Category Archives: Events

Vianet, a prominent player in the technology and data analytics industry, is proud to commemorate National Apprenticeship Week, spotlighting the outstanding achievements of our apprentices. With an impressive 10% of its workforce engaged in apprenticeship programmes last year, Vianet is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing talent and fostering continuous learning and development. 

Graduation Day Extravaganza: A Glimpse into Success Stories

Local Dignitaries on tour of Vianet's Head Office

Vianet’s Head Office was abuzz with excitement on February 7th, as we hosted a grand graduation ceremony for our apprentices. The event was marked by the distribution of certificates to the graduates, who also had the opportunity to engage in an open forum discussion with local dignitaries, which included the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Jim Beall. Chris Renahan, Assistant Director of Inclusive Growth and Development at Stockton Borough Council was also in attendance. In addition, the apprentices were joined by Vianet’s Executive Team and their managers. Some of the highlights of the event were a series of videos showcasing the journey and experience of each apprentice, as well as the opportunity to cultivate strong working relationships with the Council and local authorities.  

Learning & Development at Vianet 

Tom Highfield, Learning and Development Specialist at Vianet, took centre stage to elucidate the essence of apprenticeships within the organisation. Dispelling common misconceptions around the stereotypes of apprenticeships, Tom emphasised the unique support structures in place for apprentices facing challenges. Attendees described the apprenticeship journey as transformative, collaborative, and empowering. 


Stores Apprenticeships 

Mayor of Stockton with Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson, a Stores Assistant who completed the Supply Chain Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship, shared his journey and a glimpse into his role. Jason highlighted his experience in the role, as well as challenges that he has faced and how he has used his apprenticeship to overcome them. Over the last few months, Jason has applied his learnings from his apprenticeship and utilised it throughout his role. In his video interview he outlined the importance of teamwork and the opportunities that have been made available to him through his apprenticeship, empowering him to develop in his career.   


IT Apprenticeships 


Kyle Ansfield, IT Support Engineer, who completed his Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship, shared his experience applying his newly developed knowledge and skills to his role. Kyle works closely with multiple departments across the business and has found that the apprenticeship has boosted his confidence communicating with stakeholders. His line manager James Ankers, Infrastructure Manager, discussed the positive impact that the apprenticeship has had on Kyle, strengthening his service as a member of the IT department. As James would say, Kyle just keep doing what you’re doing.  


Customer Service Apprenticeships 


Mayor of Stockton with Ryan Gallen

Ryan Gallen, Customer Support Advisor, who completed his Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship supported by his Team Leader Becky Newman, delved into the world of customer experience within the Data Audit team. Ryan spoke about his newfound organisation and prioritisation skills from the apprenticeship, and how they have supported him in the role. In their video interview, Becky highlights the benefits of accessing the financial support available from the Government when the Company Levy fund has been fully utilised.   

Data Analyst Apprenticeships 


Chris Byers, Alan Keeney, and Adam Mason, Data Analysts, showcased the success stories of their apprenticeship journey. The trio discussed their career paths, successful projects, and the invaluable support received from Vianet and their teams throughout their apprenticeships. Alan has shown great progress in his journey, with various career changes throughout his time at Vianet and now fully certified as a Data Analyst. In their video interview, Adam touched on the types of software and reports that they use within their day-to-day role, as well as the value they add to the overall operation. With 20 years of service under his belt, Chris is a true Vianet veteran. He has worked in several departments across the business but has now found his home in the world of Data Analysis.

  Mayor of Stockton with Adam Mason Mayor of Stockton with Alan Keeney Mayor of Stockton with Chris Byers


Commercial Apprenticeships 

Mayor of Stockton with Paul Sansome

As part of Vianet’s Commercial Team, Paul Sansome, National Sales Manager, and Callum Hardy, Business Development Manager, are integral parts of bringing in new business. Paul completed his Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship, helping him build relationships internally and externally. Callum completed his Sales Executive Apprenticeship, giving him the tools to enhance his communication techniques with customers. In their video interview, both apprentices outline the importance of carving out time to complete the course work and time management to balance both further learning and day-to-day responsibilities.  


A Commitment to our People 

National Apprenticeship Week at Vianet stands as a dedication to fostering talent, providing meaningful learning experiences, and shaping the future workforce. As Vianet continues to prioritise employee development, the success stories of its apprentices exemplify the positive impact of investing in continuous learning and growth. We encourage you to think about how apprenticeships could support both yourself and your employees to refine skill sets or develop new ones. For more information on the opportunities available at Vianet, get in contact with our People and Development team at  

SmartVend Wins Best Digital Campaign/Project at Tees Tech Awards 2023

On June 1st, the prestigious Tees Tech Awards 2023 unfolded amidst the stunning backdrop of the Kirkleatham Walled Garden. Among the outstanding businesses and industry leaders in attendance, Vianet emerged victorious, clinching the coveted Best Digital Campaign/Project Award for their groundbreaking innovation, SmartVend. A total of 10 enthusiastic members from Vianet, spanning different departments and seniority levels, were present to represent the company at this grand black-tie affair. This remarkable achievement further solidifies Vianet’s position as a leading force in the technology sector across the Teesside region.

The Tees Tech Awards

The Tees Tech Awards are an annual celebration of technological innovation and excellence in the Tees Valley region. The event brings together businesses from various sectors, ranging from cutting-edge startups to established industry giants. This prestigious event aims to recognise and reward the remarkable achievements of businesses that have demonstrated exceptional prowess in the field of technology.


Vianet’s Best Digital Campaign/Project Award

Vianet, renowned for its transformative digital solutions, was honoured with the highly acclaimed Best Digital Campaign/Project Award for its ingenious creation, SmartVend. This groundbreaking project leverages state-of-the-art technology to optimise vending machine operations, enabling businesses to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and enhance customer experiences. The recognition of Vianet’s efforts at the Tees Tech Awards highlights its dedication to delivering innovative and impactful solutions that revolutionise the industry.


The SmartVend Revolution

SmartVend, the brainchild of Vianet’s talented team, represents a game-changing solution in the vending industry. By incorporating cutting-edge IoT technology and data analytics, SmartVend empowers businesses to gather real-time insights, improve stock management, and personalise the customer experience. This innovative platform not only enhances operational efficiency but also facilitates data-driven decision-making, enabling businesses to make informed choices that drive growth and profitability.


Vianet’s Representation at the Event

The Tees Tech Awards were not only an opportunity to celebrate Vianet’s success but also to acknowledge the collective efforts of the entire team. Ten individuals from various departments and levels of seniority within Vianet attended the event, exuding the company’s commitment to inclusivity and recognising the contributions of its diverse workforce. These representatives all worked closely on the project, showcasing the collaborative spirit and passion that underpins Vianet’s pursuit of technological excellence.


Black Tie Extravaganza

The grandeur of the Tees Tech Awards was further accentuated by the black-tie dress code, adding an air of elegance and sophistication to the event. Attendees embraced this formal attire, exuding both style and professionalism. The black-tie dress code set the tone for an evening filled with excitement, networking opportunities, and celebrations of technological achievements.

Onward and Upwards

Vianet’s resounding success at the Tees Tech Awards, winning the Best Digital Campaign/Project Award for SmartVend, is a testament to their unwavering dedication to innovation and excellence. This prestigious recognition solidifies Vianet’s position as a frontrunner in the technology sector, inspiring further advancements in the industry. With their transformative solutions and commitment to pushing boundaries, Vianet continues to pave the way for a future where technology plays a crucial role in optimising business operations and enhancing customer experiences.



SmartContact Pro Wins Vendies Awards 2023

Vianet made its way to London on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023, for the prestigious Vendies Awards. This year’s Vending Industry Awards were hosted by Vending International at the esteemed Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, Central London. The event brought together a diverse range of suppliers and operators from across the UK’s vending industry.

For the second consecutive year, Vianet was honoured with the coveted title of ‘Best Payment System.’ This achievement is particularly significant for Vianet as their SmartContact Pro, a newly introduced product last year, has successfully defended its position and retained the award following a year of remarkable success.

Mark Parry, Commercial Director of Vianet, expressed his immense pride at the company’s achievement, stating, “As the Commercial Director of Vianet, I am incredibly proud to announce that we have once again received the prestigious Best Payment System award at this year’s Vendies Awards for our exceptional product, Smart Contact Pro. This recognition underscores our unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in delivering cutting-edge payment solutions to our valued clients. It is a testament to our talented team’s hard work and dedication, who consistently strive to provide the highest level of service and technological advancements. This accolade reaffirms our position as an industry leader and motivates us to continue pushing boundaries and revolutionizing the payment processing landscape. We are thrilled to be recognized for our achievements and remain committed to surpassing expectations, creating seamless and secure payment experiences for unattended retail businesses and related markets.”


Vianet’s End-to-End Solution

Vianet’s contactless payment, telemetry, and data services seamlessly integrate to provide invaluable insights to the industry, catering to their needs for utilising cashless payment data. Unlike any other solution in the market, Vianet offers a truly end-to-end package, assisting numerous vending businesses in adopting cashless technology and data capture across their operations to make informed decisions.

Vianet had the distinction of being shortlisted in eight award categories, which were meticulously evaluated by an independent panel of industry experts during the spring. These panellists, distinguished figures from various sectors, assessed each entry according to strict criteria, ultimately determining the finalists in each category.

The Vendies Experience

“The venue itself was breath-taking, exuding elegance and charm, providing the perfect backdrop for this prestigious event. Not only was the event a celebration of excellence in the vending industry, but it also offered a fantastic opportunity for networking. I had the pleasure of engaging with fellow suppliers and operators, forging connections and exchanging ideas. The networking aspect of the evening proved invaluable, opening doors to potential collaborations and future partnerships”.  – Charlotte Biggs, Marketing & Communications Manager


Heartfelt congratulations to all the other award recipients at the event. The vending industry boasts an incredible pool of talent, and it is truly gratifying to witness their outstanding contributions being acknowledged. To learn more about SmartContact Pro, please click here.



­­Good Times as Par as The Eye Can See

On Thursday 1st June, Vianet invited clients across the business in the vending and hospitality industries to a golf day event held at Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds. The attendees included blue chip companies, who have been loyal Vianet customers for many years. Customers like Lavazza, Compass, Montagu, JW Vending, Admiral Taverns, Stonegate, Red Oak, Robinsons, and Trust Inns attended, along with partners and associations like Suresite and the AVA. Attendees, along with Vianet staff were broken up into 6 teams to complete 18 holes throughout the day, creating an exciting occasion to network and collaborate.

It’s rare that Vianet gets to bring both sides of the business together in one space. Hospitality and unattended retail have many similarities in some aspects but can be worlds apart in others. However, sometimes these events spark conversations that can inspire new ideas, ways of working, and even introductions. It’s also a time for Vianet to thank its customers for their years of loyalty and cooperation while rolling out new products.


The Course

Alwoodley owns 257 acres of land, of which the course occupies 115 acres. This course has some of the most beautiful views, with the highest point being the 5th tee, from where there are views of (at least part of) 13 of the 18 holes. Many have ranked Alwoodley within the top 100 courses to play, for not only difficulty but experience. In Golf World’s list of The Top 100 Courses in the World You Can Play 2022, Alwoodley was ranked at No 57. Meanwhile, in National Club Golfer’s GB&I’s Top 100 Courses 2020, Alwoodley was ranked as the 28th best course in the British Isles. currently rank Alwoodley at No 41 in their Britain & Ireland list and at No 15 in their England list, describing it as “one of the finest and most subtle inland courses in the British Isles”.


Let’s Par-Tee

Upon arrival, guests were offered an array of breakfast options, along with a goodie bag and welcome pack. Jim Dickson, Vianet CEO, kicked the event off with a welcome speech and order of the day. Once breakfast was concluded, all participants headed out to the first hole and prepared for their big debut. Each team teed off in style and started their venture through the course.

A refreshment area was set up at the halfway point to refuel before continuing on to the next hole. After all 18 holes, attendees had finished the course and retired to the terrace for drinks. It was great to see so many customers captivated in lively conversation and healthy discussion. The day also offered an opportunity to connect customers with various industry associations/groups that they may have been interested in joining.


A Tee-riffic Day

The day came to a close with a delicious three-course meal paired with fine wine. In between courses, each team was awarded prizes, depending on their team score. All participants seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time at Alwoodley as well as the connections they made. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our next Vianet Golf Day. Thank you to everyone who participated, it was wonderful to catch up.





Vendex Midlands 2023 was a success! On Wednesday 22nd, April Vianet exhibited at the Vendex Midlands show in Milton Keynes. It was a day full of connecting with new faces and catching up with familiar ones. We wanted to make a splash with our largest stand yet, pulling out all the stops. Showcasing our star product, SmartVend, and our long-standing favourites, SmartContact and SmartContact Pro.




Alongside our product offering was a live demonstration of our new QR payment feature, courtesy of our partnership with Vendekin Technologies. The stand displayed a vending machine and smart fridge equipped with QR payment. We had a fantastic turnout and met so many great connections. Thank you to all who participated in our putting competition, for a chance to win a trip to Gleneagles. If you didn’t win the golfing opportunity, we hope you were lucky with our free-vend activity, with the chance to win a gift card from our vending machine.



We thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting this year, it was such a fantastic event! Our QR payment offering drove a lot of interest and encouraged visitors to interact with the stand. Vendex North is just around the corner, so we can’t wait to come back even bigger and better! Charlotte Biggs (Marketing and Communications Manager)




If you want more information on anything you saw at the show, or if you weren’t able to make it, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on our products and services contact Don’t forget to request your free demo today!

Vianet attended the NIVO Supplier of The Year Lunch on January 24th, 2023. NIVO provide a range of business support services for independent regional vending operators and suppliers. With over 260 Operator Members and an additional 60+ supply members, NIVO offer a vast and varied marketing and support program to bring all interested parties together.


Our Marketing and Communications Manager and Senior Client Relationship Manager had a fantastic day networking with all of the other attendees. The event was held at the Woodhall Hills Golf Club in Calverley, Leeds. With suppliers attending from across the vending industry, NIVO presented a variety of awards. The awards ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch and engaging conversation. It was a great day to network with familiar faces and new ones.


“As a new member of the vending community and of Vianet, I have had the warmest of welcomes. The event was a great way to meet industry leaders and new connections. NIVO put on a terrific day and helped introduce me to relevant attendees. I look forward to catching up with everyone in the months to come!”

– Charlotte Biggs (Marketing & Communications Manager, Vianet).



Vianet was awarded the Highly Commended award for Supplier of The Year.

Thank you to all of our wonderful customers for voting for us and supporting us each year. We couldn’t do it without you! Our Senior Client Relationship Manager, Kirsty Kirk received the award on Vianet’s behalf. Nominated and voted by Operator members, the award represents an ongoing emphasis on service, as well as constantly providing the highest levels of support. Vianet does this through dedicated customer support, in-house engineers, and committed client managers. We look forward to continuing to provide the best possible service for our customers in all that we do.




A few closing words from our Commercial Director, Mark Parry –

“We are delighted to have received the Highly Commended Award for Supplier of The Year from NIVO. Our teams have been working incredibly hard over the past 12 months, which is why we couldn’t be happier that those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. While always striving to improve and develop, we look forward to continuing to provide high-quality service for our customers. Thank you to all of our teams for helping us achieve this award and for all of your hard work in service. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful customers for supporting and voting for us. We couldn’t do this without you.”

– Mark Parry (Commercial Director, Vianet)


For more information on our products and services contact Don’t forget to request your free demo today!



Vianet hosted their southern golf day on Thursday 26th May 2022 at Frilford Heath Golf Course, which this year will host the  English  Trophy presented by  Rocket  Yard  Sports  Marketing when the  European Challenge  Tour returns to  British soil in September.

The day started with registration, goody bags and breakfast rolls as clients arrived.

The event brought clients together from both Vianet’s vending and hospitality divisions, creating a refreshing dynamic allowing both sectors to collaborate and network. The teams played four ball better ball, with prizes for nearest the pin and overall winners. Snacks and refreshments were provided at the halfway house for our teams as they made their way round the 18 holes.

We ended the day with a fantastic evening meal with a prizegiving. Our prize winners included Mark Grunnell of Red Oak Taverns and Lee Worgan of JW Vending taking prizes for nearest the pin, alongside Chris Worgan of JW Vending taking prize for the longest drive.

The overall winning team on the day included Vianet chairman, Jim Dickson, Mark Grunnell of Red Oak Taverns, Ken MacIsaac of Lavazza Professional, Greg Wallis of Shepherd Neame. The winning team members will go onto the final at Gleneagles as well as receiving a selection of wine.


Vianet hosted their northern golf day on Thursday 12th May 2022 at The Alwoodley, the very first golf course designed by Dr Alister Mackenzie who went on to design Augusta and Cypress Point amongst other iconic courses. This stunning course is situated in Leeds and was recently ranked as No. 36 in the top golf courses in GB & Ireland by Today’s Golfer.

The day started with registration, goody bags and a full English breakfast as clients arrived.

The event brought clients together from both Vianet’s vending and hospitality divisions, creating a refreshing dynamic allowing both sectors to collaborate and network. The day itself brought superb weather with the sun peeking through the clouds throughout the afternoon.

The teams played four ball better ball, with prizes for nearest the pin and overall winners. Snacks and refreshments were provided at the halfway house for our teams as they made their way round the 18 holes.

We ended the day with a fantastic evening meal served in the Alister Mackenzie Room with a prizegiving. Our prize winners included David Graddon and Gary Raymond from Graddon Vending taking prizes for nearest the pin, alongside our very own Business Development Manager, Paul Sansome.

The overall winning team on the day included Vianet chairman, Jim Dickson, David Graddon of Graddon Vending, Ross MacDonald of Upton Group and Andrew Buchanan of Daniel Thwaites. The winning team members will go onto the final at Gleneagles as well as receiving a selection of wine.

With the great feedback we’ve received from the day so far, we are thoroughly looking forward to our event in the south on Thursday!


“As golf days go that was a special one!”

Simon Wilkes – Wilkes Vending


“The whole day was very enjoyable, the course magnificent, the food very good”

Ross MacDonald- Upton Group


“Simply amazing, well organised, great people and a wonderful day.”

Kevin Reed – Tower Leasing


“A thoroughly enjoyable day.”

David Wigham – Admiral Taverns


Vianet exhibit at The NAMA Show 2022, 6-8 April in Chicago USA!NAMA SHOW 2022

Next week Mark Parry, Commercial Director, and Craig Brocklehurst, Chief Operating Officer will be flying out to Chicago USA to exhibit at this years National Automatic Merchandising Association Show 2022 on 6-8 April!

If you are in Chicago at the event, don’t forget to drop by to see Vianet at booth 2213 and chat to the team to find out how we can help you with data insight, remote asset management & contactless payment in vending & unattended retail!


Vianet Exhibit NAMA SHOW

Vendex North was held on 10th November 2021, and the team at Vianet attended and exhibited at our first large scale vending show since before Covid-19 restrictions first began. The show held in Leeds attracted a great number of visitors across the vending industry after a long period of lockdowns and restrictions which prevented events from happening. Vianet were greatly anticipating this event after such a long time without physical shows. We are pleased to have caught up with lots of our existing customers as well as new vending operators, contract caterers, service providers and more.

Vendex is a well-recognised exhibition and networking event established in 2003 (Vendex, 2021). The event offers great exposure and opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors to get the latest industry news, products, and services.

Vianet Showcases Products and Services to Vendex Attendees


Vianet Goodies and SmartContact Pro in the Vending Machine Courtesy of Evoca

Vianet Goodies and SmartContact Pro, in the Vending Machine Courtesy of Evoca

Situated near the entrance at Vendex, we had great visibility and opportunity to showcase our product offerings with live demos, devices, and new product videos. Vianet also launched our new website this week, and it was great to get feedback and shout about this to our visitors at the event to go and check it out.

On the Vianet stand, we offered attendees at the event the opportunity to try out our brand-new, all-in-one contactless payment device, SmartContact Pro. With an exciting opportunity to free vend and win mystery prizes, our SmartContact Pro was installed on a vending machine (Melodia vending machine supplied courtesy of Evoca Group) to give visitors first-hand experience of the new terminal. It was a buzzing atmosphere as visitors were keen to try and win some big prizes we had up for grabs, including £10-£50 Amazon gift cards, wireless chargers and many more.


Our Client Manager, Kirsty Kirk said:

“Vendex North was a great success. It was good to see so many operators in attendance, especially after such a long period of remote working. We’re looking forward to sharing more innovation updates with Vianet clients and prospects in the near future.”

Jack Cooke and Callum Hardy, Business Development Executives by Vianet's Stand at Vendex North

Jack Cooke and Callum Hardy, Business Development Executives, by Vianet’s Stand at Vendex North


In addition, throughout the day, there were plenty of opportunities to explore what’s currently out there in the vending industry as a range of businesses across the sector were in attendance such as PepsiCo, Red Bull, NIVO and many more.

Rachel Little, Marketing Manager said:

“This is the first Vendex event I’ve done since starting at Vianet, and it was fantastic to finally be able to showcase what we’ve been busy with in the background over the last two years.

Vianet has had a lot going on during the pandemic with the release of SmartVend and the launch of our new contactless payment solution, so there is a lot for us to be shouting about. It was also great to be able to finally put some faces to names in the vending industry!”

Overall, Vendex North was an important opportunity for Vianet to meet clients and prospects to discuss our exciting product developments and plans going forward.

Don’t worry if you didn’t manage to catch us at Vendex North, as we will be attending Vendex Midlands 2022 in Milton Keynes on 26th April 2022.

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about how our products and services can transform your vending business performance, you can contact us directly through our enquiry form.