MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- Registration is now open for the 56th annual Atlantic Coast Exposition. The long-running vending, OCS and foodservice trade show and conference will be held from Oct. 14 to 16 in Myrtle Beach, SC, at the beachfront Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation.
The North Carolina Vending Association, South Carolina Vending Association and Virginia Automatic Merchandising Association, joint sponsors of the confab, will hold morning board meetings on Thursday, Oct. 14. An afternoon golf tournament at Arcadian Shores Golf Club will follow, and convention-goers will gather in the evening for a Southern-style cookout.
This year's ACE education program offers six hours of seminars and a day-and-a-half maintenance training school. Exhibits are open Friday and Saturday afternoon. Outside of the classroom, a variety of family-friendly activities, including a fun run and volleyball tournament, round out ACE's festivities.
A "super technology" session on Friday morning, Oct. 15, will provide a comprehensive overview of the technology that is changing the face of the industry, and explain how operators can harness it to boost efficiencies and bottom lines.
Following lunch, lobbyists for the Carolina and Virginia associations will discuss the legislative and regulatory mandates operators face in their states and the efforts they are making to protect the industry's interests. National Automatic Merchandising Association vice-president of government affairs Ned Monroe will provide a national perspective of the legislative landscape.
ACE's popular equipment maintenance training school begins on Friday. Participants will have the opportunity to attend Friday's technology session and continue that afternoon and Saturday morning, with instruction on equipment repair. Experts from machine manufacturing companies and their distributors will provide hands-on instruction.
The exhibit hall is open on Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. A welcome reception immediately follows, offering showgoers an opportunity to mix and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.
Dennis Hogan, chief executive of Canteen Vending Services Inc., will deliver the keynote address at the ACE awards breakfast on Saturday morning. The sponsoring associations will recognize operator and supplier members for their exceptional contributions to the industry.
Two concurrent morning sessions will follow. Office coffee service takes center stage during a panel discussion featuring OCS operators and industry suppliers. For those new to the industry, Vending 101 will provide an opportunity to learn the basics from experienced operators.
The trade show is open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A farewell cookout concludes the event.
Registration is available online. ACE is offering an early bird registration discount through Aug. 13. The Embassy Suites is extending a discounted room rate to ACE visitors through Sept. 13.