The annual meeting for the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) featured a presentation on the association’s “iSpot” awards, recognizing innovation in vending, during the NAMA OneShow at the Sands Exposition Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Paul Schlossberg, a vending consultant who served as one of three judges who determined this year’s “iSpot” awards, gave a presentation about the importance of the awards and described each of the gold award winners.
This year, NAMA honored a record number of “iSpot” award winners, reflecting the rising level of innovation in the industry. The winners were provided special decals on their booths during the NAMA OneShow trade show.
Assisting Schlossberg as judges were consultants Jerry McVety and Mike Tomkins. The judges recognized the innovative successes of all the entries by dividing them into three recognition categories: gold, silver and bronze. Judging criteria was based directly on the six categories from the entry form: features, benefits, creativity, image, productivity and profitability.
The first gold winner recognized was the first vending operator to be recognized as part of the contest: Chuck Olson, owner of CNC Vending in Houston, Texas, for his use of the NAMA vend.love.win Facebook campaign and an online cash promotion as part of his marketing.
Other gold winners included:
- Vending machines: Crane Merchandising Systems – Merchant and BevMax media platform; Wittern Group – open screen platform; SandenVendo America - pouchlink beverage vending system; VendScreen – VendScreen Realize
- Kiosks: 365 Retail Markets – Smart Hub Gen II; Microtronic - Microtronic Market Place; Avanti Markets – Smart-N-Go Micro-Markets; utique shop high-tech self service store;
- Foodservice equipment: Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola Freestyle; Sanden Vendo pouch vender;
- Payment systems and devices, accounting and control systems: VendScreen – VendScreen Realm; VendScreen – VendScreen Redeem; MEI Conlux -MCM5;
- Audio cassette programming: VendScreen - VendScreen Revolution;
- Operating systems: VendScreen – VendScreen React; U-Select-It iView touchscreen;
- OCS: Keurig Vue V1202;
- Water service: Follett undercounter ice and water dispenser.