Overcoming Virtual Fatigue

BY Talbot Gee
10/15/2020 - HVAC News

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Most members probably know no one was more disappointed than me when we had to make the difficult decision to transition our Annual Conference to the virtual HARDI Summit. I thrive off the energy and excitement of our 1,700+ members gathered each year with a common goal of getting better and doing better for their customers, their employees, and their families. Every December is a massive recharging of my drive and passion for HVACR wholesale distribution and the hundreds of fine companies it comprises. Now, however, our challenge shifts towards unlocking a way to generate that same energy and excitement virtually and overcoming the “virtual fatigue” I know we are all experiencing these days.

If you ever want to really drive yourself to drink, go back and count how many Zoom or Teams calls you’ve been on since March. On one hand, the ability to video conference so easily continues to give us some semblance of interpersonal interaction, but every conversation now has to be pre-scheduled, suffer the inevitable technical hiccups, and compete with just about any other distraction other ADD-stricken souls can find beyond the meeting or discussion at hand. Admit it, you’ve caught yourself pausing before you reply even during a rare in-person conversation because you’ve been so conditioned to the “Zoom lag” of internet latency. Clearly I feel your pain and rather than ignore the hypocrisy of me now asking you and your teams to log onto computer screens for three days this December for The Summit, I’m going to embrace it and accept the challenge of giving you a virtual event that will recharge and reenergize you almost as well as our Annual Conference would have.

The HARDI Summit will feature content you will not find anywhere else because it will be intensely focused on HVACR wholesale distribution (and yes, this includes some guy named Kevin O’Leary, I’ve heard he’s “wonderful”). You can hear economic forecasts anywhere, but not like ours tailored exclusively to what drives our channel in all our diverse territories. You can hear political and post-election analyses, but not like ours laser focused on the policy impacts unique to distributors in our industry. You’ve undoubtedly heard plenty of sessions about sales and manufacturer-distributor relationships, but nowhere else will you feel like the sessions are talking exclusively to you because we’ve been carefully tracking what you’ve endured this year.

Our “Good Riddance to 2020” Summit will also gladly hammer the final nail into this frustrating year and refresh you with a renewed outlook for 2021 and beyond. Our Showcase concept will enable as close to impromptu conversations with suppliers about how you can best attack 2021 and what the latest and greatest products will be next year. All our sessions will include live Q&A so you and your teams can engage directly with presenters and panelists and you will be able to easily connect with other Summit attendees during and after the event. The only thing we can’t provide this year is the bar, however we intentionally extended the schedule into prime Happy Hour time so you and your team can drink each time a speaker says “unprecedented”.

Register now for HARDI Summit 2020 so you can join the conversation leading up to the virtual-fatigue-breaking event of this most petulant year.


To register for #HARDISummit and learn more about our new virtual format, visit hardiconference.com.