CHICAGO, U.S. – The 2015 NAMA Coffee Tea & Water (CTW 2015) delivered a high-value and collaborative business-building experience for the coffee service channel, while reaching milestone performance metrics. The eighth annual CTW attracted a record-breaking number of exhibitors, key decision makers and industry leaders including coffee service operators, micro market and vending operators, suppliers, brokers, distributors and industry specialists.
“The increased attendance was marked with new products featured during the tradeshow, providing optimal business growth opportunities for exhibitors and attendees alike,” said Chip Potter, Vice President of Information and Communications of NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association). “A sold-out show floor showcased more than 100 exhibiting companies, thirty percent of which were new exhibitors this year.”
The show’s 13 education sessions were designed to support key operator needs including: business management best practices, how to leverage technology and key trends and updates on government regulations affecting their businesses. Bubbles, Blends and Brews: The State of OCS, delivered key insights on current data trends and future challenges, incorporating active roundtable discussions led by NAMA’s Emerging Leaders Network.
Other notable sessions included: Tech Talks, which connected operators with technology suppliers; the EPA Energy Star session gathered industry comments on new standards for commercial brewers; a labor session highlighted proposed regulations on overtime and worker classifications; and award-winning consultant John Healy showed attendees how to leverage LinkedIn and other platforms for business growth.
CTW’s first TeaEO, Seth Goldman of Honest Tea, gave a keynote address on innovation, growth and success while staying true to a company’s mission and core values. Closing general session speaker, Stephen Twining of Twinings Tea, delivered an interactive presentation on current tea trends and ways to leverage them in a fun, ‘tea time’ setting.
The Coffee Legend award, a beloved element of CTW, posthumously honored Lowell Shindler, co-founder of U.S. Coffee, for his 44-year career in the coffee business. His wife Barbara Shindler and their son Douglas Shindler accepted the award on Lowell’s behalf.
New this Year
CTW featured a global element this year, welcoming the Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Mr. Román Macaya – the show’s first foreign dignitary.
Ambassador Macaya walked the show floor and gave remarks on his country’s coffee history and its relationship with the U.S. coffee business. Kenya’s coffee industry was also highlighted as representatives from the country’s embassy hosted “One for the Road,” a free tasting featuring Kenyan coffee at the close of CTW.
Organized by NAMA’s Women of the Industry group, the inaugural WIN Fun Run drew 130 runners, walkers and volunteers. The event will support the NAMA Foundation, benefitting FitPick®, NAMA’s signature nutrition program.
“CTW is a unique forum filled with valuable education and networking opportunities in addition to the tradeshow. Business-building relationships forged at this event, whether on the show floor, at an education roundtable or at a reception, all support the growth of this channel and its businesses,” Potter said.
“We are already looking forward to next year and invite everyone to join us for CTW 2016, taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, November 8-10.”
Education session presentations are available for download on the CTW website at: http://www.coffeeteaandwater.org/downloads.