by Jonathan W. Peters
Are you an Office Coffee Operator? A vending operator with a small OCS division? A vending operator who would like to take advantage of coffee, but don't know where to start? If your answer to any of those questions is "yes," then NAMA's Coffee Tea & Water 2012 show in New Orleans is definitely the place you should be. As a member of the Board of Directors of NAMA and someone who has devoted his career to coffee service, let me explain why I think this opportunity is one of the best for all of us and why if you're serious about succeeding in this industry you simply cannot afford to miss it.
CT&W will be held at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 13-15, in the famed Garden District and just blocks from its even more famous French Quarter. It is NAMA's 5th Coffee, Tea & Water Show and while every year the show has grown bigger and better and this year is no exception -- this year's show is the largest coffee service show in the country and is the premier gathering place for the dedicated professionals who want to learn and share information from lifetimes of experience. Operators, suppliers, brokers, manufacturers, and distributors can all showcase their wares, network with colleagues, and check out opportunities for growth and profitability.
Let me give you some highlights of this powerful show. First, keynote speaker Ric Rhinehart, director and vice president of the Specialty Coffee Association, will share his views on "Key Trends in Specialty Coffee" at the Nov. 13 opening session. You will learn about coffee quality and the consumer experience in an increasingly volatile coffee world, and the implications for consumption, growth and value. Ric knows what he's talking about -- in addition to his work with the Specialty Coffee Association, he has held executive positions in several coffee and tea firms over the past 20 years, and has also designed, developed, and produced a wide range of both tea and coffee products. Among other achievements, he is also the co-author of Tea Basics a primer on premium tea.
Another not-to-be-missed session at the show will be the presentation on Wednesday, November 14 of the results of a sweeping office coffee service survey, sponsored by NAMA, that reveals a host of strategic insights about how operators can enhance their business. The research clearly identifies opportunities that can help operators grow their business. Attendees will learn about new products that could be sold to accounts, insights into budgets and how that translates into up-selling accounts and increasing sales, along with a look at how account decision makers view the business practices of their coffee service providers. Attendees to this session will walk away with specific facts that can help them develop new strategies to grow their business and increase profits."
The research was conducted by Heart+Mind strategies, a strategic research consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC, and will be presented by Heart+Mind President and Managing Partner Mike Dabadie. Before founding Heart+Mind Strategies, Mike spent more than ten years with WirthlinWorldwide and also served as chief marketing officer at Community Coffee Company. He has also served as the pollster to several elected officials.
There's still more! The Show will feature 16 hard-hitting education sessions with real world advice designed to help you succeed. Just some of those sessions include:
• 4.5 hours of sales training from leading sales expert and best-selling author Jeb Blount, author of five books including his bestseller People Buy You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Business and his newest release, People Follow You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Leadership
This year's CT&W also boasts a record of 100 tabletop exhibitors who will showcase the newest in beverages, equipment, services, and technology that represents the future of our industry.
• The Art of the Introductory Call; How to Get Appointments with Top Prospects
• Leveraging Refreshment Services Technology
• OCS Delivery Vehicle 101
• Tea 101
• Service Tech Panel and open forum
An added bonus is that this year marks the first time CT&W will be held concurrently with the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) Business Conference and Table Top Trade Show, thus providing increased exposure for the 1,600 attendees of both events.
NAMA has also arranged an exciting optional and free tour of the New Orleans (NOLA) Port Authority and Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corporation. New Orleans is not only rich in coffee history but is also the second largest port of entry for green coffee. It will be interesting to see such an integral but behind the scenes look at such an important component of the delivery process serving our industry.
Finally, the city of New Orleans enjoys world-renowned restaurants, family attractions and sensational cultural activities, and is a great place to entertain clients. In just seven years after the devastating blow it received from Hurricane Katrina, the city is once again strong and vibrant.
If you are in the coffee, tea and water service industry you cannot afford to miss this show. If you haven't registered for CT&W, you will be missing out on a must-attend industry event. Sign up online now; visit namacoffeeservice.org and click on the 2012 logo.
It's sure to be a great show, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Jonathan W. Peters is executive vice-president of Aramark Refreshment Services