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NAMA 2007 National Expo Tackles Trends And Technology

Posted On: 10/4/2007

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CHICAGO -- Market forces and technical developments affecting the vending industry will be in the spotlight at the National Automatic Merchandising Association National Expo here. Featuring a streamlined Wednesday-through-Friday schedule with expanded educational opportunities, the event is set for October 10 through 12.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the NAMA trade show. The first one was held in December 1947 at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. NAMA, which was founded in 1936, marked its 70th anniversary last year.

Events related to the National Expo get underway on Tuesday, October 9, with the start of the latest Supervisor Development course. Designed for recently appointed and experienced supervisors, entry-level managers, operation managers, new district managers and sales representatives, the comprehensive program will run through Friday. It's sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice.

On Tuesday evening, NAMA will conduct its first-ever Second Generation Open Forum and reception from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Designed for people who have assumed the leadership of a family business and those in line of succession, the forum will encourage discussion and an exchange of experiences and views. It will be moderated by Rick Leffke, Leffke & Associates, who is NAMA's Knowledge Source Partner in training and development. Both Tuesday events require separate registration.

Two more educational programs are scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, October 10. The expanded Quality Coffee Certification Program, led by Mike Tompkins of Newco Enterprises, kicks off at 8:30 AM and runs until 4:00 PM. Now in its eighth year, QCCP offers participants a comprehensive introduction to coffee, from its cultivation and processing through grading, roasting, grinding and brewing. It's sponsored by Procter & Gamble.

Also at 8:30 AM, Brad Bachtelle and Gary Terrell of Bachtelle & Associates (Tustin, CA) will present the latest in their acclaimed series of seminars on profit-enhancing opportunities in vending. Their presentation emphasizes the importance of recognizing that vending operators primarily are retailers, and can only profit from shifting from the industry's traditional technical-service mindset to a contemporary focus on matching products with patrons. The session is sponsored by Hershey's, and runs until 1:00 PM.

From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, convention-goers have two choices. Vending 101 is a session for startup operators and those adding a vending component to a related service business. It's led by Vic Pemberton of Pepi Foods (Moultrie, GA).

At the same time, Dr. Michael Kasavana, NAMA Endowed Professor in hospitality business, the School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University, will lead a session on "V-Commerce: The Future Isn't What It Used To Be." Designed to bring participants up to date on fast-changing technologies that can make vending more efficient, reliable and profitable, the session is sponsored by Cantaloupe Systems.

The trade show opens at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, and runs until 7:00 PM.

From 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM, representatives of the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) will lead a Hot Topic session on the profit opportunities in milk vending at the NAMA booth in the exhibit area.


On Thursday, October 11, the formal program opens at 8:30 AM with the NAMA general session and annual membership meeting. It will be keynoted by Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, and will run until 10:30 AM, when exhibits reopen.

At 11:00 AM, a series of presentations will commence in the Buyers Corner of the exhibit area. Exhibitor experts will offer detailed overviews of a wide range of new technologies.

A Booth Hot Topic session on adding value when buying or selling a vending, foodservice or coffee service company will take place from 12:00 noon to 12:45 PM, led by Tom Britten of Britten Management Service LLC (Lutz, FL).

At 1:00 PM, showgoers can choose among four business sessions. NAMA chief financial officer Patrick P. Caffarelli will lead a Booth Hot Topic discussion titled "Your Road to Improved Profitability."

At the same time, Steve Bregman of Insightful Sales Solutions will explore effective telephone sales and customer relations techniques. Jackie Clark of Clark Communications, NAMA public relations director and Balanced for Life team leader, and Lori Valencic, BFL's registered dietitian, will probe the secrets of "better-for-you" vending; and John Walsh of AlignmentNOW Inc. will outline the techniques used by "lucky" leaders to increase the likelihood of favorable outcomes. These three sessions all end at 2:00 PM.

At 2:00 PM, Dave McCaffrey of Predictive Assets will relate the contemporary adage "shift happens!" to the perennial challenge of recruiting, training and motivating capable staff members in a Booth Hot Topic.

At 3:00 PM, the NAMA booth will host a Hot Topic presentation by Phil Kuhn, Executive Risk Management Ltd., on defending a business from the risk of identity theft.

Exhibits close at 4:30 PM on Thursday. The festive Industry Awards Banquet is scheduled for 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

On Friday morning, candidates for NAMA Certified Executive certification will be able to take the exam at 8:30 AM.

Three business sessions are scheduled for 8:30 AM, as well. Steve Hyde of Newco Enterprises again will preside at the eagerly awaited Coffee Service Open Forum, an opportunity for industry members to engage in a spirited exchange of ideas.

At the same time, Mark Manney of Loss Prevention Results Inc. will offer an overview of security in vending and foodservice, including training, technologies, tools and tactics. Manney built the "Culture of Controls" program in the big-box retail world at the close of the last century. From 2002 to the present he has focused on adapting his program to these industries, and has written extensively on the subject.

And a new approach to determining customer preferences and trends will be presented by Paul Schlossberg, D/FW Consulting, and QualiData Research's Hy Mriampolski, Ph.D. They will introduce "EthnoVend," a market research tool developed on the basis of the social science's methodical approach to fieldwork. In particular, early studies using this method have cast new light on how "convenience shopping" is changing, and on factors that turn "shoppers" into "buyers" as they approach a vending machine.

At 10:30 AM, David Drain, executive director of the Self Service & Kiosk Association (Louisville, KY), will discuss "self-service kiosks" and the explosive growth of this segment over the past decade. Kiosks are dispensing everything from tickets to visitor information, and may be regarded as "vending on steroids." The session will be held in the Buyers' Corner of the Expo exhibit area.

The final Booth Hot Topic presentation will deal with changes to route drivers' overtime requirements. It's set for 1:00 PM, and will be led by Heather Bailey of Connelly Sheehan Harris LLP.

The show closes at 3:00 PM.