DESTIN, FL -- Planning for the 2011 Southeastern Vending Association convention is entering its final phase. The event it set for Aug. 3-5 (Wednesday through Friday) at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort here.
The business program has been bolstered by the addition of a panel session on coffee and a presentation on cashless vending and cash recycling. These round out a curriculum that also includes a workshop on maximizing profit through improved route efficiencies, an overview of "the challenge of change" and an in-depth discussion of strategy and future opportunities in vending.
The coffee symposium will feature U.S. Roasterie's Howard Fischer, Excelso Coffee & Tea's Geoff Paul, National Coffee Service & Vending's Rick Dutkiewicz and Pepi Coffee Co.'s Vic Pemberton. The open format will encourage an exchange of ideas, experiences and opinions among the expert panelists and the audience.
The technology update, presented by MEI and Apriva, will focus on the value of enhancing the patron's payment experience in boosting sales and broadening product variety. This can be done by adding cash recycling -- the payment of small-denomination banknotes as change -- and cashless payment capability to vending equipment.
Both sessions are scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 4, after the conclusion of the sponsoring state associations' membership meetings at 1 p.m.
Other noteworthy events set for Thursday include an update on new National Automatic Merchandising Association programs and initiatives, led by senior NAMA staff members, at 8:30 a.m., and the route efficiency session, led by Brad Bachtelle of Bachtelle & Associates, slated for 10:15 a.m. A sponsor appreciation reception will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by the Supplier Night festivities.
Highlights of the education program on Friday, Aug. 5, include the future of vending panel session from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Panelists will include Dennis Hogan of Canteen Vending Services, Coca-Cola Co.'s Tom Barlow and Crane Merchandising Systems' Brad Ellis. At 10:15 a.m., legendary Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann will deliver the keynote address -- called The Challenge of Change -- to set the tone for a meet-and-greet event, which will run until 11:45 a.m. Theismann now is an analyst, commentator and host with the NFL Network.
The Southeastern Vending Association consists of six National Automatic Merchandising Association state councils. The Alabama Vending Association, Mississippi Automatic Merchandising Association and Vending Machine Operators of Louisiana originally came together to sponsor a joint conference as the Vending Machine Association of the Gulf Shore (VMAGS) from 1981 to 2002. In 2003, the Georgia Automatic Merchandising Association, Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association and Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida added their support to the effort, which expanded into SEVA.