CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association will host a Gratitude Event, demonstrating the latest vending and office refreshments technology, the day before the formal opening of its upcoming Coffee, Tea & Water conference. The event will be conducted at New Orleans’s Tulane University on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Gratitude Event is part of a NAMA initiative to capture consumer attention and educate the public about the contemporary vending and refreshment services industry. The first was held at the conclusion of a "gratitude tour" that made its last stop at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas just before NAMA's 2012 OneShow. Gratitude Events are part of the vending association's broader industry growth strategy that is designed to initiate conversations between the industry and the public.
Another purpose of the gratitude program is to say "thank you" to vending customers, especially Generation Y users (aged 18 to 29). This age cohort has been shown by NAMA research to prefer vending to convenience, drug and grocery stores for snacks and cold beverages.
To give consumers a sampling of the latest high-tech vending machines and coffee brewers, products and technology, Gratitude Event sponsors will give away hundreds of free snacks, cold and hot beverages The latest technology in single-cup specialty coffee brewers from Starbucks, Keurig, Mars Drinks and other leading manufacturers and suppliers will be on display for consumers and coffee show registrants to interact with and use. Vending machines from Coca-Cola and Crane Merchandising Systems, among others, will offer students and other members of the public a variety of interactive experiences.
In addition to demonstrations of leading-edge customer interfaces designed to attract, entertain and instruct, and sophisticated beverage delivery systems using premium products in single-serve cartridges, the event will showcase new payment systems offering enhanced convenience to users of mobile devices.
Fourteen state-of-the-art vending machines and single-cup coffee brewers are being provided by Mondelez International, Coinco, Royal Vendors, InOne Technology, Coca-Cola, Canteen Vending, Crane Merchandising Systems, U-Select-It, Starbucks, Tassimo, Mars Drinks, Keurig, Cafection Enterprises, Newco Enterprises and Vendors Exchange International. Other vending industry leaders supporting the Gratitude Event include Refreshment Solutions, VendScreen and Aramark.
Tulane University, on St. Charles Ave. in downtown New Orleans, is about 10 minutes away from the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on Loyola Ave., the venue for the Coffee, Tea & Water conference.
Headquartered in Chicago, the National Automatic Merchandising Association was established in 1936.