Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I am excited about this year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference. The pieces of the puzzle are carefully fitting into place. As always, our program will be cutting edge as we address issues of the day, as well as those that will change the steel and manufacturing industries very soon. Much is happening, and you will be some of the first to experience the transformation of the industry.

As one of our speakers put it in an interview about their company, “Executives using spreadsheets will be out of a job in three to five years.”

This year, we will hold both our “Pre-Summit” on Monday, as well as our regular conference, at the Georgia International Convention Center. You will want to plan on arriving in Atlanta during the morning of Aug. 27 as our conference will begin in the early afternoon at the convention center.

Registration will be in the south lobby of the Georgia International Convention Center instead of the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel. Registration will begin at 10 AM ET on Monday and will continue until 5 PM.

There will be a cocktail/networking party at the GICC right after our last program, which is scheduled to end around 4:30 PM on Monday afternoon. The cocktail party will end around 5:30 PM allowing plenty of time to go to dinner with customers, prospects or industry friends.

We have 40 executives already registered to attend the conference. Last year, we had 13 as of the end of January.  We are anticipating 750 attendees and we can go as high as 1,200 should the need arise. We expect to keep our crown as the largest steel conference in North America. More importantly, we will be THE best networking event for manufacturing, distribution, trading, toll processing and for steel mills. Our conference is known for the quality of our attendees, most of whom are decision makers.

I am working on an add-on price risk program for those considering trading or who are active traders of futures. I will have more on the new program and where we are focusing the agenda over the next couple of weeks. Most likely the add-on will be for Thursday, Aug. 30.

I want to thank the sponsors who have stepped forward to help us keep the cost of the conference reasonable. Our sponsors are: Pacesetter, Bank of America, Crowe Horwath, Heidtman Steel, Nucor, Modern Metals (newest sponsor), Magic Coil Products, Mill Steel, MidWest Materials (congratulations to Brian Robbins who is receiving ASD’s Steel Man of the Year Award), Red Bud Industries, All Metals Service and Warehousing, and Alliance Steel.

We have a few good sponsor spots left – we had a cancellation that has opened up the Networking/Cocktail Party on Monday. Cost of that sponsor spot is $8,500, and it comes with a free ticket to the conference. We have one Corporate Sponsor slot left at a cost of $10,000. The Corporate Sponsor spot comes with exhibition space and a free ticket to the conference. We have one break sponsorship remaining at a cost of $4,000 (no complimentary ticket). Lastly, we have one morning pastry sponsorship spot left at $2,500 (no free ticket).

Otherwise, we have a number of exhibition spots remaining at a cost of $5,000 each for an 8-foot table with an electrical hookup and free WiFi.

Registration is open for attending companies. A single ticket is $1,275 (full price) and discounts are provided for all SMU subscribing companies (-$100/each) as well as those companies bringing two or more people (-$100/each attendee). You can find details on our website: or you can contact my office at 800-432-3475. If you would like an invoice to be sent to your company, please send a note to: or call our accounting office at 772-932-7538.

Hotel information is on our website including links to their registration pages. Please note: We WILL SELL OUT our Room Block Possibly as Early as May. Make your plans and book your rooms and tickets as early as possible.

On a separate subject, we have approximately 7 or 8 spots left to our March 28-29, 2018 Steel 101 Workshop. You can find details on our website:

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, Publisher

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Final thoughts

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.