MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- The organizers of the 2011 Atlantic Coast Exposition report that an enhanced range of educational opportunities await registrants. The event is set for Oct. 21 and 22 (Thursday and Friday) at the Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation hotel here, its second year in the facility.
With nearly a month to go before opening day, exhibit space at ACE has been booked solid, according to show management.
The program gets off to a fast start on Thursday, with a two-track education program. The always-popular Maintenance Training School will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., offering in-depth instruction in troubleshooting and service for all major brands of vending equipment and payment systems. Mike Frye of Southeastern Vending Services will offer a brief welcoming address to set the stage for the proceedings, and a summation at the end. Lance Roper, Canteen Vending (Columbia, SC), will moderate.
The other track also begins at 8 a.m., with a choice of an office coffee workshop or any of three vending information technology seminars. The OCS session will explore the potential for operators in today's pod brewing equipment and new liquid coffee dispensing systems. It will be led by Jason College, Pat McGuire and David Lee of Newco Enterprises, and will conclude at 9:30 a.m.
At the same time, three concurrent sessions will be available to operators who are taking advantage of today's profit-enhancing technology. Crane Streamware's Silpa Pande will lead a conference for current users of the company's VendMax and DeliveryMax software suites. Simultaneously, Validata's Jan Dzuirlik will host a session for present customers on route optimization, prekitting, "keysearch" features and making the transition to the company's Routesail Millennia suite. And Mike Lawlor of USA Technologies will present the latest information about the effect of adopting cashless vending on operating company results; the session will be repeated from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
At 9:30 a.m., CompuVend's Mark Kronenberg will conduct an introduction to CompuVend's software for route, warehouse, commissary and moneyroom control. Prospective customers will have the opportunity to see the systems in action. The session will run until 11 a.m.
At 9:45 a.m., Validata's Dzuirlik will lead a review of new and recently added features, functions and compatible technologies, including interfaces for Cantaloupe's Seed remote machine monitoring system, LightSpeed Automation's "pick-to-light" route order fulfillment architecture and the latest in Validata's long series of moneyroom interfaces.
At the same time, Molly Hegeman of Capital Associated Industries will explore the top 10 human resources issues confronting operators today.
The last round of business sessions gets underway at 11:15 a.m. CompuVend's Kronenberg will present an overview of current customer support, as well as business efficient education; a question-and-answer period will follow. At the same time, Chuck Reed of MEI will describe the benefits of implementing cash recycling -- which enables patrons to use higher-denomination bills by paying back lower denominations in change, and thus boosts sales and profits. And a brand-new session on "micro markets" will make its debut, as ACE convention chairman Scott Halloran, Halloran's Refreshment Services (Richmond, VA), moderates a discussion of the versatile new self-service complement to traditional vending. Panelists will include Joseph Hessling of 365 Retail Markets; Avanti Markets' Jim Brinton and Kevin Bailey, Breakroom Provisions.
Exhibits will open at 1 p.m. and run until 7 p.m., with a festive welcoming event kicking in at 5:30 p.m. in the exhibit area.
Saturday's activities also begin at 8 a.m. The traditional awards breakfast will recognize industry achievement; Denise Ryan, a noted business educator and motivational speaker, will keynote the event. | SEE STORY
The exhibits reopen at 10 a.m., and close at 1 p.m. The fiercely competitive volleyball tournament is set for 3 p.m., and the gala finale event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Additional information about and online registration for the 2011 Atlantic Coast Exposition may be found at atlanticcoastexpo.com.