The EDWCA (European Drinking Water Cooler Association) is to hold its 2018 Business Day in conjunction with The Vendies, the prestigious awards programme for the vending industry. The Vendies, which featured on BBC1’s The One Show last year, is organised by the publisher of Vending International magazine, Datateam Business Media and the company pleased to announce that both events will take place on 2 October at the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club in Birmingham.

The EDWCA Business Day will kick off with a members-only AGM first thing in the morning, followed by a full speakers programme, round table discussions and a trade show which is open to all members of the vending and water industries, including end users.

The Business Day will cover current relevant topics such as GDPR, Brexit and how social media can be used to boost sales. There is a small delegate fee for attending which includes lunch and refreshments, however the EDWCA is delighted to announce that for its’ members this is a membership benefit and attendance to the Business Day and Trade Show are free of charge. There will be discounts available to delegates attending The Vendies, which is taking place at the same venue in the evening and promises further opportunities for networking.

The Trade Show element is free to attend and visitors may register online here.

For exhibitors, the trade show represents excellent value for money with a number of high profile sponsorship packages also available.

Providing industry information and relevant speakers with a full day of networking for manufacturers, suppliers, operators and end users alike, this is the event that will meet everyone’s demands. “Come and enjoy the day and be part of the EDWCA commitment to quality, hygiene, safety and hydration,” says EDWCA vice chair David Albers.

David continues: “Water and Vending are intrinsically linked and by coming together to talk to customers, it is hoped that buyers of these products and services will be able to make even better choices going forward. By also attending The Vendies, they will have further opportunities to talk to key players in the vending industry and consolidate their food and beverage provision.”

Event and publishing director Hannah Dedman comments: “We are delighted to be working with the EDWCA again to provide a full day of networking for the industry. I hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to listen to all of the inspiring talks, take part in the round table discussions and speak to exhibitors, before joining us for an evening of celebrations at The Vendies.”

Designed to reward the people, products and services that make the vending and water industries a success, this year’s awards programme offers some exciting opportunities for manufacturers and operators alike.

The Awards will be judged by an expert panel, comprising leading names from across the water and vending industry – with some help from the industry, of course!

Judges will assess each of the entries according to strict criteria, before carefully selecting up to five finalists in each category for the industry to vote on.

The judges’ scores will account for 75% of the outcome and the industry vote 25%.Written entries must be no more than 1,000 words. Supporting information (images, videos etc) should be uploaded via the online entry form.

Vending operators have a number of categories to choose from, including ‘Best Regional Operator’, ‘Best National Operator ’ and for the very first time, ‘Best Area Manager’. This in addition to ‘Best Operator’, ‘Best Service Engineer’, ‘Best Route Operator’, ‘Best Customer Service’  and the new ‘Best Operator Website’ award will give operators of all sizes, and the outstanding individuals within them, an opportunity to shine.

The same is true of the manufacturer/supplier categories, which include ‘Best Machine Innovation’, ‘Best Payment System’, ‘Best Beverage Brand’, ‘Best Snack/Confectionery Product’, ‘Best Ancillary Product or Service’ and ‘Best Supplier website’. For the first time ever, there is a Best New Product Award which will be voted for on the night and a Lifetime Achievement Award (nomination only), which will be chosen by the panel.

Nominations are also accepted in each of the vending categories via the same online form. All nominees will be contacted to tell them they have been nominated and asked to confirm their entry.

“Members of the water industry are invited to enter or nominate a colleague the EDWCA Customer Service Award, Outstanding Achievement Award and Innovation Recognition Award. The Supplier Recognition award is for any supplier to the water and beverage industry currently doing business in the UK and specifically dealing with EDWCA members on site or on the telephone.  It is aimed at those teams who pull together to problem-solve and give the customer the best possible experience of their company’s services. Please note, nominations can only be made by suppliers’ end-users,” says the EDWCA’s Tracy Corroll.

The Vendies has already won the backing of SB Software and Lavazza as sponsors, and with additional names to be announced in the coming weeks, publication manager Jenny Thompson says: “There are only a limited number of sponsorship opportunities available, so companies that wish to align their brand with the industry’s very best at this well-established event are encouraged to secure their position early.”

Sponsors will enjoy maximum exposure on the event’s promotional materials – across both print and digital platforms – as part of a highly targeted marketing campaign in the lead up to the event. Companies that get involved will also benefit from having their brand projected to a highly targeted and engaged audience at the ceremony itself, which is attended by all of the key industry figures.

Simon Black, MD of SB Software says: “With Vendmanager, we endeavour throughout to make things ‘simply better’ within the vending sector.

“Since the Vendies recognises key players – both individuals and organisations – who are just that in themselves, it is a natural fit for SB Software to support the event.

“We enjoy attending the awards, finding out how things are advancing in our industry and networking with the people who make vending successful.  So it’s a great way of combining work with pleasure too. Perfect.”