Back in 1846, the first major wagon train to the northwestern parts of the United States left Elm Grove, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail. The train included some 1,000 people traveling in more than 100 wagons. These pioneers were blazing the trail to new lands, new opportunities, and new lives.

Next month the 15th Annual High Performance Summit 2018 blazes a trail to Austin, TX. Here, Performance-Based Contractors’ will gather to network, learn, and discover’ opportunities that will change their approach to HVAC contracting.

Headquartered in the Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the event is open to the entire industry, including the thousands of HVAC companies that have been trained and certified by National Comfort Institute, Inc. (NCI).

It kicks off on Sunday, March 4th at 4 PM with a Guest Orientation/New Member meeting to acclimate first timers to the program and events. This is a great way to set the stage for a great Summit experience.

Welcome to Summit 2018

Speaking of setting the stage, the annual Welcome Reception follows at 6 PM. This reception is where contractor attendees, NCI staffers, speakers, and more mingle and reconnect. There is food, fun, and camaraderie for all.

Long-time NCI supporter Goodman Air Conditioning and Heating once again is sponsoring and co-hosting the Welcome Reception. Goodman has hosted this reception almost from the beginning of Summit and is a strong supporter of the tenets of Performance-Based Contracting.

Co-hosting with them is our newest partner, EGIA (Electric and Gas Industries Association).

This 85-year-old non-profit organization dedicates itself to the advancement of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. They are now part of NCI Member Rewards as a Training Incentive Program Partner (TIPP), offering NCI members consumer financing packages.

Opening General Session

On Monday morning, March 5th, Summit begins with everyone gathering and receiving an overview of NCI’s latest products and services. The Opening General Session includes NCI’s accomplishments in 2017 as well as the organization’s 2018 goals for delivering new and exciting services to both its membership and the entire HVAC Industry.

The format of this year’s conference allows every attendee to attend every event. The theme, ‘Blaze Your Trail to High Performance,’ underlies every aspect of the educational program. For example, six breakout sessions conducted by your fellow contractors are all designed to address key parts of implementing Performance-Based Contracting.

Also, Summit 2018 provides you a map of the performance trail with 20 specific steps a contractor can follow toward having delivered performance as part of their company culture. By the time you leave this year’s Summit, you will understand what to do ‘ no matter if you are a first timer or already are a Performance-Based Contractor.

Don’t worry about remembering everything, we’ve got you covered. All NCI members who attend will be able to participate in a year-long group coaching program at no additional cost.

The coaching program addresses all 20 steps throughout the year. It will be available in all four U.S. mainland time zones to allow maximum flexibility in your ability to participate.

Let the Education Begin ‘

After the opening session are the first of six breakout sessions. Conference attendees will be divided into four groups and those groups will stay together for all the remaining workshops. No more deciding which sessions to go to and which ones to miss.

Education is further enhanced with the Annual Idea Meeting, which takes place after the third workshop session at 2:30 PM on Monday afternoon. This event is open to ALL contractor attendees. It does have a $20 cash entrance fee, so don’t forget to bring your wallets.

The Idea Session is where contractors come to share ideas and best practices on how the get the most out of Performance-Based Contracting. It consists of three mini-events ‘ each covering one of the three main objectives of Performance-Based Contracting: Lead Generation, Sales, and Delivering the End Product.

Contractors present their best ideas on company practices, marketing, departmental processes, etc., in each of these categories. They present their ideas, then the group votes on which idea is the best. Winners in each of the three categories receive a cash prize (which is why there is a $20 entrance fee).

More Work, More Food, and More Fun

Monday comes to a close with the evening Trade Show Reception. At 5 PM attendees enjoy a cocktail reception tradeshow and spend a casual evening with NCI’s industry partners. This is the chance to see the newest technology, services, and business tools.

The second day of Summit begins with breakfast and is followed immediately with more breakout sessions. On Tuesday, March 6th breakout session four and five run from 8:30 to 11:15 AM. Then at 11:15 AM luncheon is served during the Member Rewards vendor exhibit. This gives attendees a chance to visit with those vendor partners they missed the night before as well as more time to network with fellow contractors.

The final breakout session begins at 1:15 PM. At 2:45 PM Summit attendees will gather for the closing general session. This includes a prize drawing where contractors can receive prizes, worth thousands of dollars from NCI’s vendor partners. Plus, the winners of Monday’s Idea Meeting will receive their cash prizes.

Then at 3:15 PM get ready for a powerhouse panel discussion where industry leaders will interact with the audience as they address the future of measured performance in the HVAC industry. This will be a must-see event.

And finally, one of the highlights of Summit are the closing remarks delivered by NCI President Rob Falke. He will share his perspectives on how performance is reshaping the industry in general and the HVAC contractor in particular.

Summit 2018 then wraps up with the 15th Annual Awards Banquet where many of your peers will be recognized for their achievements in 2017. This sit-down dinner and ceremony is another highlight of Summit. And who knows, you may be one of the award recipients!

Post Summit Bonus Round

But wait ‘ there’s still more. Following the core conference, on Wednesday and Thursday, March 7th and 8th, attendees can participate in two additional days of classroom training on topics ranging from advanced combustion and CO diagnostics to duct system optimization, and high efficiency sales.

South By South West Festival 2018In fact, the sales class is being offered to all NCI Summit attendees for free by Goodman Air Conditioning and Heating. Normally this two-day class costs $375. It does require pre-registration because there is a limit of 50 people who can participate. Just click this link to learn more.

Finally, when the High Performance Summit 2018 puts out the last campfires at trail’s end, it is NOT the end. Not if you are a fan of fine music. You see, immediately following Summit, the world-famous South by Southwest Music Festival begins (March 12-18).

So be sure to come to Austin for Summit and Blaze Your Trail to High Performance. Then stay for the music and fun. If you haven’t registered, just head over to and do so.

We look forward to seeing you there.