CHICAGO -- The opening session of the National Automatic Merchandising Association's OneShow will kick off a program highlighting the revitalization of the vending industry. The 2012 OneShow is scheduled for the Venetian-Sands Expo in Las Vegas from April 25 through 27 (Wednesday through Friday).
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
The leadoff event is set for Wednesday, April 25 at 1 p.m., and will be marked by several firsts. New NAMA president and chief executive Carla Balakgie will make her inaugural address, outlining her vision for the association and the future of NAMA's new Industry Growth Strategy. She also will summarize a new strategy for the association's coffee members, review legislative priorities and initiatives, and offer insight into other plans for the year ahead.
Balakgie joined NAMA from the Electronic Transactions Association, and began familiarizing herself with the industry and its members at last fall's Coffee, Tea & Water conference. She formally took the reins on Dec. 1, succeeding Richard M. Geerdes in the top spot. She is the sixth chief executive -- the post, originally executive director, was re-titled president in 1970 -- since the association was formed in 1936.
Another highlight of the opening session will be a performance by the famous Blue Man Group, renowned for its imaginative fusion of music, comedy and multimedia effects.
Climaxing the session, NAMA will recognize outstanding industry achievement by presenting annual awards for vending operator of the year, coffee service operator of the year, allied members of the year in the vending and coffee manufacturer and supplier segments, and industry person of the year.
This formal opening extravaganza occurs midway through a week that affords industry members a variety of educational opportunities. NAMA will conduct the latest sessions of its long-running Supervisor Development and Quality Coffee Certification programs, and a brand-new sales training program titled "Coaching For Improved Sales Performance." These require separate registration, and all start before OneShow gets under way on Wednesday, April 25 (see sidebars below for details).
The Wednesday opening program leads off with the annual State Council Officers Breakfast at 7 a.m. Four concurrent educational presentations will follow, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A workshop on leveraging technology in vending operations will be led by Dr. Michael Kasavana, NAMA endowed professor at the School for Hospitality Business of Michigan State University (E. Lansing). At the same time, an update on federal legislation will keep participants current on events in Washington that can affect the industry. And Jeff Deitchler, PrairieFire Coffee Roasters (Wichita, KS), will moderate the eagerly anticipated Coffee and Water Service Operators symposium, while Vic Pemberton, Pepi Food Service (Bainbridge, GA), emcees the popular Vending/Coffee Service 101 expert introduction to both wings of the refreshment services business.
A second round of four concurrent business sessions is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. NAMA Coffee Committee chairman Howard Chapman, Royal Cup Coffee (Birmingham, AL), will detail the new strategic plan for the office coffee segment, while cold beverage trends are explored by Ross Colbert, Rabobank International, who also will provide strategic insights.
At the same time, DePaul University's Dr. Mark L. Frigo will explain the basics of developing a focused growth strategy, and Coca-Cola director of vending strategy Dan Avenick will moderate a panel session on engaging consumers through social media. Panelists include Chuck Olson, CNC Vending, and Tom Siciliano, Integrity Associates LLC.
The trade show opens for business at 2:30 p.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m. Back by popular demand are Operator Perspectives, half-hour presentations in the exhibit area by experienced, highly regarded operators on topics of current concern. The first of these is slated for 4 p.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26
Thursday's agenda gets off to a fast start with the annual membership meeting. Highlights will include a state-of-the-industry address by NAMA chairman Brad Ellis, Crane Merchandising Systems (St. Louis, MO), the presentation of the industry's annual Innovation Awards and a keynote address by business coach, educator and author Flip Flippen, who wrote the best-seller The Flip Side: Break Free of the Behaviors That Hold You Back and founded The Flippen Group (College Station, TX) with his wife Susan.
A panel session devoted to the progress of, and developments in, the fast-growing self-checkout micromarket business is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The trade show reopens at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, and closes at 5 p.m. The next two Operator Perspectives presentations will take place at noon and 2 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27
On Friday, April 27, Jay Newman and Lawrence Hake of Win the Bigger Game (Lake Geneva, WI) will discuss ways to identify and hire ideal route drivers. NAMA reports that a national study of participating industry companies is under way and, over the next two months, more than 200 route driver profiles will be analyzed to establish the key characteristics of excellent drivers. This session will summarize the results of the study.
Exhibits reopen at 10 a.m. on Friday, and close at 2 p.m. The wrap-up Operator Perspectives presentation is set for 11 a.m.
Additional information may be had at namaoneshow.org. NAMA is online at vending.org. Member operators who register by Feb. 15 will qualify for the early-bird member registration rate of $79.
OneShow Sidebars: Value-Added Events »»»
» Improved Sales Performance: April 24-25 | Las Vegas
This year, a third value-added educational opportunity has been added to the industry-specific events organized in conjunction with the OneShow: a two-day course on Coaching for Improved Sales Performance. It's set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 24 and 25.
Led by Jeb Blount, author of People Follow You and four more popular books, Coaching For Improved Sales Performance concentrates on the heart of leadership and teaches coaching techniques that help sales managers and organizations get the most from their salespeople. The registration cost is $999 for NAMA members and $1,999 for nonmembers.
Blount made his debut with NAMA at last fall's Coffee, Tea & Water conference in a warmly received presentation that climaxed the event. Blount is founder of the popular Sales Gravy website and publisher of Sales Gravy magazine.
» Supervisor Development: April 23-25 | Las Vegas
The National Automatic Merchandising Association will conduct the next Supervisor Development program in conjunction with OneShow here. Like the other value-added in-depth educational programs scheduled in parallel with OneShow, it requires separate registration.
The Supervisor Development course offers two and a half days of instruction. It will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 23; from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday; and from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, wrapping up on April 25 in time to permit participants to enjoy the trade show.
The program is designed to strengthen the middle management of vending and coffee service organizations at a time when supervisors must do more with fewer resources. It is conducted by Ronald Cichy, Ph.D., director of Michigan State University's School of Hospitality Business; Rick Leffke, R.C. Leffke & Associates; and Jim Proebstle, Prodyne Inc.; Dan H. Mathews, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of NAMA; and JoAnn DeNardis, who is NAMA's knowledge source partner for human relations as well as its associate director for OneShow and manager of educational programs.
The registration fee for NAMA members is $1,299 for the first registrant and $999 for each additional registrant from the same company. Information on nonmember registration may be requested from JoAnn DeNardis by calling her at (312) 346-0370, ext. 229.
» Quality Coffee Certification: April 24-25 | Las Vegas
The Qualify Coffee Certification Program now is separated into two blocks of instruction on two successive days; participants may register for one or both of them.
The first, Coffee Fundamentals, commences at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, and concludes at 3 p.m. It is devoted to coffee as an agricultural product and a historically important commodity in international trade. The course covers coffee in depth, from its countries of origin and the varieties recognized by traders through harvesting, processing and grading.
The second, Brewing Fundamentals, will be presented from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. It addresses the brewing process in detail, concentrating on filter brewing, and explores the variables that influence the quality of the brewed cup -- from grind through water quality and temperature to contact time.
Both sessions are led by industry veteran Mike Tompkins, Coffee Products Associates (Bloomingdale, IL). Built on a foundation laid by the National Coffee Service Association prior to its merger with NAMA in 1999, the QCCP has been enhanced and expanded. Its goal always has been to arm operators and sales personnel with detailed product knowledge, empowering them to sell coffee on the basis of excellence rather than low price.
Registration for Coffee Fundamentals is $295, which includes breakfast and lunch. The fee also is $295 for Brewing Fundamentals, which includes breakfast. Members wishing to enroll in both can take advantage of a combined registration fee of $550.
Further information may be had from NAMA's Roger Stuart at (616) 299-6483.