MADISON HEIGHTS, MI — Following the success of last year’s spring conference, the Convenience Caterers and Food Manufacturers Association is again scheduling the event in conjunction with the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s Spring Expo, set for March 26-28 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
By co-locating with NAMA, CCFMA’s members will be able to take advantage of relevant NAMA educational programs and the trade show itself. The association also is scheduling a specialized business program for mobile caterers.
The CCFMA conference program begins at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 26, with a session for association members who belong to the Vendors Purchasing Council (Greensburg, PA). This will be followed by a VPC luncheon buffet. At 8:00 PM, CCFMA will host its popular “Meet & Greet” reception at the Giorgio Restaurant, on the sky bridge between the Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels.
On Thursday, onsite registration for the NAMA Spring Expo opens at 8:00 AM, for event-goers who have not preregistered with CCFMA. The first formal business session will get underway at 8:30 AM, recapitulating the very successful fall conference and discussing ways in which the relationship between CCFMA and NAMA can be beneficial to mobile caterers. The session will conclude with a panel discussion on successful sales tactics.
The NAMA trade show opens at 10:00 AM. At 1:00 PM, CCFMA past-president Jim Pacino, Deli Wagon Food Service (North Royalton, OH), will host a Hot Topic presentation at the NAMA booth in the exhibit area. He will bring vending operators up to speed on the mobile catering business, and describe what CCFMA has to offer. NAMA’s “Spring Fling” exhibitor-hosted reception is set for 5:30 PM at the Islander Ball Room.
CCFMA is working to schedule a site visit to a Las Vegas-area catering commissary on Friday morning, March 28. The NAMA Spring Expo educational program will offer a choice among sessions on cashless sales, loss prevention and a market research exploration of “How We Eat and Drink,” all starting at 8:30 AM.
At 10:00 AM, the second scheduled CCFMA meeting will feature Ed Cunningham of the Vendors Purchasing Council, who will explain the value of membership in the fast growing buying cooperative. An open-mic, idea-exchange forum will follow his presentation.
The NAMA Spring Expo trade show also reopens at 10:00 AM. The program will come to a rousing climax at 6:30 PM, with a closing dinner at the Mandalay Bay Buffet. The spring conference also will endeavor to sustain the momentum generated by CCFMA’s fall conference in Toronto, hailed by participants as “the best show in years.” Highlights included tours of three commissaries, a cash-and-carry operation and a catering truck manufacturer. The association’s annual trade show spotlighted the latest in mobile catering products and equipment.
Looking forward to the Spring NAMA/CCFMA Expo in Las Vegas, Pacino said that the educational component of the Spring Expo is the perfect complement to the working knowledge gained from the facility tours at the fall conference.
The Convenience Caterers & Food Manufacturers Association, established in 1965 as the Mobile Industrial Caterers Association, is an international organization representing foodservice professionals interested in improving mobile catering operations. CCFMA is headquartered at 1205 Spartan Dr., Madison Heights, MI 48071; tel. (248) 982-5379; fax (248) 582-3268. Information also can be found online at www.mobilecaterers.com.