The European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) held its annual European Vending Experience (EVEX) on 5 & 6 September in Bucharest, Romania, the first time this unique industry event has visited Eastern Europe.

The event, organised in collaboration with Romanian Vending Association (PRIV), took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Bucharest. With the location itself being new to some attendees, a guided walking tour of central Bucharest not only provided the perfect introduction to the host city but also allowed participants to enjoy the first of many networking opportunities. A cocktail reception in the evening officially opened the on-site EVEX programme.

Day two focused on the all-day trade exhibition, the EVA Annual General Assembly meeting (AGM), the EVEX Conference as well as insightful speeches from the event sponsors on how their products can help develop vending busineses. All the action was entirely located on the same area of the hotel – including the coffee breaks and lunch – perfectly facilitating for attendees the transition from educational sessions to the commercial exhibition.

The EVA AGM outlined the significant increase in the Association’s activities in 2023, particularly in the public affairs sphere as well as in some new member services. The brand new EVA market report covering 24 European vending markets was presented for the first time, as well as key information from the 2023 EVA consumer behaviour report. In the final part of this ‘market knowledge’ segment of the Conference, intriguing results of a recent academic experiment into sustainabilty choices at the vending machine were presented to participants. Following each topic, a panel discussion with highly respected vending operators from Romania, Spain and Portugal, explored these developments further and how these trends are impacting their businesses. All this industry information, providing great data sources for considering industry investments, is as always free to access for EVA Members.

Completing the EVEX presentations was the keynote speech by Andrei Rosu – a top Romanian endurance athlete. Andrei has achieved several records after only starting in his thirties to practice sport. His entertaining speech followed his journey from his first marathon – at the North Pole (!) – through ultra endurance events in every continent and even rowing more than 5,000km across the Altantic. Drawing parallels with the business environment, he clearly demonstrated to attendees that motivation is the spark, but introducing habits make you achieve huge goals.

At the end of the day participants had a chance to unwind during the Gala Dinner in the chic Tuya restaurant, situated in a park and overlooking a lake. It was there that the winners of the EVA awards for ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Innovation’ were announced. Both award categories attracted many exciting projects and products for the jury to consider; all which were briefly outlined before the category winners were announced:

2023 EVA Image of vending award for Sustainability

Lifecycle Assessment Calculation (LCA) tool – Nestlé Professional

2023 EVA Image of vending award for Innovation

MIA Easy Milk – Azkoyen

The EVA also presented an award to the German Vending Association (BDV) to celebrate and mark its 50th anniversary.

2023 marked the full return to the traditional EVEX format after two slightly different editions in 2022 (at the Venditalia exhibition and combined with VendCon). With the Romanian market continuing to demonstrate positive growth for vending, and therefore an interesting market for potential business opportunities, the EVA and PRIV are very pleased that the event was able to attract over 170 registered attendees which included a good mix of international vending players as well as local Romanian companies.

We were of course delighted that the event attracted significant support from sponsors, without whom the event could not have been such a success.

The EVA will soon be considering a location and date for EVEX 2024 and will keep you informed as soon as we can communicate about it.

Some photos from the event will be published shortly on the EVA LinkedIn and Facebook pages.