Pictured from left to right: Stephen Twining, Luz Marina Trujillo, Carla Balakgie, Pete Tullio, Juan Esteban Orduz
National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA) CoffeeTea&Water show was held Nov. 12 to 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn. at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. This year, NAMA reported record attendance with 750 participants at the three-day event - a more than 150 person increase in attendance over last year’s CTW show.
Educational sessions were at the forefront of this year’s show with fourteen separate sessions and three larger general sessions.
“Education and networking are really the hallmarks of the CTW show,” said Pete Tullio, CTW co-chair.
The opening general session was led by keynote presenter Mike Hourrigan in “The Impact of the Economy on Sales Results.” Hourrigan focused his speech on the change that occurs during a sales opportunity. He highlighted that operators can affect employee production through providing solid business in the coffee, tea and water arena. He advised that sales representatives should turn the sale into a relationship to help the employees.
In addition, Hourrigan informed operators to utilize the silent sales forces, i.e. people who don’t work for you: imaginary sales representatives. Computer generated sales forces can help increase profitability without costing you an annual salary, he said.
Hourrigan emphasized that fear of change can be paralyzing, but in the end, it is worth it for your business. Operators need to make fun of conventions in order to gather and obtain customers, he argued. “Perception is reality,” he said. Lastly, Hourrigan noted that operators should join the associations that will garner their business relationships and he challenged each operator to ask their own employees to do something presidential. “Don’t lower your standards, because your customers aren’t,” he continued.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, the general session opened with presenters Carla Balakgie, president of NAMA; Stephen Twining, tea brand ambassador and director of corporate relations for Twinings; and Luz Marina Trujillo, owner of Santa Elena Coffee Estate. Twining shared his views on the importance of ensuring that each consumer purchase of your product guarantees its quality. Trujillo began her speech with the story of NAMA members traveling to Costa Rica to witness and participate in the coffee production process. During her speech, Trujillo offered insights into her work as a third-generation coffee producer and described the intricacies of bean to cup production.
Twining and Trujillo were followed by keynote speaker Juan Esteban Orduz, president of the Colombian Coffee Federation. Esteban Orduz’s speech, “Linking Quality and Sustainability” highlighted consumer exposure to multiple brands and channels. He argued that quality and sustainability must be linked for brands to survive. In addition, Esteban Orduz advised that specialty coffees are becoming the next trend.
In his closing session, Ross Colbert, global strategist for Rabobank International, provided an overview of the single cup coffee market including market trends.
NAMA’s 2014 CTW show will be held in Dallas, Texas at the Hyatt Regency. “If you aren’t here hearing about opportunities, and also taking advantage of the proprietary research that NAMA has created for you, to tell you about the trends of coffee, tea and water, you’re missing important business intelligence,” said Balakgie. “If I were you, I would be at the 2014 CTW for those reasons and a whole lot more.”
NAMA continues its educational, informational, advocacy and networking efforts in the coming year and will more closely follow the proceeding legislative concerns:
- Caffeine in beverages
- Lead in drinking water
- Energy Star
- Food Safety Modernization Act
“NAMA’s focus hasn’t changed. We will continue to put our efforts towards the four things I speak about all the time: advocacy, education, information and networking,” said Balakgie.