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NAMA Pulls Off Another Successful OneShow

NAMA's Vice President of Events LyNae Schleyer announced total attendance of 4,304 at the 2014 NAMA OneShow that took place in Chicago, Ill., from April 9 to 11. Schleyer reported that 1,426 total operators representing 574 companies participated with an average of 2.48 employees per company.

This year NAMA enhanced educational offerings with over a dozen sessions. Donnie and Vic Pemberton of The Pepi Companies in Dothan, Ala., kickstarted the show on Tuesday, April 8th with a session entitled “Not UR Daddy’s Vending: The Evolution Of Today’s Convenient Refreshment Company.”  The company’s business model runs on being a custom convenient food solution, measuring and using customer perceptions, becoming a breakroom expert, moving to mobile and focusing on employee satisfaction.

The following day, Avanti’s Jim Brinton and 365 Retail Markets’ Joe Hessling led the first official round of educational sessions with ways to maximize profitability in a micro market. Shortly after, Michael Kasavana, Ph.D., NAMA Endowed Professor, School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, introduced a redesigned menu engineering model borrowed from the foodservice sector, and tailored it to the vending and micro market industry. Kasavana presented the model, called Product Intelligence, to attendees of the NAMA OneShow session, "Product Engineering: Pricing Drives Success" on April 9. 

On the show floor, mobile payment applications were a prominent feature. There were at least six different companies offering some type of mobile payment or mobile customer solution to vending. Many operators were pleased with the show’s offerings and showed enthusiasm for the show’s focus on new products. NAMA showcased two dozen new products near the show floor entrance in order to highlight this year’s offerings. Among the new products included a hybrid vending/micro market door, healthy better-for-you products, a dual OCS and water beverage system as well as several mobile payment options, to name a few.

Operators voiced concerns over school calorie regulations and compliance as NAMA released its newest FitPick 2.0, which includes FitPick Select, specifically for operators to meet the strict USDA requirements for school vending.

Mondelez International and Automatic Merchandiser magazine/VendingMarketWatch teamed up to present the “Wear It & Win It” contest, a sweepstakes where NAMA OneShow attendees received $100 for wearing a Mondelez International T-shirt on Thursday, April 10, 2014. The T-shirt was given away free at the Mondelez International booth at the OneShow. Twice an hour an attendee wearing the T-shirt was randomly chosen as the recipient of the $100 cash prize. There were 12 prizes of $100 each awarded in total.

Dave Wilcox and Paul Schindelar of Mondelez International presented Mike Edwards of Greensboro Vending & Coffee, located in Greensboro, N.C., with the 2013 Route Driver of the Year Award. Edwards was selected out of more than 100 nominees to receive the prestigious award for his dedication, professionalism and hard work as a route driver for over ten years.

In a ceremony held on April 10th, NAMA CEO Carla Balakgie and Chair Pete Tullio presented several members with Industry Awards. Randy Smith of LightSpeed Automation was named Allied Member of the Year – Vending, Dan Marchetti of Rendezvous Music & Vending was named Vending Operator of the Year, Marc Whitener of CEO Refreshment Solutions was named Industry Person of the Year, Bryan Real of United Food Group was named Allied Member of the Year – Coffee and David Henchel of Corporate Coffee Systems was named Coffee Service Operator of the Year.