Meet With More Convenience' Themes NAMA's OneShow; Vending Industry Conference And Expo Open Next Week

Posted On: 4/12/2017

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TAGS: vending industry trade show, office coffee service, National Automatic Merchandising Association, 2017 NAMA OneShow, Laura Bush, micromarkets, Micromarkets Certification, NAMA education program

LAS VEGAS -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association has put the finishing touches on its 2017 OneShow, vending's biggest annual trade show and convention, which runs from April 19 to 21 at the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. Almost 300 companies have booked booth space; NAMA expects about 4,500 vending, coffee service, micromarket and foodservice professionals from across the globe to register.

Laura Bush, NAMA OneShow, vending
Laura Bush
A OneShow main attraction will be the keynote address by former first lady Laura Bush at the general session on April 19. NAMA president and chief executive Carla Balakgie will conduct a one-on-one "fireside chat" with the former first lady following the presentation. NAMA will also present its 2017 awards, which recognize the achievements of three industry members.

A preconference, daylong educational series on Tuesday, April 18, formally kicks off the NAMA convention. It consists of four tracks for each industry channel, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and requires a separate registration fee.

Carla Balakgie, NAMA OneShow
Carla Balakgie
Leading off the day is "Mastering Micromarkets" (10 a.m.-5 p.m.). A panel of industry experts will cover micromarket profitability, merchandising and warehousing, along with the analytics and digital media strategies operators need to master self-checkout markets. Participants in the daylong session will receive an electronic copy of NAMA's micromarket operations manual. Additionally, operators can take NAMA's Micromarkets Certification exam, to earn a new designation that demonstrates expertise in the self-checkout channel.

A concurrent daylong program puts the spotlight on "Fanatical Prospecting." NAMA describes it as a "motivational, no-holds-barred" session for sales professionals. It will look closely at the ways in which top earners must be relentless, unstoppable prospectors "obsessed" about keeping their pipelines full of qualified prospects.

The micromarket track will be presented by Jim Brinton, Avanti Markets; Jen Tonio, 365 Retail Markets; Randy Smith, LightSpeed Automation; Aaron Speagle, Breakroom Provisions; Patrick McMullan, Three Square Market; and Mike Lawlor, USA Technologies Inc. Jeb Blount of Sales Gravy will lead the prospecting seminar. Registration for either costs $245 for members and $395 for nonmembers.

Industry veteran Vic Pemberton of Pepi Cos. (Bainbridge, GA) will present "Bringing Convenience to Your Life -- Operational Considerations to Building Success" (1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Designed for new operators, Pemberton's session will focus mainly on the nuts and bolts of vending, and touch on micromarkets, foodservice and OCS to provide a full view of a total refreshment operation. He's expected to discuss route accountability, inventory control, client relations, technology, cashless and merchandising practices. Registration is $95 for members and $245 for nonmembers.

"Coffee 101: The Elements of Coffee" (10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), led by Mike Tompkins, president of Coffee Product Associates (Bloomingdale, IL), rounds out the preconference program. This historically fast-paced session delivers a blend of coffee fundamentals and brewing techniques, from farm and roasting to cup. Participants will explore the characteristics of coffee and engage in tasting exercises to learn to appreciate the full-sensory aspects of a great cup of coffee.

Coffee 101 is geared toward coffee sales and marketing professionals, as well as product and equipment developers. Participants in this session will meet the prerequisites to attain NAMA's Certified Coffee Specialist designation. Registration costs $395 for members and $545 for nonmembers.

The OneShow's first round of general education sessions will kick off on Wednesday, April 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The first four concurrent seminars take place between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Dr. Michael Kasavana, NAMA's endowed professor emeritus, will lead a discussion under the title "Business with a Technology Roadmap." Panelists are Josh Rosenberg, Accent Food Services (Pflugerville, TX); Megan O'Neil, Daniels Vending (Trappe, MD); Zachary Oliver, Dependable Vending (Upland, CA); and Mark Houseknecht, Crickler Vending (Rochester, NY). They will discuss why they chose specific applications, and what they're doing with them. The session should appeal to new and experienced operators who want ideas for designing a technology roadmap.

Bonnie Knutson will present "Forget Boomers, Xers and Millennials: It's All About Generation C!" This is the first half of a two-part session that will attempt to explain how today's customer base is no longer defined by the year in which they were born. Now, thanks to several converging factors, vending patrons have become members of Generation C -- the cohort defined by choice. Knutson is a professor in the School of Hospitality Business in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University (Lansing). Her expertise is the study of consumer behavior.

Another 8:30 a.m. session will reveal the most effective ways to counterbalance unproductive family dynamics and assure that family members get along, whether or not they are involved in the business. Don Levitt of Levitt Consulting Inc. will present "Transform Your Family Business." Participants will discover how to replace entitled attitudes with an entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation, which lends itself to successful management and ownership successions. Levitt has been an executive coach and family business consultant for 18 years.

"Nutrition 2017: News You Need to Know" rounds out the morning sessions. Presented by members of NAMA's Nutrition Advisory Council, this session will offer perspectives on nutrition trends and an update on Fit Pick, NAMA's wellness program. The panel includes Deanne Brandstetter, vice-president of nutrition and wellness for Compass Group; Lucille Beseler, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; and Sylvia Rowe, president of SR Strategy LLC.

The next sequence, comprised of three tracks, takes place from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Kasavana is the frontman again, this time with "What's Trending in Vending, Coffee Services and Micromarkets." His panelists are Paresh Patel of PayRange Inc.; Yair Nechmad of Nayax; Anant Agrawal of Cantaloupe Systems Inc.; and Mike Lawlor of USAT. While there is established industry hardware and software, there also are emerging techniques that can further optimize vending machine payment systems. In this session, operators hear from vending industry thought leaders about what they believe are the most valuable applications.

Also presenting is Todd Heiser, a principal with design firm Gensler (Washington, DC). His session, "Workplace Cafés: Design That Elevates the Breakroom," will review cutting-edge breakrooms designed by world-leading architects and interior designers. Heiser will look at some of the most innovative and appealing new designs, including fixtures, lighting, equipment, seating and other elements that make the workplace café more than just a breakroom.

At the same time, Professor Knutson will present part 2 of her "Generation C" series.

The final series on Wednesday has four sessions slated simultaneously for 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Communication coach Erich Kurschat of Harmony Insights will discuss the professional attributes that drive collaboration, encourage productivity and lift the bottom line. His session is titled "The Art of Workplace Communication: Connecting Effectively to Get Things Done." Seminar-goers will learn about the four basic styles of personality and behavior; how to determine the needs and motivations of key business stakeholders; and how to identify the best strategies for improving communication, managing conflict and achieving desired outcomes. Kurschat will also provide resources for increasing personal effectiveness and growing strong teams.

Kellogg Co.'s Sam Baffes will lead a presentation by the company's category management team on "Applying Category Management to Grow Your Micromarket." The presenters will analyze micromarket shopper behaviors, and how to best maximize sales using a data-driven approach to product selection and placement.

Another timely topic -- "Nutrition: Regulatory Trends at Federal, State and Local Levels and How They Impact Your Bottom Line" -- will be probed by Joel E. Kimmons, nutrition scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NAMA's Sandy Larson, senior director and counsel of government affairs, and Sheree Edwards, regional legislative director, will join Kimmons in the discussion.

Since route drivers are the primary touchpoints for maintaining excellent customer service, a session called "The Survey Says...Drive a Culture of Service Quality" concludes the day's program. It's designed to help vending operators better understand route drivers through research findings. The research, a collaboration between NAMA and MSU's School of Hospitality Business, endeavors to shed light on the way drivers think, what they do and how to collaborate with them.

Kicking off OneShow's opening general session at 12:30 p.m., Laura Bush will share stories about her years in the White House and discuss the programs she's now championing. Bush is an advocate for literacy, education and women's rights. Through the George W. Bush Institute, the fomer first lady promotes global healthcare innovations and empowers women in emerging democracies. NAMA's annual meeting will follow.

Thursday's program begins at 8 a.m. with a roundtable session designed to address the unique challenges for vending operators managing no more than four routes and fewer than 10 employees. Technology, micromarkets, expansion, prekitting and general operational practices will be among the management topics up for discussion.

Three concurrent sessions from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. will complete OneShow's education agenda. They include "New President, New Cabinet, New Employment Laws: How Does This Impact Your Workplace?" presented by Heather Bailey, an attorney at SmithAmundsen (Chicago). She will inform operators on how to best prepare for legislative and regulatory changes under the new President and administration.

Elyssa Allahyar-Steiner, the recently appointed marketing director of Cantaloupe Systems, will lead NAMA's Emerging Leaders Network in a discussion entitled "2020, What Will Convenience Services Look Like." ELN's young industry leaders will explore the changing workplace model as millennials move into leadership roles. The discussion will include how management styles and business practices are changing, the evolution of payments, the competitive landscape, delivery service trends, and the continued importance of social media and collaboration.

In "Brewing New Business," a panel of industry experts will examine and offer best practices, lessons learned and recommendations for vending operators who add office coffee service to their routes. Newco's Karen Webster will lead this session.

Chicago-based NAMA held its first OneShow in 2010 in its hometown. Prior to that, the association produced a national trade show, held in the fall, and spring expositions, which merged into the single trade show in 2010. For the first two years, the nation's largest vending, office coffee service convention was held at Chicago's McCormick Place. Visit for more information on this year's OneShow.