Over 360 participants from the European vending and OCS industry convened in Rome on November 23 and 24 for a successful European Vending Experience (EVEX 2017).
The show brought a record number of key industry names together for two days of educational conferences, networking opportunities, cultural activities, a Young Operators’ Forum and a commercial exhibition.
For 2017, EVEX was organised by the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) in conjunction with the Italian Vending Association (CONFIDA) and saw more than 360 participants from 28 countries convene in the so named Eternal City.
This year, the appeal of the event also extended outside of Europe, with EVEX welcoming 31 delegates from the Asian Pacific Vending Association.
As usual the EVA Annual General Assembly Meeting launched EVEX before conferences addressing two different and practical themes got underway. The first conference by University Professor Emanuele Frontoni explored how big data can encourage consumers to use vending. This involved a recent study employing cameras which revealed detailed reactions, time spent, and behaviour of people in front of a snack vending machine, and demonstrated that by capturing comprehensive data and understanding better the customer, operators, manufacturers and suppliers can accurately adapt their offering to attract new or more business.
The second conference by Pau Garcia-Mila was an interactive presentation on ‘Fast Innovation’ showing that companies must continue to innovate and change their offering. As part of this, EVEX participants created a new business prototype during the one-hour time slot, which went live as a new website.
Using this method, genuine customer feedback can be authentically gathered in real-time; assisting businesses to decide whether to fully launch a new project. The purpose of this conference was to prove that once an innovation has been determined, it is possible to present it seriously to customers in a quick time period.
Later attendees were treated to a diverse range of local cultural activities in the Vatican and ancient city centre of Rome to allow time for networking ahead of a gala dinner in the evening of November 23.
The dinner provided the backdrop for the presentation of the expanded EVEX Awards, which were voted for by participants through the official event App.
Winners on the night were:
• Machine of the Year – COTI by Crane Merchandising Systems
• Payment System of the Year – VPOS Touch by NAYAX.
On November 24, a Young Operators’ Forum took place where invited operators from 10 countries made presentations, before a wider discussion on solutions took place.
Despite coming from very different regions, it became clear that the challenges for these operators are all comparable – the similarities in addressing topics such as healthier vending and cashless payment options were particularly interesting.
The remainder of EVEX was dedicated to the commercial exhibition, providing the sponsors an opportunity to promote their products and do some business.