It’s not too late, either. I’m exhorting anyone reading this blog to take a deep breath and then ask yourself this question: Why didn’t I sign up for the HARDI annual conference? (If you did, you can stop reading now and go to your favorite sports or news station.)

The HARDI conference theme for this year is Elevate; I suspect in part because it occurs in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 3 to 6. And it is difficult to think of a single event in our industry that has more intellectual punch than HARDI’s annual get together to learn, exchange ideas, network and preview what’s new from manufacturers.

The keynote lineup is superb. It includes Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who had to amputate a hand with a dull knife to free himself from a rock where he had become trapped. Karl Rove, a major Republican strategist, who served as the deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, will give us his take on the political scene. Wrapping up the list is Alan Beaulieu, HARDI’s economist, and for those who have heard him speak, understand why he is, in my opinion, the best speaker there is, on macroeconomic issues.

I could keep casting my rod in the water and pull up a different topic or speaker as motivation for you to attend. You can do so easily by simply clicking here:

Previewing the list can offer you a plethora of subjects that will help you become sharper about your business. And if you’re exceptionally smart, you’ll let some of your staff attend, too (It’s called investing in the future of your company). But there is another reason to go, and that’s the networking opportunities. Even as an editor and not a wholesaler, I know the benefits of meeting someone at the conference, exchanging business cards (or email addresses), and five years later, both of you reap the benefit, recalling how you met at the HARDI.

On a personal note, I have never heard more buzz about a location than the Broadmoor hotel. Sadly, the entire hotel is  booked (all HARDI attendees), but there is a room available nearby. I’m sure that Eileen Mantel,, will help you out.