By Yvonne Reynolds-Young – MD and Publisher of Planet Vending – Vending’s Premier Publicists
Planet Vending was delighted to be invited to attend the AVS March conference held in Birmingham recently.
Ian and I duly dispatched ourselves from a freezing Lancashire to the balmy Midlands. Travelling just isn’t easy no matter how you do it, is it? We decided to let the train do the work but you do feel out of control when relying on outside forces. Thankfully it all worked well apart from some interesting walking detours from New Street to The Hyatt, where it was all going to be happening for the next 24 hours.
As you’d expect from Louise and Harriet, the organisation was spotless with our room ready and waiting for us and after exploring our surroundings we all gathered in the bar at the appointed time for a well deserved G and T or two.
Arriving at the bar, we were surprised to see a lot of new, to us, people whose names we knew but whom we’d never met. It was great to put faces to the names we’d been hearing about for years.
After a welcome libation or two, we were summoned to dinner and we all trotted down into The Mailbox to Tom’s Kitchen. Ian and I sat next to the lads from Grenade on one side where Liam educated us on the brand history, ingredients and philosophy ending with an invitation to visit. We’re looking forward to it, and a tour! On my other side it was quite lively too, we particularly enjoyed the company of Hugh Millson and getting his take on vending opportunities and trends.
The food at Tom’s kitchen was excellent and well organised considering the number of people they had to cater for all at the same time. We’d definitely recommend and go back if we can. Superb!
After setting the world to rights with all our companions over a few glasses of wine and fine food, we decided to let The Youngsters (not necessarily in years!) carry on with their mission to stay up all night and so we wandered back to the hotel, retiring at a respectable hour.
A great night all in all, for networking, food and…for us… catching up on sleep!
Next day was the conference proper and whilst much of the ‘important stuff’ was being discussed behind closed doors, the team had invited a number of interesting folk to present to the group, including Google, Planet Vending, our new AVA CEO David Llewellyn and the AVA Cup committee.
It was good to see the elite of vending getting together and making the most of all of the networking opportunities and catching up on news and trends within vending. During the coffee break, we were challenged by one senior operator to kick back against some of the issues facing the world of vending in order to create some controversy and debate; taking a more investigative journalistic approach. Whilst we do our best to report both sides of every story, if we can, and we will challenge where we can, its not always possible to say what we want. We don’t want to cause offense to our vending friends, nor do we want to be sued so don’t be surprised if we don’t pick up on everything that niggles! Planet Vending’s role is to support vending, and improve the profile of the industry by writing, reporting and distributing on line, all matters that are interesting and of interest. Whilst we like a bit of a debate we won’t take on anyone who can fight back with bigger weapons, and lawyers! We are however a business, and we need the support of the industry to keep us in existence. If that’s important to you, share our stories, read about the suppliers that we feature, subscribe to our weekly newsletter and it’d be great if you could take us up on our marketing offers and PR opportunities. We employ all the tips and tricks that Google covered, and more, so you can be sure that your own digital marketing efforts are amplified by working with PV. Get in touch with me here if you want to know more…
And, if you have a story you’d like us to follow, or report on, please do get in touch. We’ll make sure its read.
Thanks once again to Louise, Harriet and the board of the AVS for what was an illuminating and enjoyable adventure. See you in Vilamoura!