The NAMA Show 2019 Delivers an Elevated Experience 

The NAMA Show 2019(CHICAGO) May 8, 2019 – The NAMA Show returned to Las Vegas, bringing the convenience services industry together for a week of innovative new features, cutting-edge products and services, customized education and invaluable networking experiences  

Attendees and exhibitors alike deemed Las Vegas a fantastic show, with booth sales for 2020 kicking into high gear right on the show floor,” said Lindsey Nelson, VP of Programs and Services. “The industry showed up in full force, with more than 4,600 attendees and 367 exhibiting companiesThis year we hosted our highest exhibitor count and largest show floor to date, including 132 first-time exhibitors. Attendees came from around the world, representing 28 countries and industry decision-makers explored more than 83,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, featuring 125 new products,” she continued.  

Exciting and Engaging Features  

  • New Product Zone – Featuring 125 new products, attendees scanned items of greatest interest and, in real time, received a summary listing and show floor locations for those new products. 
  • Better for You and Vend THIS! Pavilions – Expanded for 2019, the Better for You Pavilion featured healthier snacks and beverages, including plant and fruit-based snacks, jerky, protein bars and drinks, tea and more. Vend THIS! was specifically designed for operators seeking new and different products to offer in their sales channels, mainly non-consumables.
  • USAT Partner Pavilion – Attendees explored integrated solutions for vending, micro markets, and OCS related to increased consumer engagement, digital payments acceptance, and back-office management tools. 
  • Captivation Station – Situated in a geodesic dome on the trade show floor, this intimate and engaging space hosted nine exhibitor presentations with nearly 200 attendees. Customer engagement, connectivity, networking, and a session focused on increasing sales, targeted specifically for small operators were featured topics.
  • People’s Choice Awards – The People’s Choice Awards winners were selected based on the most scanned products in each of the eight categories in the New Product Zone. 

People’s Choice Awards Honorees: 

Better for You Products: 

Jimmy Dean Protein Packs 

By Tyson Foods 

Candy, Gum & Mints: 

Caffeinated Chocolate Peanut Butter Bite 

By AWAKE Corporation 

Chips, Salty & Meat Snacks: 

Jack Link’s Snack Bowls 

By Golden West Food Group 

Coffee, Tea & Hot Beverages: 

Stok Mocha Protein Single Serve Cold Brew Coffee 

By Danone North America 

Cold Beverages, Milk & Water: 

Matcha Oxidants 

By Remedy Organics 

Cookies, Crackers, Baked & Breakfast Items: 

Dible Dough Cookie Dough Bars 

By Neighbors, LLC 

Entrees: Sandwich, Wrap, Burrito + Frozen & Refrigerated Items: 


By Cheesewich Factory 

Technology, Kiosk, Vending/Dispensing Equipment & Business Services 


By Avanti Markets 

General Session 

Sponsored by PepsiCo, the General Session featured futurist and author, Mike Walsh. In this inspiring keynote, Walsh – author of ‘The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas’ and founder and CEO of Tomorrow, a consumer innovation research lab – presented a vivid portrait of a brave new world orchestrated by machines that think, and how tomorrow’s leaders can upgrade their capabilities to survive and thrive in an age of accelerating technology. He challenged the audience to use data to better understand their customers and how they behave, and to use their knowledge and skillsets to reinvent the nature of work processes to elevate the value of their thinking. 

The general session also featured remarks by President and CEO Carla Balakgie on how the industry can “do well by doing good” as it formulates public health commitment, and by Chair Jeff Smith on the importance of company culture, agility and embracing change. Annual industry awards were a special highlight with a ceremony honoring: Industry Person of the Year, Heidi Chico of U-Select-It; Allied Member of the Year, Larry Atnip of Atnip Co., Inc.; and Operator of the Year, Peter Fetherston of Canteen, Compass Group North America. 


The 2019 NAMA Show presented a comprehensive and robust educational line-upEducation kicked off with pre-conference sessions on getting started with artificial intelligence and an introduction to pantry services 

Five highly customized tracks of education – Sales/ Business Development, Technology, Business Operations, Consumer& Industry Trends and Public Health and Nutrition provided actionable insights that attendees could take back to their businesses. 

Included in the line-up was a roundtable discussion for small operators and a session dedicated to technician training in the 21st century. 

A selection of education downloads are available on the show website beneath the session descriptions:  

Networking Experiences 

Dynamic networking opportunities and special events included: 

  • NAMA Jam – A large and enthusiastic crowd attended the first-ever NAMA Jam which kicked off the first evening of the show with cocktails, conversation and a live performance from Clif Bar’s own Grove Valve Orchestra – voted best corporate band by FORTUNE magazine. NAMA Jam was sponsored by 365 Retail Markets, Premier Broker Partners & Clif Bar Co. 
  • International Gathering – International attendees enjoyed an invitation-only event in the New Product Zone, to see the many product innovations happening in the US market and network with industry leaders from around the world.
  • WIN and ELN – NAMA’s WIN and ELN groups each held their own growing and ever-popular networking events – WIN at 1923 Bourbon Bar and ELN at Top Golf.
  • Executive Forum – Alumni from the Executive Forum Alumni 2016 and 2017 events reunited for networking and breakfast, featuring Stewart Thornhill, Ph.D. discussing positive leadership.
  • NAMA Foundation – The NAMA Foundation, in partnership with 365 Retail Markets, hosted its second annual Charity Basketball Jam. The full-court winning team was the 365 Retail Makets/G&J team and the half-court winning team was Epsom/OptConnect.  All proceeds were donated to the NAMA Foundation in support of its mission. The event was sponsored by 365 Retail Markets, Lightspeed, G & J, Newco, Translucent, OptConnect, and Epson.  

“Building on the success and momentum of an exciting week, The NAMA Show exhibitor community donated more than 14,500 pounds of food – the equivalent of 12,100 meals – to Three Square, a Nevada food bank. Many thanks to our exhibitors for giving back to the local community,” Nelson said. “The NAMA team would like to extend a huge thank you to all who helped make The NAMA Show 2019 a success. We look forward to seeing you as we take the show to Nashville next year. Mark your calendars for May 6-8, 2020,” she concluded.  

Founded in 1936, NAMA is the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry.  With more than 1,000 member companies – including many of the world’s most recognized brands – NAMA provides advocacy, education and research for its membership.

Visit NAMA on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.    

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