To New Beginnings

Dec. 10, 2020
While 2020 is a year many may want to forget, let’s remember the many lessons learned this year

I was walking in my neighborhood in early November when I noticed that several houses already had holiday decorations up. It seemed a bit early, but in 2020, are there really any rules anymore?

Growing up, the Christmas decorations in my family’s house never went up until the Thanksgiving decorations came down. One year, my mother actually started taking the Thanksgiving decorations down before we’d even finished our pumpkin pie. “Thanksgiving is over!” she proclaimed as we cleared the table.

I think it’s safe to say that many of us are excited for anything to look forward to, even if the holidays look different this year due to COVID-19. I hope each and every one of you enjoys a much-needed break over the holidays.

I think it’s also safe to say that many of us are excited for a new start in 2021, and while it may be tempting to entirely wipe 2020 from our collective memories, it’s important to carry on the many lessons learned during this challenging year, and to focus on the silver linings that always seem to appear in the darkest of times.

In our 2021 Forecast, contributing editor Emily Jed asked industry experts about the lessons learned, trends, and competition operators should prepare for next year, especially considering that a considerable amount of the workforce has been working from home, impacting their consumption habits. We saw an acceleration in the use of cashless and contactless payments to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which will also affect consumer behavior as they return to the workplace. In a chaotic year, one truth held constant across all industries: those who could pivot and adapt quickly came out ahead. Read more on page 28.

We’re always excited to recognize leaders in our industry, and this year’s Pros To Know Awards is no exception. We were also excited to welcome former associate editor Adrienne Zimmer back to manage this year’s Pros To Know Awards. Find out who made the cut on page 12.

Lastly, I have some exciting news of my own to announce. After a year and a half as editor of Automatic Merchandiser and, I am moving to Endeavor Business Media’s Marketing Solutions team. As the company’s director of custom content, I’ll be working across all Endeavor brands on custom projects. I’ve truly enjoyed working with the incredible operators and suppliers in this industry, and I hope our paths cross again!

We’ll be welcoming a new editor soon, one that will be familiar to many of you. Until then, take care and stay safe.

Photo 40139647 © Yurolaitsalbert |
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Photo 171785838 © Mark Gomez |
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All images courtesy of American Vending & Coffee Service
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