Third annual coffee show draws record turnout in Las Vegas

Approximately 480 people converged at Bally's Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) CoffeeShow, surpassing expectations and marking the largest NAMA coffee event in the event's three years.

Dean Gilland, NCE5, NAMA vice president of sales and service, said about 275 people from 125 operating companies attended along with about 200 supplier attendees representing 70 companies. He said attendees came from 35 states in all regions of the country.

"We really drew well," Gilland said. "We're pleased."

Gilland said attendance was double that of last year's CoffeeShow in Cherry Hill, N.J., which was larger than the prior year in the same location.

Gilland credited the positive turnout this year to the location, along with the fact that the show included more education and more tabletop exhibit hours.

Howard Chapman, vice president and office beverage division manager at Royal Cup Inc., based in Birmingham, Ala. and the incoming NAMA coffee committee chairman, told attendees NAMA will work to reassert the importance of coffee service as an employee benefit, focus on quality in integrating products, equipment and service solutions, and address sustainability for coffee service operators.

On the first day of the event, Henry Givray, president and CEO of SmithBucklin, gave the keynote address, "The passion of leadership."

Other first day morning sessions included a sober assessment of coffee prices by Miles Small, editor-in-chief of Coffee Talk Magazine and an update on legislative challenges by Ned Monroe, NAMA senior vice president of government affairs.

The afternoon sessions included one on building the ticket using a coffee tasting and allied products by Leo Fante, a director at Consumers Choice Coffee in Louisville, Ky.; an overview of the health care reform legislation by Matt Smith of Lockton Companies; a presentation on generation Y by Casey Fictum, president and founder of Hi!Gen Y; sales training workshops by Rick Leffke, president of R.C. Leffke & Associates; the art of romancing coffee by Tim Cleland, sales manager of Gavina Coffee and Mike Tompkins, president of Coffee Products Association; and finding profit leaks by Fred Parrish, president of Profit Experts.

The second and last day of the show on Friday included more tabletop exhibits and educational sessions.

Ned Monroe, NAMA senior vice president of government affairs, gave another update on legislative developments.

Rick Leffke, president of R.C. Leffke and Associates, Inc., gave an interactive seminar on team work.

For in-depth seminar coverage, go to www.vendingmarketwatch.com, Oct. 22 through Nov. 4, 2010.

For live interviews from the show floor, go to http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/podcast/, Oct. 25 through Nov. 4, 2010.

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