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Networking and new products at CAMA Expo 2012


October 11, 2012
By Stefanie Wallace


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Oct. 11, 2012, Niagara Falls, Ont. – The Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls was the venue for this
year’s CAMA Expo, the 59th annual event that celebrates the vending and
office coffee service industries with educational opportunities, an
awards dinner and a trade show.

Oct. 11, 2012, Niagara Falls, Ont. – The Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls was the venue for this year’s CAMA Expo, the 59th annual event that celebrates the vending and office coffee service industries with educational opportunities, an awards dinner and a trade show. On Sept. 28 and 29, 42 companies filled the area, exhibiting at 66 booths. Approximately 250 attendees from across Canada visited the show over both days, checking out new products and networking with their colleagues and peers.

The weekend kicked off with an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 27, giving attendees and exhibitors a chance to mingle and chat. Friday morning’s presentations included a post-mortem introduction of the new $1 and $2 coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, discussing successes and lessons learned from the vending industry. Catherine Johnston, president and CEO of ACT Canada shared best practices for coping with change when it comes to payment.

The trade show opened 11 a.m. Friday, with the show committee members cutting the ribbon and welcoming guests. The show floor was alive with chatter as guests visited booths, learning about new products, technology and opportunities. A mid-afternoon presentation from Manuel Parreira of the Bank of Canada inside the CAMA Café involved information about the new $20 polymer bank note, set to launch in November.

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After an exciting day on the show floor, attendees, exhibitors and CAMA members gathered for a president’s reception before enjoying the rest of the evening’s festivities. The awards dinner, a definite highlight of the expo, was held Friday evening in the Scotiabank Convention Centre, allowing key players from the industry to come to together and celebrate one another’s accomplishments from the past year. CAMA president Neil Madden welcomed everyone to Niagara Falls for this year’s CAMA Expo before handing out the prizes for the show’s Best Booth and Best Salesperson (which were determined by an anonymous committee during show hours on Friday). This year, Brokerhouse Distributors won the award for best booth and Craig Noble of Café Vittoria was awarded the best salesperson of the show. Congratulations!

CAMA’s annual industry awards were also handed out during the dinner, honouring three individuals with admirable accomplishments. Ernest Noble of Café Vittoria in Sherbrooke, Que., received the Stuart Daw Gold Service Award in recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership, dedication and professionalism. Ron Kane, of Kane’s Distributing Ltd. in St. Catharines, Ont., received the Don Storey Memorial Award, honouring his innovation and contribution to the industry. Brian Martell, of the Heritage Coffee Company in Montreal (and our Coffee Trends columnist), was awarded the Customer Service Award, which was founded in memory of the late Albert De Novellis of Crane National Vendors. Brian was recognized for his excellent customer service and personal approach. Brian also holds the honour of being the first CAMA member to have received all three industry awards. Ernest, Ron and Brian are all highly respected members of the industry and each award was very well deserved. Congratulations to all of them.

The celebrations lasted throughout the evening, but CAMA members had an early morning start on Saturday at the annual general meeting, during which a new board of directors was elected. A presentation from Maria Sena-Balestra, a consulting food and nutrition specialist, followed, during which she discussed how to identify healthy choices to vend. Delegates took in their morning dose of caffeine from a panel of coffee experts, including Brian Martell of Heritage Coffee, Ernest Noble of Café Vittoria, Paul Manley and Sylvain Precourt of Tassimo. The panel discussed what makes one cup of coffee better than the next, covering Stuart Daw’s Continuum to Contentment.

coffee_panel-web  
The panel of coffee experts. From left to right: Ernest Noble, Sylvain Precourt, Paul Manley and Brian Martell.


 

Back on the show floor, delegates continued to network with companies and learn about new products and technology. Before the show closed, the CAMA committee drew names for the $1,000 passport and the LCD TV draws. Moshi Kotierk of Igloolik Vending in Igloolik, Nunavut, won the $1,000 cash prize, and Albert Eskow of Alberta Vending in Leduc, Alta., won the LCD television. Congratulations!

Before wrapping up the show, Marie Saint-Ivany, CAMA’s manager of member services and trade show, and Amanda Curtis, executive director, commented on how pleased they were with the show’s turnout. “This new location is awesome,” Curtis said. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of positive feedback . . . the feel of the show is very positive this year.”

“The exhibitors like the facility, but what they love are the contacts they’ve made. There have been quality attendees and feedback has been very positive,” Saint-Ivany agreed.

Next year’s CAMA Expo, the 60th anniversary, will be held from Oct. 6 to 8 in Vancouver. “There will be different things about it because it is the 60th anniversary,” Saint-Ivany said, hinting that plans are already underway for a possible golf tournament and a large opening reception.

Stay tuned to CanadianVending.com for more photos, videos and product highlights from the show.


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