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Engaging and Collaborating in the Zoom Age

Whether in-person or virtual, connections remain vital in the commercial vehicle industry.

By: Dave Giroux, President & COO, HDMA
Date: September 10, 2021

The year 2021 has been a masterclass in problem solving on all fronts throughout the commercial vehicle industry. For HDMA, this tumultuous year has forced us to continue to challenge the status quo pertaining to connecting virtually versus in-person. We have learned valuable lessons about meeting optimization, interactive platforms, and ongoing collaboration in an industry that is predicated on unparalleled connection.

The return to in-person events for HDMA has been touch-and-go in 2021 as the health and safety of our members is prioritized. So far this year we have held all of our programs virtually, and we will continue to primarily rely on that format for the rest of 2021. We know there’s an appetite to start getting back to the basic elements of collaboration with in-person programs, events, and councils and forums, and we are resolved to fully return to in-person collaboration in 2022.

Lessons Learned: Gains from Virtual Collaboration

Collaborating virtually in 2021 has continued to foster engagement that is expeditious, effective, and safe. Our Pulse Webinars have doubled in average attendance. Two-thirds of our membership base tuned in for our first two OE Perspectives. Additionally, we have added 14 new forum and council members from: AP Emissions Technologies, Clarience TechnologiesCutting Edge Automotive SolutionsDaycoGrant Brothers Sales Ltd.Howmet Aerospace Inc.Marmon Highway TechnologiesPureFlow TechnologiesSAF-HollandShaw DevelopmentStandard Motor Products, Inc.Velvac Inc, and ZF Group.

We’re also proud to welcome seven new HDMA member companies in 2021 including: ContinentalEXCO Industrial CorporationHowmet-KöfémHyliionOptiCat, TEXA USA, and THK Rhythm Automotive.

This past year also allowed HDMA to develop communications to enhance connection regardless of the status of the pandemic. The Heavy, The Beam, and The Dispatch— as well as website additions—are aimed at ensuring we fill the information gap that was presented as a result of the lack of face-to-face collaboration.

Looking Ahead: Meeting in 2022

As we approach 2022, the blend of in-person events and virtual meetings will continue to focus on effectiveness, health and safety, and a holistic approach of our “asks” to membership. Virtual programs and meetings will be leveraged to their fullest as we close out 2021 with the expectation that a return to in-person events will be welcomed and warranted in 2022.

It has been a rollercoaster year, and we appreciate all our members riding along with us with patience and resolve.