We’ve been attending Vendex as Planet Vending for the best part of a decade and been proud to talk about it, write about it and elevate exhibitor’s profiles, writes Yvonne Reynolds-Young. Why? Because Vendex works. It’s designed as a level playing field for all who exhibit; large or small. Its a shell scheme and the only way to increase your visibility on the ground is by taking more than one module. It’s obvious that the big boys such as Evoca, Crane and the other manufacturers need to double up or even triple up as they show off their machines and have a lot of people to accommodate, but otherwise most exhibitors will take just one stand.
What this means is that everyone, from established brands to newbies on the block, has a chance to attract buyers onto their stand. Of course, it helps if they support their presence by promoting themselves in advance of the show but on the day each brand has an equal chance of seeing traffic.
Phil Reynolds is delighted with the reaction from this week’s show saying: “once again, the vending industry showcased an astonishing selection of new machines, technology, products and services. Innovation around the delivery and customisation of vended products is a key factor in an industry that is being driven by customers with high expectations from their experiences in the high street café sector.” Phil’s post-show press release declares that a record number of visitors attended and that highlights of the show included digital advertising technology that delivers customised content according to facial recognition, apps to facilitate payment, ordering and customisation; an expansion of CQUIN compliant snacks, cold brew coffee options and intelligent software and hardware to enhance the customer experience and simplify machine management and stock control.
As PV have been banging the tech drum for more that 6 months through our Vending Insight series this is music to our ears too…
Ian and I arrived to be greeted by the guys on the Evoca stand wielding a couple of very welcome cups of flat white from the new Kalea. The stand was a complete change of style from what we’ve all been used to from the former N&W corporate look. The new stand very much reflected a change of focus towards presenting themselves more as Coffee machine specialists. Not a single snack or drinks vending machine in sight, Louise was very quick to point out that you didn’t have to go far to find Evoca snack machines from almost their whole range dotted around the show on other stands. We met the new bloke in charge of HoReCa, Steve Parsons, and Ian was quick to record an interview with him. Catch up on the results later.
We only had a few hours to spare so, suitably sustained, we set off down the crowded corridors. I swear it took a full hour to travel halfway down the first aisle and halfway down the next. From someone who only joined the vending world 7 years ago it was a great feeling to be stopped by so many lovely and generous people. Here’s a gallery of some of them!
Our main objective was to see as many of our current clients, be they advertisers or PR clients, as possible. Many of whom had invested in our usual Spotlight On… Vendex North so we were keen to ensure that their efforts were paying off. It was heartening that everyone we spoke to was delighted for the opportunity to talk about their business knowing that it would be read.
We also had another objective; during September in conjunction with Ferrero we ran a competition whereby some lucky operator would win £500 of high street vouchers simply by ordering 30 cases or more of Ferrero product through Automatic Retailing. We were to meet the winners for an interview and photo shoot. As luck would have it (or was it planned to perfection?) we arrived at the Ferrero stand at the same time as the winners. Watch this space as we publish the story soon…
Next year its all change, and we’d love to hear from Phil Reynolds on what lies behind the decision to move Vendex North to Leeds. Its a brave decision to move what has been such a successful formula to date, but we’re sure that Phil has the best intentions for the industry and will deliver another great show. If its true that it is already 75% sold, you’d better get a move on if you want to be part of it.