by Ron Delnevo for

I christened them my “Galacticos” — the leading figures in the payments industry who came together for the first time at the ATM Industry Association‘s dazzling new European event — ATM & Cash Innovation Europe 2017.

They were my Dream Team, and every last one of them showed up for the biggest of big Industry occasions!

Actually, most of them gathered for two ATMIA events, over the course of three days in June.

On June 12, the ATMIA staged a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the majestic Gibson Hall in the City of London.

A sellout crowd of 200 enjoyed marvelous speeches celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ATM and the 20th anniversary of the ATMIA, and then heartily applauded the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to NCR CEO Bill Nuti.

In addition, Diebold Nixdorf and The Payment Group jointly received the Gold ATMIA 50th Anniversary Innovation Award for the introduction of cardless ATM transactions in Kenya; OKI and ScanCoin each received silver awards for their pioneering work on cash recycling machines; and Barclays earned a bronze award for the introduction of audio loops across their ATM estate to assist those with impaired vision.

Finally, there was a posthumous award to John Shepherd- Barron, the inventor of the ATMIA, graciously accepted by his son James, who went on to make a heartfelt, poignant and amusing speech in tribute to his late father.

Dinner guests pronounced the evening a great success, underlined by the fact that the one question on everyone’s lips (besides “Where’s the bus?”) was “When will the ATMIA be having their next dinner?”

Why, just as soon as we have any reasonable excuse!

The next morning, the previous night’s dinner attendees and hundreds of others converged on the Lancaster London Hotel, the Capital’s largest event hotel, for the conference and a sold-out exhibit hall.

There, our Galacticos truly strutted their stuff.

To get the day underway, Bill Nuti, Cardtronics CEO Steve Rathgaber and Diebold Nixdorf CEO Andy Mattes shared their visions of the future as hundreds of financial services professionals hung on every word and PowerPoint slide.

And so it continued, with top European academics; ATM chiefs from several of the worlds largest banks; top regulators from the European Commission, The United States Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

ATMIA founder Tom Harper spoke, ATMIA CEO  Mike Lee and James Shepherd-Barron took the stage together, a sort of ATM industry answer to the Three Degrees (fortunately, without the singing). The audience loved them (without the singing).

Additional speakers came from all over of the planet; Australia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia — everywhere.

Despite their far-flung origins, all of the speakers had at least one thing in common; they were each at the top of their game, true experts in their chosen specialties.

Many presentations featured innovations; the Trade Exhibition didn’t disappoint in that respect, either. Some booths showcased the industry’s biggest players; others spotlighted small but growing enterprises. All spoke to a bright future for ATM- and cash-related industries.

As the person chiefly responsible for the speaker program, there are many I must thank.

Firstly, to the speakers: Though London had recently suffered a pair of terrible attacks, not one of the speakers begged off.

I have total respect for them. They did themselves, the ATMIA and London proud, just by being there. More than 50 of them in all — a wonderful individual and collective effort.

So, a huge thank-you to every speaker!

Then there were the sponsors and exhibitors who invested in the event to support their business, certainly, but also to support their worldwide trade association.

Another massive thank-you to every sponsor and exhibitor!

And then, of course, there were the attendees. What would we do without them? (Not conferences, obviously.) They travelled from more than 60 countries to take take part is this European event.

They came to meet old friends and make new ones; to enjoy shared learning; to discover the latest innovations and those on the horizon promising a bright future. They came to be a part of something very special and to add to it by their presence.

Yet another hearty thank-you to each one of those attendees!

What’s that? You’re sorry you weren’t one of them? Well, then, be there next year!

We will be!

And finally, a sincere personal thank-you from me to all of the European ATMIA team: to Reena, the ATMIA European Conference Director; and to Mary, Erika and Debbie, who helped to make it all happen in a very special way.

And of course, thanks to the team from our European conference partners, Reconnaissance International.

The ATMIA runs many events around the world, and the next one is right around the corner. Because 24/7, 365, the ATMIA is working to make the ATM industry’s future even better than its amazing past.

photo iStock

The ‘Galacticos’ score at a winning ATMIA event