Among the numerous and unfortunate consequences the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the hemp industry, the shutdown of public events and mass gatherings is one of the more aggravating. As the cbd/hemp industry grew during the last several years, so has the tradeshow industry, which played a big part in many CBD and cannabis companies’ marketing strategies to make themselves known to potential customers.

While the concept of “reinvention” is often thrown out when talking about companies that had to adapt to the pandemic’s so-called “new normal,” hemp trade shows had to use the concept to its fullest to stay afloat.

So a new trend has begun to emerge: virtual shows. The CBD and hemp industry thrives by building community, and virtual shows are an excellent opportunity to continue that tradition. A tradition that allows business owners to network and consumers to learn about the latest CBD products.

Events like Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo take advantage of technology and allow attendees and vendors to interact in a virtual world. Like something out of the Sims videogames, people can create a virtual character and literally walk inside a venue and visit vendor booths, just like they would in real life. The platform on which Emerge works even allows people to talk to each other and exchange information and business cards in real time.

Maybe it can’t beat the real thing, but it is a great alternative in these troubling times. The spirit of community and networking doesn’t die within the industry, and these strategies show how it thrives despite many hurdles.

Although it’s hard to set an end-date for the pandemic, eventually, it will end. In the meantime, companies can try to go business as usual while attending these virtual events. In fact, Emerge, collaborating with USA CBD Expo, is having their last show of the year. Winter Emerge 2020 will take place virtually on December 15 through Thursday, December 17, 2020, and will feature the industry’s top leaders.