The celebrations of the two-decade anniversary of the foundation of the European Vending Association (EVA) were the significant context to the 2014 Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM).
A large attendance of approximately 90 Members and industry influencers heard a lively presentation about the latest trends developing in the coffee market, and the projected fiscal measures from authorities on the industry. Participants were also taken on a journey to what the future could be like in 2034, helping them imagine how vending could evolve in order to interact with a new totally connected world. The final Conference presentation - from EVA Member Starbucks - allowed attendees to listen to advice and tips on how to inspire a loyal following by customers, particularly through creating a ‘coffee shop experience’ in vending. All the key messages of the Conference were uniquely captured by an artist on canvas.
An interesting ‘Innovations section’ by EVA Members followed the main presentations, and provided a platform for highlighting new developments for the vending industry. Speakers had only a few minutes to outline their project, and the audience selected the development they felt was the most creative. The elected winner of the EVA Innovation Award 2014 was Microtronic, with their new online payment and marketing ‘e vending’ application.
The AGM itself followed the Conference, where the audience heard about the developments in the EVA over the last year, including the publication of a new EVA Corporate Brochure and a video – “What is behind a vending machine?” to help explain the industry.
The 20 year history of the EVA was then recounted by various former Presidents and Directors highlighting their achievements in tenure, and outlining their views on the evolution of the EVA down through the years. Each was presented with an award in recognition of their contribution to the EVA, while a photo slideshow provided a suitable and enjoyable background to the presentations.
In 2014, vending lost two influential EVA leaders - former President Augusto Garulli, and Vice-President Lucio Pinetti. The General Assembly stood for a moment of silence as a mark of respect for the two men, who were fondly remembered.
Microtronic was the exclusive Titanium sponsor of the event, sponsoring the Conference and AGM, as well as the evening gala dinner. Platinum sponsors of the Conference and AGM comprised Ingenico, Verifone, Advantech and 24 Vend/Unicum. All sponsors were able to showcase their latest products and machines to Members throughout the day, and took the opportunity to make a presentation as part of the Innovation Section.
A celebratory dinner followed the conclusion of the AGM, and gave attendees a chance to relax, socialise and network amongst a background of live Jazz music. The setting was the historic Belgian Comics Museum; guests were furthermore welcomed and entertained by famous characters from ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ by Hergé.
The EVA thanks all speakers, participants and sponsors for ensuring the Event and 20th Anniversary was so successful and productive, and looks forward in anticipation to the next 20 years for the Association and industry.