Why tradeshows matter for HEXO+

As you might have read, we recently went to 2 very important trade shows in their respective industries, the CES in Las Vegas and the ISPO in Munich. From certain comments we received, it seems some of you aren’t convinced this is the best way to spend some of our funding. As we are both eager to keep a transparent relationship with our community and are accountable to our backers, we thought it was important to explain why trade shows do matter for us.

Trade shows are exhibitions organized for companies in a set industry to showcase and demonstrate their latest products to clients, meet stakeholders, keep an eye on competitors and survey market trends. It’s an opportunity to meet with the whole ecosystem in one’s industry and maintain, improve or start work relationships. CES and ISPO are targeted to a professional audience and people go there because it’s a way to grow one’s business.

CES

In our case CES was an opportunity on many levels that couldn’t afford to turn down. It is the best place to:

  • meet with media and get press coverage, which turns into traffic and then into sales.
  • challenge our product by providing live demo, which forces us to have a reliable demo system and in turns accelerates our product development,
  • meet and discuss with potential technical partners, to eventually improve the user experience of the product,
  • exchange with backers in real life, to better understand your needs,
  • have a clear picture of players in our market, to know where we should invest to stay on top,
  • and meet VCs (venture capitalists) and BAs (business angels) to anticipate further developments.

All this proved to be extremely worthwhile because coming back from CES we felt like we were more or less leading the pack in autonomous aerial filming and this was a huge morale boost for the whole team. We had been working hard for 6 months without much market feedback.

In terms of costs, we chose the smallest available booth and stayed in an Airbnb house to keep costs low and maximise the impact of our investment. If you haven’t read our CES reports, here you go.

 Xavier giving an interview to media at the CES

ISPO

Then we went to ISPO, which is the largest winter action sports tradeshow, like, ever. Half of our team has strong ties to the action sports industry and we have lots of users who also come from this background, so it made a lot of sense for us to go. Especially when the booth was for free, as we had won the Brandnew ISPO award for best accessory. At ISPO we found possibilities to:

  • meet with european backers and collect their feedback to improve HEXO+,
  • exchange with photographers and directors who spend most of their time outdoors to collect their expectations on a product like ours,
  • meet with professional athletes to broaden our ambassadors list and collect their feedback,
  • meet distributors and retailers to prepare our retail launch.

All this in 3 days, staying at a pension on a budget. More on ISPO in our latest blog post, and here’s a video for you to catch the vibe of what it’s like on the showfloor.

Hope this gives you a better understanding of why we invested resources, both in time, energy and money to attend those trade shows: they’re amazing opportunities to better understand your market, meet key people, accelerate your development and get stoked. Here’s a video recap:

Matthieu, co-founder & content

Comments/Discussions

  • alexis

    this is a test

Matthieu
Matthieu is a co-founder of the company and has a long history in making things happens in the snowboard industry. He's been the producer of all Xavier's movie and he handles everything that has to do with communication. He also sets the bar very high in terms of footage quality ;)