National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

20 NAMA InTouch • Summer 2022 people back to the office with what we offer. They want a drink they can’t make at their house.” Preventing Cyberattacks Down the hall in another packed room at the session, “Technologies Trending in Convenience Services,” panelist John Hickey, co-founder of Tech 2 Success, opened attendees’ eyes to the reality of cyberattacks and the importance of protecting your business. “Seventy-five percent of Cyberattacks target small businesses,” he warned. “Why? You have valuable information. Hackers want to ransom your data.” Hickey recommended that companies begin preventing cybercrime immediately with these steps: 1. Get on professional email and implement external tags on email. 2. I mplement web security on your domain name server. 3. I mplement antivirus and endpoint protection. 4. E liminate unnecessary software and operating systems. 5. Upgrade and patch older programs. 6. Backup, backup, backup. 7. U tilize secure cellular connection with private IP addresses. Cybersecurity was a trend in several sessions. In the session, “Lessons from a Lawyer,” attorneys Molly Arranz and Heather Bailey discussed how vending operations can and do experience cyberattacks and emphasized the importance of multifactor authentication as part of every business’ security system. New Consumer Opportunities Capitalizing on consumer trends in the evolving unattended retail space was a consistent theme throughout The NAMA Show, so it was very fitting to have an education session focused on just that topic. In a fireside chat entitled, “The Birdseye View of Changing Consumer Environments,” experts spoke about the rise in unattended retail and how it will likely look in different segments. Neal Patel, Vice Chair of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, brought up the challenges that labor shortages have caused for the hotel industry. Due to this challenge, he began working with an operator to use vending to fill that gap. “Technology is important for us in the hotel industry,” Patel said. “When we have a vending machine that can accept contactless payments, that ’s huge. But we need a seamless transaction. We want [customers] to use the vending machine because it lessens our labor costs.” Panelist Sharon Peyer, Vice President of Convenience Systems at CPI, agreed. “I see a number of opportunities for operators at local and national levels,” she said. “We need to learn about it and figure out how we as an industry can better optimize the experience for consumers in this automated retail environment.” She noted that unattended retail needs to be very intuitive for the consumer when they walk up and make their selections, whether it ’s a vending machine with an integrated touch screen or a controlled access machine. Panelists discussed how trust and speed are the two macro trends changing where and how consumers buy their food and beverage. Mark The NAMA Show 2022 Recap