Behind The Biggest Cannabis Tech Conference: New West Summit 3.0

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The biggest cannabis conference focused exclusively on technology, investment, and media is back and heading to Oakland, California. New West Summit 3.0 will have over 100 exhibitors, 45-panel discussions and over 2,000 attendees in attendance for three full days of networking, education and collaborating.

This year’s event will also include:

  • Consumer Day- On Sunday, October 15th, 2017 for the Canna-Curious from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., immediately following the B2B portion of New West Summit. The day will include sampling, exhibits, education, career fair, and much more.
  • Gateway Pitch Slam- The Gateway Pitch Slam is the startup pitch competition at New West Summit that brings together the up-and-coming cannabis start-ups for a live on-stage quick-fire contest with $10,000 on the line.
  • The Cannabis Career Fair- Dozens of employers and hundreds of job seekers will be at the Cannabis Career & Job Fair Hosted by Bloom Farms taking place in the Marriott City Center, East Hall, on Sun October 15th 11-4pm.

Behind the New West Summit

We had a chance to chat with Jim McAlpine, CEO of New West Summit to give our readers a peek behind this upcoming event.

How did the idea behind the New West Summit evolve?

It was from a lack of any “Tech” events in the space when I came in a few years back. I come from a tech background and wondered why no tech shows were being held and decided I’d start one due to the need for it….

Why do you believe technology is important for the cannabis industry?

Technology is important to every industry. It is the sole thing that will drive forward this industry into the future. It touches every part of the industry, the seed, the clone, the water, the plant, the soil and beyond to point of sale, etc… It is THE driver of the future of cannabis.

How many Staff, Volunteers, Contractors, and Sponsors did it take to put on the last NWS?

We had a total staff of about 8 and basically 3 main producers who worked with about 5 people under them.

Between all three of the NWS events, you have produced, what have been 2-3 of the most memorable moments?

If I had to narrow it down to three, Berner speaking at the first one. Branson skyping in from Necker Island at #2. And it was really fun to hang out with Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri too.

What can first time attendee’s expect when attending the New West Summit?

A graduate level conference about the future of cannabis with a technology and scientific angle to it. A lot of very nice people that are also very intelligent and business-driven. Of course, also a great time and a line up filled with plenty of information and education

When planning this event, what were important factors you and the team kept in mind?

We wanted to make sure the content was high level and educational. When looking at those involved we wanted to make sure we had quality speakers and panelists, while also making sure we found great companies for people to interact with.

What typically has been the 3 biggest operational challenges to launching NWS?

Cost, location, and scheduling. When it comes down to cost, prices of SF/Bay Area hotels and conference centers were high in cost and location made logistics for many inconvenient. When it came down to finalizing a date, we found locking in the date and location can be a challenge.

This year will be the 3rd Annual New West Summit, with growth comes learning experiences, what has been the biggest lesson you have learned either about the event, yourself or the industry?

To be honest the biggest lesson would be to do your due diligence on those you work with and/or associate with. I had a partner in New West at the start of it that was not the kind of person I like to associate myself with. It took me a while to find that out and I wish I had vetted them out more before working with them. Making sure you surround yourself with the right people is the biggest lesson I’ve learned.

What excites you about this upcoming event?

I am excited about having a consumer day. I think it will be a lot of fun especially for those who are canna-curious. I also am excited that we moved the conference to Oakland; I consider Oakland the true center of the cannabis movement in the Bay Area and in California.

Let’s talk about the long-term legacy impact of New West Summit. How is NWS evolving and attracting outside investment and tech talent?

We have added a BUNCH of new investment tracks and content. We are working with great companies like New Cannabis Ventures and Gateway to create new and interactive investment components of the event. Check out the website for more on that. You can even sign up to pitch at the event!

Are there any available booths and/or sponsorship opportunities available, for those who want to participate in this event?

We are currently sold out of space for exhibitors but have some sponsorship opportunities left! Please contact us if you would like to learn more.

Want to learn more about this upcoming event, click here.

New West Summit 1.0 (2015)

New West Summit 2.0 (2016)