The HARDI Annual Conference is always an important and valuable event for heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning wholesalers. This year's event in Maui, Hawaii, is one that members should not miss. More than any other conference, the HARDI Annual Conference provides high-quality break-out sessions, an insightful look at economic forecasting, intelligent council sessions and meaningful networking opportunities.
The quality and variety of the educational break-out sessions are best-in-class of any industry conference I have ever attended. They cover a variety of topics, and you can select specific topics that interest you or will have the largest impact on your business goals. The individuals who HARDI selects to present these sessions are professionals, and the sessions are always well done.
The HARDI-sponsored economic forecasting sessions, which are held in conjunction with the organization's economist consultant partner, is a highlight of the conference for me every year. The quality and accuracy of the information presented in this session are excellent.
Every conference offers council sessions that are specific to segments of the industry such as HVAC, Refrigeration or Controls. In these sessions, leaders from distributing and manufacturing companies come together to openly discuss the most current important issues and challenges. The exchange of information and ideas in these sessions offers manufacturers and distributors a great way to gauge the significance and energy level behind topics such as refrigerant regulation, efficiency regulation and EPA issues.
As a manufacturer, the conference is a very efficient way to personally meet with and briefly visit with many of the executives and principals of top customers. We typically meet with as many as 20 (or more) of our top customers during the conference. The conference booth program gives us the opportunity to see existing customers as well as many prospective customers. Overall, it is a very effective way to see many key people in a concentrated time frame.
The HARDI conference provides the best balance between educational, business and social activities. It is a very business- and education-focused meeting with enough social and networking opportunities to satisfy most attendees. Because of the wide variety of opportunities and events during the conference, you can pick and choose a track of events that suits your individual appetite. It is a very well organized and well-run event — top notch in that perspective.
Ken Rothgeb is vice president, sales and marketing, Rheem AC Division. Contact Ken at 479/648-4614 or e-mail [email protected].