Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) wrapped up its annual conference in Palm Desert last Tuesday, December 7.

After cancelling our 2020 in-person conference due to the pandemic, members of the association were able to come back together for an in-person meeting. The event welcomed 401 wholesaler attendees from 153 member companies for a grand total of 1,525 attendees from 578 member companies present at the event. The booth program sold out with 241 vendors participating.

Popular speakers included Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group and regular HARDI Market Intelligence contributor. Basu’s session, “The Chamber of Data” presented a Harry Potter themed presentation and why the industry will overcome these challenges and continue to grow next year. Another crowd favorite was communications expert, Ryan Avery. Avery’s session “How to Grow Your Leadership Team” presented attendees with useful tips and tricks to be a better leader and help keep their teams engaged.

In addition to the main stage presenters, the conference featured several sessions that provided a look into HARDI’s 2021 State of the Channel report findings. The Voice of Supplier, Voice of Contractor, Voice of Technician and multiple refrigeration sessions gave attendees a look at the association’s yearlong research initiatives. The final 2021 State of the Channel report will be available in January 2022 for purchase and will provide a much more detailed look at top-of-mind industry matters and the HVACR market performance.

HARDI also used the Annual Conference to introduce new Directors for 2022.

  • New Chairwoman of the Board: Rhonda Wight, Refrigeration Sales;
  • Dale Norton, Meier Supply Co.;
  • DeWight Wallace, Nu-Calgon; and
  • Randy Roberts, Rheem Manufacturing Co.

The HARDI Board approved the addition of a second supplier member seat which will be added starting in 2022.

“We were all very excited to put together such an impactful event after having to skip our 2020 Annual Conference,” said HARDI Marketing & Sales Director, Chris DeBoer. “The chance to see members coming together and reconnecting was incredible. The number of conversations that took place and the amount of information sharing that occurred was also really inspiring.”

Next year’s Annual Conference will take place in Houston, Texas at the Marriott Marquis, December 3-6, 2022.