Atlantic Coast Exposition Triumphs Despite Hurricane Threats

Posted On: 10/23/2018

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC — The 2018 Atlantic Coast Exposition opened at the Embassy Suites – Kingston Plantation here as Hurricane Michael was making its way across the Florida panhandle, through Georgia and toward the Carolinas. Undaunted by the approach of the fast-moving storm – and the ongoing cleanup in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence a month earlier – the show's planners made the bold decision to open on schedule on Thursday, Oct. 11, but to cancel the golf tournament for safety reasons.

SURF'S UP: Atlantic Coast Exposition 2018 chairman Chris Taylor, Canteen Vending (Garner, NC) prepares to do the honors at ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the booked-solid exhibit at the 64th annual staging of the event. "Sand, Sun and Fun" themed the convention, and proved prophetic despite a near miss by Hurricane Michael that caused cancellatiion of the golf tournament but did not dampen show-goers' spirits.
Their confidence was rewarded with solid attendance, a sold-out exhibit hall and rave reviews from participants, some of whom reportedly described this year's event as the "best  show ever." The exhibit hall was sold out, and showgoers had a range of educational opportunities, including a presentation by NAMA senior vice-president for external affairs Eric Dell, made over a Skype link because of the travel problems caused by the storm. Other educational opportunities included an overview of future technologies likely to impact vending and coffee service and two optional sessions, one on office coffee service and the other, a detailed maintenance training session.

The North Carolina and Virginia associations honored their respective Vendors and Suppliers of the Year. Lauded for his long engagement in industry affairs in North Carolina is Michael Vannoy, Triangle Vending & Water Service (W. Jefferson, NC); recognized for excellence as a supplier is Kenny Freeman, Brokers Unlimited (Denver, NC). Carrying off the palm as Virginia Vendor of the Year is Scott Halloran, Trolley House Refreshment (Richmond, VA); hailed as VAMA Supplier of the Year is Mike Frye, Southeastern Vending Services (Charlotte, NC).

The Atlantic Coast Exposition's Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on Jim Roberson, Brokers Unlimited (Charlotte), a 30-year industry veteran whose long record of accomplishment includes recognition as North Carolina Supplier of the Year in 2002 and again in 2014.

The Atlantic Coast Exposition is sponsored by the North Carolina Vending Association, South Carolina Vending Association and Virginia Automatic Merchandising Association. It's managed by TayCar, Inc. (Cary, NC), which also provides provides administrative services for NCVA and VAMA. Capitol Consultants in Cayce, SC, provides administrative services for SCVA.

Next year's ACE will be held from Oct. 10 through 12, again at the Embassy Suites in Myrtle Beach. The 2019 staging will be the event's 65th. It began as a joint effort of the North Carolina Vending Association and South Carolina Automatic Merchandising Association (now SCVA).