VendingMarketWatch.com: What is new at this year's CTW? What's the same?
Rori Ferensic, Director of Education and Credentialing: All of our educational sessions this year will focus on hot topics in the industry right now including sustainability, innovation and disruption, cybersecurity, workplace café design and delivery, and pantry services, to name a few.
We are excited to welcome futurist, trends and innovation expert, Jim Carroll as our keynote speaker this year. Jim has worked with companies like Walt Disney, the PGA, NASA, the Wall Street Journal and DuPont. He is a recognized thought leader on global trends, rapid business model change, disruption and fast-paced innovation, and we look forward to hearing from him at CTW. (Note: the keynote has not been announced by NAMA, but will later this month – we appreciate you keeping this info private until your article runs in September!)
We will also report out on the 2016 NAMA Industry Census as well as provide a government affairs update in conjunction with our colleagues from IBWA. As we have done in the past, we will hold a pre-conference Coffee 101 session.
LyNae Schleyer, Vice President of Events: This year is CTW’s 10th anniversary! We are very proud of how much this event has grown and expanded over the past decade, and the value it delivers to attendees. This year, CTW starts on a Monday and as always, the program is packed with education and features a trade show Tuesday afternoon.
This will be our first time at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX This fun destination, overlooking beautiful Grapevine Lake, is only 10 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth airport, offering CTW attendees many comfortable networking areas during the day and into evening outings. DFW is a centralized destination with easy access from all areas of the US, making travel more seamless for our attendees. I highly encourage everyone to check out www.coffeeteaandwater.org for registration and travel details, a full education lineup, and more.
VMW.com: Who will benefit most from attending?
RF: Those new to the industry will benefit from almost all of the educational sessions, as well as from walking the show floor and making new contacts. Senior-level practitioners will benefit from hearing about the most pressing topics affecting the industry right now, in addition to seeing new products on the show floor and networking with their industry colleagues.
VMW.com: What has changed since the first CTW?
LS: The continued growth of CTW in attendance and exhibiting companies demonstrates the importance of coffee service for operators and their customers. Over the 10 years, education has remained the key component to CTW, with focused training in customer service, coffee brewing, tea, water, sales and technology. It is important to serve the educational needs of seasoned operators as well as “blended” operators adding a coffee line to their business.
The trade show floor has increased in size, and in the variety of products and services supporting the office coffee industry. More than 100 companies plan to show their products at this year’s CTW.
What attendees gain from CTW is the ability to really network, share in-depth conversations and build contacts to help grow and build their coffee business. Many operators bring their coffee employees for added learning and connections.
VMW.com: What trends in coffee, tea and water will the show cover?
RF: Workplace cafés, sustainability, consumer trends and adoption, the changing workplace, and a look to the future with our closing session, “What Else is Brewing?”
VMW.com: Anything else that you would like to add.
LS: We will once again co-locate with IBWA’s (International Bottled Water Association) Annual Business Conference, sharing in education and show floor activities.
Our WIN (Women of the Industry) group will host two separate events early Tuesday morning to help attendees start their day. Join them for a Boot Camp work out and/or a rejuvenating walk along a beautiful wooded pathway. It is a great start to a productive day. Our Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) will be hosting a networking event and will lead an education session as well.