Conference Schedule Changes

Aug. 1, 2010
When the gavel fell last October, concluding another successful HARDI Annual Fall Conference, HARDI staff started working immediately on the details and

When the gavel fell last October, concluding another successful HARDI Annual Fall Conference, HARDI staff started working immediately on the details and program for the 2010 Annual Fall Conference, Oct. 23-26, at the Hilton Americas — Houston, Houston, TX. HARDI will once again bring the best of the best to HARDI conference attendees. With world-renowned speakers such as sales-dynamo Jeffrey Gitomer, distribution expert Michael Marks, former senior vice president at Hughes Supply Sid Strickland and other proven crowd pleasers, attendees at this year's conference will be sure to find all the tools they need to forge ahead in their HVACR distribution business.

Tasked with developing a conference title, HARDI staff needed to consider a tagline that covered conference themes and current member issues, including overcoming the drag of the economy and government regulations, and excelling with new concepts and ideas in distribution, including things such as social media, "Value Creation Strategies," the new face of customer service, supplier booth programs, council programs, committee meetings and networking. Their brainstorming session turned out the all-encompassing "Forging New Frontiers in Sales, Growth and Profit."

Forging New Frontiers is exactly what the association is doing with this Houston conference. Based on the feedback of previous attendees and the changing times, attendees will be pleasantly surprised by some of the fine-tuning that conference planners have accomplished. Some highlights and changes to this year's conference include:

  • The conference will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, through Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, not the 27th as originally published. We made this schedule change to accommodate those who expressed concern with the extension of the 2009 schedule an extra day.

  • No organized golf event will be held this year. Due to the urban setting of the conference and its inherent schedule, it is not possible to include the golf event this year.

  • The Conference Orientation Program will be held 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Saturday evening. We moved it to precede the Opening Reception when the majority of new members and first-time attendees will be present. A special Supplier Member discussion session will occur before the Opening Reception.

  • The Opening Reception is Saturday evening as opposed to the typical Sunday night. We made this change to accommodate other schedule changes.

  • The Membership & Vendor Awards program will take place during a 7:00 a.m. Sunday breakfast before the start of the Committee/Council Meetings, which all attendees are encouraged to attend and get involved in.

  • The Opening Luncheon and Plenary Address will occur at noon Sunday followed by a continuation of the Committee and Council meetings.

  • Depending on the desires of vendors, hospitality suites may be available both Sunday and Monday evenings.

  • The Jeffrey Gitomer Keynote Workshop will kick off the education programs Monday at 7:30 a.m., followed by the four Council Steering Committee meetings. Gitomer is not only an author, TV personality and speaker, but he's guaranteeing to help participants sell more, serve memorably and earn to their full potential. Always colorful, always entertaining, Gitomer is sure to give attendees new ways to grow their sales.

  • A Monday luncheon program will feature Michael Marks expanding on his topic from this year's professional development retreat in Vail. Using his latest book, Value Creation Strategies for Wholesale Distributors, as the basis for his presentation, Marks will show how members can plan for their organization to succeed where others fail.

  • The Supplier Conference Booth Program moves to 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, not on the last day of the conference as in years past.

  • The General Membership Breakfast and HARDI Briefs the Industry will occur at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, followed by various Council programs.

  • A Luncheon Program at 11:30 a.m. will feature the 2011 HARDI Economic Forecast presented by HARDI Economist, the Institute for Trends Research® (ITR®). At the last three years' ITR® presentations, Alan and Brian Beaulieu have given members the economic outlook for the coming 12 months. Their colleague, Jeff Dietrich, will carry the torch this year with what's sure to be another insightful and on-target look into what to expect for the remainder of 2010 and into 2011. The Regional T.R.E.N.D.S. Analysis meetings will follow.

  • Three business-targeted Educational Tracts will be presented at 3:00 p.m. Featured will be Sid Strickland, former senior vice president at Hughes Supply and president of the Home Depot Supply Trade Division in Atlanta, with his session on Service Leadership & the Triple Win. Customer service improvement is a person-by-person activity. How can you create an environment in which each decision and each action makes every customer exchange with you better than if they were dealing with your competition? Strickland will answer these important questions and many more as attendees will consider what constitutes service leadership, how to create a win-win-win with their customers and using online marketing to get bottom-line results.

    All about profitability, someone who always packs the room, Al Bates will review the HARDI distributors' performance data in recent years and show members how to grow profitability with his session, Changes in Significant Profitability Factors during These Challenging Economic Times.

  • The Formal Reception occurs Tuesday night followed by the Closing Banquet and the Passing of the Gavel Ceremony.

    Each year, HARDI works diligently to secure speakers for the Annual Fall Conference who are educational, informative and timely to member business and bring excitement and real value to attendees. This year, they've again gone beyond expectations. The speaker lineup for the 2010 HARDI Annual Fall Conference, Oct. 23-26 at the Hilton Americas — Houston, Houston, TX, will once again bring the best of the best to HARDI members.

    If you have attended the conference before or haven't but have heard the buzz from a member who has, you know it is a first-rate event. HARDI literally jam packs conference days with educational programs, networking opportunities, wholesaler/vendor booth programs and numerous committee and council meetings to discuss industry and business issues — all designed to help HVACR distributors succeed in their business.

    Mark your calendar today and plan to hear these speakers, learn new ways of doing business and so much more at the 2010 HARDI Annual Fall Conference, Oct. 23-26 at the Hilton Americas — Houston, Houston, TX. For more details, registration and hotel reservations, visit You can also follow HARDI conference updates on Twitter at

Kimberly G. O'Neal is the former communications and project director for HARDI.