SEVA Puts Final Touches On 2018 Conference, Adds 'Dolphin' Cruise

Posted On: 7/31/2018

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DESTIN, FL -- The organizers of the Southeastern Vending Association's 13th annual six-state conference are entering the final lap of planning for this year's event, which is slated for  Aug. 7 through 9 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), again at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa.

Among the finishing touches is the addition of a new recreational choice: an hour and a half "dolphin cruise" aboard the Hannah Marie, a comfortably-appointed tour vessel equipped with undersea glass viewports that offer guests an up-close look at the wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, inhabiting Florida's coastal waters. Registration for adult SEVA participants is $30, and $15 for children. It's slated for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, simultaneous with the golf tournament. Online registration for the cruise is available at the SEVA website.

The event, themed "Next," is expected to draw more than 250 participants representing 50 operating companies. Conference registration opens at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, and closes at 5 p.m.

The Southeastern Vending Association is made up of six state vending councils affiliated with the National Automatic Merchandising Association. The constituent councils represent Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Each sponsoring state council will hold a board of directors meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 7, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. A festive opening night beach party will round out Tuesday's schedule.

SEVA 2018 gets down to business bright and early on Wednesday morning, August 8, with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. A full round of educational opportunities is scheduled for Wednesday, with presentations on "What is next for the industry?" by Hector Benavides, Connectivity Services (Denver, CO) and "The future of snacking," by PepsiCo's Richelle  Borrelli;  and a panel discussion on technology and new workplace service methods including micromarkets and pantries as well as vending and office refreshment services.

The Wilbur Langston Memorial Golf Tournament, played at the Kelly Plantation Golf Club, will begin at 12:30 p.m. Options for non-golfers include the simultaneous Hannah Marie cruise. At 6 p.m. a gala evening begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner (enlivened by the Murder Mystery Company)  at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. will be followed by the golf awards ceremony, the charity presentation and announcement of the winner of the Alan Plaisted Scholarship.

At 9 a.m., an update on NAMA activities will be presented by the association's senior vice-president, external affairs Eric Dell and director, state and federal affairs Jason Eberstein.

The final educational session is set for 9:45 a.m. on Thursday. Paul Mellor, author of Memory! and celebrated speaker on memory improvement, will discuss Memory Power.

The Supplier Showcase will follow from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., a new time for this popular event; lunch will be served. An SEVA board meeting will follow at 1:30 p.m., and the eagerly-awaited beach volleyball tournament will get underway at 2:30 p.m. An indoor cornhole tournament will take place if the weather turns wet. Bringing the 2018 SEVA Conference to a rousing finish will be a new event, "Bonfire at the Beach."

Pam Beals of Flowers Foods (Suwanee, GA) is chairing the convention. Click here to register online.