Conferences that captivate: psychedelic science 2023

Conferences that captivate: psychedelic science 2023

The 10 BizBash Conferences to Captivate 2023 are sponsored by Pixis Drones.

basics: Psychedelic Science 2023, the largest psychedelic conference ever, kicked off at the 2.2 million square foot Colorado Convention Center from June 19-23. The symposium, organized by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in collaboration with Momentum Events, attracted 12,300 participants and 500 educators from 52 countries.

The staggering numbers didn’t stop there: attendees were able to experience 400 panels and more than 30 workshops focusing on the power and promise of psychedelics in cultural, medical and traditional settings; Speakers included Colorado Governor Jared Polis, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There were also 250 exhibitors. (For reference, the last edition of the event did not have an exhibition hall, and only had 2,000 attendees.) Activist and MAPS founder Rick Doblin gave an inspiring opening speech.Activist and MAPS founder Rick Doblin gave an inspiring opening speech.Image: Courtesy of Psychedelic Science 2023

Steal-worthy (and surreal) innovations: Wellness brand Dr. Bronner’s — which has donated more than $20 million to drug policy advocacy and organizations in the drug space — co-produced “Deep Space,” a 105,000-square-foot Burning Man-inspired multi-sensory exhibition using an entire gallery hall. A golden Burning Man dragon installation served as a focal point of the exhibition, while speakers, performers and artists took advantage of the surrounding space for engaging conversations. In addition, live artists from various mediums created diverse works, the tea room invited guests to take off their shoes and relax, and the meditation dome welcomed everyone to provide a refuge for the mind and body.

“Burning Man is a very well-established psychedelic container,” said Mia Bronner, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Foam Experience Director. “You can feel the vibration of the hearth-friendly environment immediately. It made so much sense to bring Playa to Deep Space, that the vast majority of guests who walk through will feel at home, or at least curious.”

Gina Fencel, marketing director for both Psychedelic Science 2023 and Momentum Events, noted that the “Deep Space” exhibit ties into the event’s overall health and wellness initiatives. “To be able to go from such intense conversations, sometimes, to then be able to sit in the tea lounge and take your shoes off, or to be able to lie down in one of the meditation beds – that’s the kind of experience we wanted.” She explained. “This is a mental health conference that concluded with a discussion of these substances, but it’s really about taking better care of ourselves, and all the different ways we can do that. And I think art and music are a big part of that.” Taking refuge from the day, attendees took off their shoes to enter the tea room A refuge from the day, attendees took off their shoes to enter the “Deep Space” Tea Lounge to enjoy relaxation, networking, and tea service (of course).Image: Courtesy of Psychedelic Science 2023

Technical journeys ahead: In addition to the more art-focused items, the gallery floor displayed several technology-enabled treatments that simulated psychedelic trips. For example, sponsor roXiva has set up several stations to experience its Hypnotic Light Machine, which stimulates auditory and visual brain waves to induce a highly relaxing or highly inspiring state of mind. Like many of the other immersive therapies at the conference, roXiva promoted its experience as a drug-free psychedelic journey.

Another notable activity came from sponsor Apollo Neuro, who sponsored a multi-sensory geodesic dome containing elements of light, sound, smell and touch. The healthy wrist wearable helps relieve stress by partnering with the parasympathetic nervous system. The team demonstrated how to apply the device to a psychedelic experience to help navigate a journey and rejuvenate the stress response, and sold wearables on site. The Apollo Neuro space was created with the help of Dapper Event Design.The Apollo Neuro space was created with the help of Dapper Event Design.Image: Courtesy of Psychedelic Science 2023

Follow the rules: In 2022, Colorado voters approved Proposition 122, which decriminalizes psilocybin (a natural psychedelic precursor produced by more than 200 species of fungi) and creates a framework for the use of some psychedelics in therapeutic settings. So, while magic mushrooms were displayed for purely research purposes on the exhibition floor, the team was careful to make sure they – and the attendees and exhibitors – fully understood the rules.

“We’ve put together a toolkit on our website that explains the country’s rules, because we’ve had international people travel here, and it can be confusing for people what the rules really mean,” Vencel noted. “Currently, psilocybin is decriminalized in Colorado, which made it enticing to the team when they were thinking about where to bring Psychedelic Science next.”

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Pixis Drones is a market leader in light show drones, built using the agency’s experimental DNA and a combination of Hollywood films. While the company is known for its drone demos for Super Bowl LVI, the 2022 NBA Draft, and the 2023 NFL Draft, it has done demos for noteworthy B2B and B2C brands across various industries and markets.

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