LAS VEGAS — The 58th annual National Bulk Vendors Association trade show and convention, scheduled for April 17 through 19, promises to be among the most memorable in recent history. Set to return to Caesars Palace hotel and casino here, officials expect this year’s show to attract a better-than-usual turnout of operators and exhibitors.
According to event organizers, Las Vegas has traditionally been a favorite convention destination for NBVA members, drawing visitors from across the country as well as a growing contingent of international operators, all eager to review the latest trends in machines and products.
“From what I’ve heard and seen so far, this looks to be one of the most dynamic shows in recent years,” said Jim Hinton of Oak Manufacturing, who also co-chairs the association’s convention committee. “We have some new suppliers who’ll be exhibiting, and established suppliers who’ll be bringing in truckloads of new products and equipment.”
Past conventions have provided a first look at the newest products and equipment in the industry while offering a wide assortment of “show specials,” and this year will be no exception. An informal survey of suppliers and manufacturers indicates that attending exhibitors plan to unveil a host of new equipment and merchandise, and will provide discounts on many products on display for orders placed at the show.
WORKSHOPS and SEMINARS
This year’s NBVA confab will offer a robust two-day seminar schedule focused on improving the bottom lines of operations of all sizes. On Thursday, April 17, a discussion hosted by Ken Recker and Don Goletz of Vendomatic (Frederick, MD), along with Larry Schatz of Schatz Vending Co. (London Mills, IL), will review the “Big and Small Perspectives On Vending.” The panelists, representing a cross-section of operators, will share their views on the similarities and differences between managing large and small operations when it comes to negotiating commission rates, buying product, dealing with broken equipment and handling customer service, among other subjects.
Later in the day, Hank Schlesinger, bulk vending editor at VENDING TIMES, will host a seminar titled “How World Events Affect the Bulk Vending Industry and Your Business.” This open discussion will review bulk vending’s place in the global marketplace, and how seemingly insignificant international developments can – and often do – have a major impact on the industry.
The seminars continue on Friday, April 18, with a nuts-and-bolts workshop called “Ask the Operators,” moderated by Steve Siegel of The Great American Vending Machine Co. (Hauppauge, NY). Panelists for this open-mic question-and-answer forum will include Mark Pogue of MEPCO (Fresno, CA); Dan Case, Tejas Distributing (Round Rock, TX); and John Honeycutt of Great Dane Crane (Clearfield, UT). This seminar, according to show organizers, represents a unique opportunity for both newcomers and experienced vendors to ask questions about how to make bulk businesses more efficient and profitable, and provides a platform from which industry members can share tips and tricks learned through experience.
Rounding out the seminar schedule is a special workshop called “Merchandising Your Machines,” hosted by Jason Glickman of JG Vending (Highland Park, IL) and Glenn Kitnick of Atlas Vending (Lafayette, CO). The pair will address best practices for merchandising traditional bulk racks, and will tackle the topic of crane merchandising, which has become increasingly important in recent years as more operators continue to add skill cranes to locations to provide supplementary income.
The NBVA trade show floor will be open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday and Friday, and from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM on Saturday. The association’s general meeting and elections are currently scheduled for Saturday morning, from 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM.
This year’s confab also will be highlighted by several social events, including an exhibitor-sponsored party on Friday at 7:00 PM, and the annual Association Dinner on Saturday, also set for 7:00 PM.