KISSIMMEE, FL -- By many accounts, the National Bulk Vendors Association's 60th annual convention and trade show can be hailed a success. Held at the Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort here from April 8 to 10, the trade show featured a lively lineup of events, product exhibits and educational seminars.
Although an initial headcount showed participation numbers falling a tad short of last year's, NBVA officials reported, this year's show did attract a gratifying turnout of visitors new to the association.
Last year's bulk vending show in Las Vegas registered 282 industry professionals compared with 355 in 2008, a 21% drop, but much less than what industry observers were anticipating. Twenty-four companies displayed in 43 booths last year; about 30 firms exhibited this year in Kissimmee.
Highlights of the 2010 NBVA event included an in-depth address by industry pioneer Roger Folz, whose career spans more than half a century, on the history of bulk vending. Rick Krikorian, Rick's Vending (Visalia, CA), presented "Making it All Work," a short instructional film about running a bulk vending operation.
Quin Dodd of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC delivered an update on NBVA's campaign to obtain a permanent exemption from the labeling requirements of Section 103 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. See related story.
New to this year's show were silent and traditional auctions. Exotic getaways and sports equipment and memorabilia were on the block and generated heated bidding, raising several thousand dollars for the association's general fund. Lauri Logue of Brand Vending Products, Judi Heston of Theisen Vending (Golden Valley, MN) and Diane Olsen of Northwestern Corp. organized the auctions.
The NBVA convention came to stirring conclusion with the association's annual banquet and awards ceremony on April 10. Awards, based on votes from NBVA members, were presented to:
• Brand Vending Products, Best 2" Capsule Product for Giant Zoo Mania.
• Brand Vending Products, Best 1" Capsule Product for Pet Friends.
• Vending Supply (VSi), Best Temporary Tattoo for Sugar Tattoos Series #8.
• A&A Global Industries, Best Sticker for NFL Jumbo Helmets.
The vote for NBVA's Operator of the Year resulted in a tie, so honors were shared by Tyler and Talbot Sumners of Service Vending (Aurora, MO) and Leonard Daitch of Sweet City 25 (Walled Lake, MI). A special award was given to past NBVA president Randy Chilton, Coinstar, who could not attend the convention. Chilton was recognized for his crucial role in guiding the association through its recent transformation over the past two years.
Plans for next year's show have not been finalized, NBVA officials said.