Advice to ensure success at the 2024 NAMA Show and tips for Dallas dining

April 16, 2024
The 2024 NAMA Show in Dallas promises to be one of the biggest conventions for our industry in years. How will you make the best of the experience? Take the advice of some industry experts on maximizing the value of the event and, of course, on where to get a great meal in Dallas.

Every year, I get asked the same question especially by industry newcomers: What should I accomplish at the NAMA Show?

The show can be overwhelming, and that’s why a convention strategy is essential. I have my own ideas that I’m happy to share, but I also turned to some helpful and engaging industry leaders who have useful input of their own.

Who should go to the NAMA Show

As an operator, our philosophy was clear on who from our team should attend the NAMA Show. Any valued member of the team will benefit from the content of the show. This could be a customer service person, account executive, sales representative or someone from operations. The NAMA Show has something for everybody who wants to be more knowledgeable about what is happening in the industry. Also, when you bring people to the NAMA Show, it sends a message that they are valued members of the team. You expect performance from them – this is a perk – and you are confident that what they get out of the show will be a real benefit when they return to work. Your team members need to find that key takeaway – something valuable – because there is a cost associated with attending the show.

Define objectives in advance

You must determine your No. 1 objective. You should ask, what is our greatest need right now? Of course, it changes every year, so every operator should assess their own needs. Preparation is required; there is no question about it. If you are bringing several people to the show – and I think that is a great idea – each person should have a defined show objective.

Advice from C.J. Recher – Five Star Breaktime Solutions: “Make a plan in advance. Go to the website, go to the app, take a look at the education lineup and schedule the time to go to those, to the ones that apply to you or something you want to learn more about. Study the show floor. Who is going to be there? Who do you want to see? What are the products that you're looking for?

Make sure that you have a set of goals – then you know you're getting a return. From a new or first-time show goer perspective, I would say jump into the deep end with both feet. Attend all the extracurricular events that you can.

If you're a young professional, go to the ELN event. Engage with people in our industry. While I know it can be kind of daunting to be a new person and not knowing anybody, but introduce yourself. Our industry is full of super friendly, approachable people that are willing to help operators trying to learn. Try to just immerse yourself in the entire experience.”

Advice from Kim Miros – DAC Total Refreshments: “Sign up for every one of the educational classes that pertain to you. Go to every single booth because there'll be some smaller ones that you can tend to walk by, but it could be the diamond in the rough for you.”

Advice from Louis Baresh – Executive Refreshments: “This is going to be one of the biggest NAMA Shows ever, so it is more important than ever to have a plan. Map it out and make it as strategic as possible – a structured approach. For us, the technology comes first, then equipment and then product – seeing what is the latest and greatest product that is being introduced.”

Baresh is based in Dallas, and he offered up some dining advice as well that looks quite impressive:

Restaurant advice from Scott Aalbers – White Bear Coffee: “These suggestions are all in Dallas and predominantly located downtown and in uptown (north of downtown). Both areas should be heavily visited by NAMA attendees.”

Restaurant advice from Erin Moshier, VP of operations – Aramark: “I love CBD Provisions. Their menu changes seasonally and always features unique local ingredients, great service too! If I want to try an assortment, our Dallas Farmer’s Market has a full food hall with some amazing offerings. My favorite is Rex’s Seafood. I will also tell you that I most often frequent Bankhead Brew Pub. There are three locations across the Dallas metroplex. Wood-fired pizza, amazing meatloaf, but my selfish plug is for the award-winning beer from head brewer Chad Moshier.”

“Who is Chad?” I asked.

“My husband,” said Moshier.


See you in Dallas at the NAMA Show!



Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer, consultant and the contributing editor of Automatic Merchandiser/ He advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up and specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically. 

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Tullio welcomes your feedback. He can be reached at 818-261-1758 and [email protected].