Canadian Vending

News
From the Editor: September-October-2010

Saddle Up


September 15, 2010
By Cam Wood

In just a few short days, the annual CAMA Expo will land in Calgary. And if you’re headed out, you’ll understand that the city is an excellent venue for a vending convention at this point in time.

In just a few short days, the annual CAMA Expo will land in Calgary. And if you’re headed out, you’ll understand that the city is an excellent venue for a vending convention at this point in time. Calgary has a reputation for being a world-class city with a touch of the wild west – and that’s a good thing. Far removed from the sprawl of central Canada, the mood tends to be a bit edgy and exciting; exactly what we need.

As many of us know, Calgary is home to “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” The stampede brings over one million visitors each year, and the rodeo ranks as the world’s largest – attracting hundreds of cowboys in search of the perfect ride.

The parallel isn’t that distant from our industry. Let’s be honest, our industry needs a few cowboys these days; someone with the confidence to dust themselves off when they get bucked off. When you think about it, many of us have been hanging on to a saddle bronco of an economy, waiting for the bell to signal the end of the topsy-turvy ride. Except the pick-up man isn’t there.

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Then again, maybe some of us would rather stare down an angry 2,000-pound bull than make a trip to the accountant in a post-HST environment.

Either way, there needs to be some reward in the risk of climbing on and waiting for the gate to open. Talk to some of the best riders in the world and they will tell you there is a lot of finesse, experience and courage involved in saddling up for a classic ride. You don’t just throw a saddle on any ol’ bronc and hop on. It takes a bit of knowledge, training and understanding of what you’re getting in to, or else you’ll hit the ground hard. Talk to some of the best operators in the market, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Whether it’s eight seconds, eight routes or eight provinces, the end result requires constant adjustment, leverage and luck.

And it takes more than spurs and a hat to make a cowboy, just like it takes more than a coin mechanism and a case of soda to make an operator. Use this chance to “go west” and learn from the experience. This is your chance to increase your skills and finesse. Take in everything you can, and then “go ‘round” again. A veteran will tell you, you never get all the points the first time out – “just get your eight, make a showin’ and saddle up again.”


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