2019 NAMA Show – It’s All About “The Yapa”

April 22, 2019

The sprawling San Pedro Market in the legendary city of Cusco, Peru, is a long way from the Las Vegas Convention Center. Yet, in the shadow of the Andes Mountains, everyone understands the key concept that sets the successful vendors apart — a concept that operators should think about as they enter the 2019 NAMA Show. It’s all about the Yapa.

Literally, Yapa translates to a little something extra — something to sweeten the deal. Juan Trujillo, an expert on Peruvian culture and a long-time guide on the trails of Machu Picchu, said Yapa is the reason locals choose the gritty San Pedro Market over the upper-class chain market across the street. “We have ten vendors selling the same fresh fruit juice for the same price. I choose the one who throws in a nice papaya to take home with the juice — the Yapa,” said Trujillo. “Because of the Yapa, I come back to the same vendor every time. They earn my loyalty.”

Operators should look for the Yapa at the 2019 NAMA Show. Keep in mind that exhibitors make a big investment when they attend the NAMA Show, probably more than you realize. They want to come back from the show with some orders, commitments and strong new opportunities in their pocket. For operators, the NAMA Show is a great time to ask for some Yapa — a little something extra to sweeten the deal.

Anyone who is serious about the workplace refreshment industry needs to be there. How do you make the most of the 2019 NAMA Show?

Here is the advice I have given to my clients every year and it is worth repeating: 

Assess your needs

Ask yourself and your team, “What is our greatest need right now?” In my experience, that answer changes with each convention.

Make your own list. Determine a primary objective — the one critical take-away. Make it your mission to find that solution at the 2019 NAMA Show.

Bring key people

Bringing managers and key “upand-comers” to the 2019 NAMA Show sends those employees an important message: “You are a valued member of our team who deserves this perk, we expect performance and we are confident that you will deliver at the show and when we return to work.”

Here is the key: Each of these employees needs a show objective. It could be finance, service, operations or sales related. They should also be expected to submit a report on their objective, the solutions they discovered and the take-away from any educational sessions that they attended. 

New exhibitors

Pay special attention to new exhibitors, often the source of cutting-edge products and services. It is easy and familiar to visit the same old exhibitors each year. Sometimes, the real excitement is happening with the new exhibitors, who may also be more generous with the Yapa!

Set up meetings with suppliers

There is something about meeting with suppliers at a convention that sends a message — “My company is a serious player that deserves your attention.” I especially recommend this strategy to small, fast-growing operators. Your company should get the same attention as the big guys on the block — or at least some attention now, because you intend to be one of the big guys soon!

Have an agenda for the meeting. What were some of the challenges you faced in 2018 in dealing with the supplier? How can we work together to overcome those challenges?

Think about the Yapa when you ask this question: What should we expect from your company in 2019 that will help us grow our business and improve our profitability? It is a two-way street, so always ask the supplier what their expectations are in terms of your company.    

Keep in mind that the 2019 NAMA Show will bring in some national people representing suppliers — executives who can help support your local objectives. When the national sales manager is impressed by your company’s commitment to their products, it will go a long way toward receiving marketing support out of the local budget. Ask the national execs for the BIG Yapa!

Use the NAMA Show to be a thought leader

The basic and fundamental LinkedIn engagement strategy is to bring value to your connections. Be a thought leader, stay connected and become the vendor of choice when your prospect is ready to buy.

What better place to shoot a short video for LinkedIn posting about something exciting that you have seen on the convention floor at the NAMA Show? It might be a product that will be of interest to your facility and office management contacts. Make sure the video is good, or just post images with an explanation – a safer option.

Best of all, when you find a solution, something that your client or prospect is desperately looking for, send that person a text or an e-mail letting them know you have found something especially for them. Send a photo. Here you are, in Vegas, on the convention floor, thinking about their needs.

That is YOU — delivering the Yapa! See you in Las Vegas.