had 19 presenters and over 1,500 attendees with different computers, connection speeds, audio and video settings, I’d say it went pretty darn great!

Here are some fun stats from the Insuring Cannabis Summit experience that I thought you marketers would be interested in:

  • 2,568 registrants from 1,300 companies.
  • 2,255 total views.
  • 1,527 total unique ‘live’ viewers.
  • 681 average leads per sponsor. (Registrants were given the option to connect with sponsors. Privacy of our audience is always top of mind for us.)
  • 60 minutes average view time. (Viewers would come and go throughout the day.)
  • 1 lovesick viewer in the chat who wanted to date our host.

And here are some of the creative units that we used to promote the conference:

Our social media manager probably had TOO MUCH FUN promoting it, but as it turned out, everybody loves puns. (Except one guy. There’s always one guy 😊) Here are some examples of the social posts:

Have you ever put together a live or online conference? I’d love to hear about your experiences and your best practices for others. Because, as hard as this was to pull together, the audience loved it. And we’re probably gonna do another topic soon! Stand by.

About Julie Tinney

Julie Tinney, Chief Marketing Officer at Wells Media Group, is responsible for leading the company's promotional and branding strategies, sales management, corporate communications and public relations. Her love of the media profession began with a position at Petersen Publishing Co. in Los Angeles. She was the Western Regional Sales Manager for Selling Power Magazine, and also owned an independent media rep firm. Tinney holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a graduate of the Stanford Publishing Course. She has presented to media and insurance groups including the Western Publications Association, the Texas Surplus Lines Association, the Insurance Agency Association Executives, and was a featured speaker at Folio's MediaNext conference and the Audience Development Magazine webinar series. Tinney is an advertising, marketing and gadget geek, a music and animal lover, and a doting mom. More from Julie Tinney

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