The EVA had the pleasure to recently attend the NAMA Show at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center from 10-12 May.

Nearly 5,000 operators, suppliers and industry professionals, representing 35 countries, attended the event and its many opportunities, including imagination way – where new concepts and solutions were shown in a typical environment – the wider expo hall, as well as education and networking events.

The NAMA Show kicked off on Wednesday 10 May with the general session, which included a thought-provoking panel discussion that delved into the association’s advocacy agenda, including work on gaining acceptance of food stamps at vending machines and the elimination or reduction of state sales tax in vending machines and micro markets. Both endeavours aim to foster an environment conducive to business growth and create more opportunities for operators.

Following the panel, keynote speaker, Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs, challenged attendees to think about embracing new ideas, overcoming the impossible and achieving outcomes that are seemingly out of reach. He stressed to the crowd, “Everything that’s possible today was impossible at first.”

The EVA, represented by its Public Affairs & Communication Manager David Irvine, had a series of meetings with the NAMA advocacy team during the event, enabling a detailed exchange of the legislative landscape in Europe and the US States’ and Federal initiatives, as well as advocacy strategies. Many current issues and topics are shared, but often with differing timings or focus.

The EVA was pleased to attend and present at the NAMA VDI Committee with regards to the latest developments on the work to prepare a new vending protocol as well as delving into aspects of newly published NAMA standards. This is an area that the EVA and NAMA expert committees will continue close collaboration going forward.

The exhibition, while more ingredient-supplier focused than many European shows, was certainly full of new innovations, and although micromarkets and smart fridges are fast growing in Europe, it’s clear that the US market is currently way ahead in terms of their market share. It was great to catch up during the exhibition with a not-insignificant number of EVA member companies on the exhibition floor and discussing their offering for the US market.

The final evening, the EVA was invited to the entertaining 365 Retail Markets ‘Touchdown’ event on the pitch at the Mercedes-Benz arena (American Football and soccer). Some more work perhaps needed on the American football skills of this EVA representative it should be said…

The next NAMA Show is scheduled to take place in 2024 in Dallas, Texas.