Exhibit Space 100% Sold Out in May with Crowded Show Floor Despite Threatening Storms
The Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation was the chosen venue for the 64th edition of the Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) where operators and suppliers from all across the US gathered to take part in educational sessions, see and show new products and equipment. The theme: “Sand, Sun and Fun at ACE 2018” was spread around across the show – with many exhibitors embracing the Beach Party theme. The exhibit hall completely SOLD OUT for the largest exhibitor showing in ACE history! Participants from dozens of states and Canada took part in this three-day convention that is the largest show of its kind on the East Coast. ACE organizers have heard “best show ever” from attendees and exhibitors and the is especially rewarding since this years’ show followed two catastrophic hurricanes prior to opening day.
On Thursday, meetings were held by two of the state vending associations that partner in ACE: NCVA (NC Vending Association) and VAMA (Virginia Automatic Merchandising Association). This year two optional sessions were offered early Friday morning - Office Coffee Services and Maintenance Training. There were two more educational sessions that were included in the show’s registration fee. The sessions were: A Legislative & Policy Session by Eric Dell from NAMA (skyped in from DC due to travel challenges from the storm); and a session on “Shapshots into Future Technologies” hitting these exciting subjects: Driverless Vehicles, Wearable Technologies, Artificial Intelligence – Vending Analytics, and Virtual Money Takeover. Attendees were amazed to learn of what’s ahead and encouraged organizers to plan sessions next year with an in-depth look to each topic!
Other events that offered networking opportunities included a festive “Sand-sational Beach Party” with special entertainment by A DJ with Steel drum band performance, games and excellent food!. Saturday was the “ACE Corn Hole Pool Party” and throughout the week, a Tiki bar provided beverages for attendees.
The Saturday ACE Seas the Day Awards breakfast gave us a Keynote by Will Bowen - #1 bestselling author whose books include A Complaint Free Word. Will taught listeners about the Complaint Free Movement ®. Beforehand, awards were given to the following: NCVA Vendor of the Year: Michael Vannoy, Triangle Vending & Water Service; NCVA Supplier of the Year: Kenny Freeman, Brokers Unlimited; VAMA Vendor of the Year: Scott Halloran, Trolley House Refreshments; and VAMA Supplier of the Year: Mike Frye, Southeastern Vending Services. A plaque presented to Chris Taylor was given to honor his year-long commitment and valued leadership as the 2018 ACE Planning Committee Chair. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jim Roberson, long-time broker with Brokers Unlimited. First Place Booth awards were given to companies in three different categories that embraced the Sand, Sun and Fun show theme. Prizes went to: Single Booth –Gimme Vending; Multi-Booth – Pepsi Bottle Ventures and PepsiCo; and Mega-Booth – Vistar. In addition, the committee presented plaques to the highest corporate Diamond level sponsors whose generous contributions make ACE 2018 a success. Thank you to ACE Diamond sponsors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, PepsiCo Food Service, USA Technologies and Vistar. Photos can be seen on the website.
In an effort to make a difference in the communities, ACE donated a truck full of remaining products from the show to the local church community that will distribute to families in need. In addition, ACE partner associations donated $10,000 to the Food Banks in effected areas.
ACE is an industry-only event and registration is open to anyone in the vending, office coffee or food service business, including those involved in contract food service in schools, colleges and hospitals. Additional information is available from the ACE office: Visit www.atlanticcoastexpo.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 919-387-1221. The ACE Planning Committee began planning ACE 2019 event on the Sunday following the show’s closing. Next year’s dates are October 10-12 at Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation which will celebrate the 65th exposition .