Ian Loseby, National Business Manager at The Vending People, attended TUCO 2019 in York last month. Here’s his overview of the event, exclusively for Planet Vending & OCS.
The University Caterers Organisation – TUCO – is the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers operating in the higher, further education and public sector. Taking place from 29th-31st July 2019, the theme of this year’s event was ‘Driving Commercial Success’. Universities rely on their in-house catering services to provide funds that can be re-invested in educational resources. Having said that, the outlets and bars on campus must also offer great value, wide choice and innovation. The event had an impressive line-up of speakers, plus a series of breakout sessions, in which TUCO members shared the secrets of their success, covering subjects as diverse as new recipe trends, sustainability and student engagement.
All things considered, we decided it was an unmissable opportunity for us at The Vending People to demonstrate our latest innovations for University vending.
A targeted, planned approach
We weren’t disappointed: 224 delegates attended the event from 63 universities, and on top of that there were three councils, two healthcare trusts and –for good measure – the soil association.
The exhibition area came into its own during several well-planned breakout sessions, when delegates were lured into the hall by the promise of some exceptional on-stand refreshments.
In addition to the busy days, there were two casual events in the evenings with an array of food, drink and live entertainment that provided ideal opportunities for networking; getting to know clients and suppliers on a personal level.
You could say it was a targeted, planned approach; with just enough – but not too much – ‘shop’ talk. The main event took place on the final evening: a black-tie gala, in which the highly anticipated awards ceremony was hosted alongside a stunning Viking Banquet. The event was immaculately presented; more than 450 guests enjoying sumptuous catering.
All in all, the event was a real eye-opener and I’d like to thank a few very important people whose help and advice were vital in ensuring that we enjoyed maximum bang for our bucks, namely Crane, Ashortwalk and Nebrak; not forgetting Mandy from TUCO, who held our metaphorical hand throughout.
Finally, a word to acknowledge our fantastic Operations Team at The Vending People,who did such a great job in delivering and installing our Treat Your Health pop up vending machine. Thanks!
More on The Vending People HERE