Steel Products

SMU Steel Summit Conference Update: Its All About You

Written by John Packard

A note to those who might be interested, we have a couple of exhibition spots still available for this year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference, which will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta on Aug. 27-29.  We will have close to 800 people at this year’s event (the event will be a sellout at 850 people) and we have made some adjustments as we expand our footprint in the convention center to have more interaction between the exhibitors and our attendees. We will provide more details in Sunday evening’s issue regarding the number of CEOs, Vice Presidents, CFOs, etc., so your company can better gauge the depth of the decision-making pool at our conference versus going to another conference at one of our competitors. If you have questions, please contact Jill Waldman at

As I mentioned above, we are just about to cross 650 registrations for this year’s conference. For those of you who attended last year, you already know what the conference is like with 650 people in the room. Imagine another 100 to 150 people in a similar sized space for 2018. We anticipate the 2018 conference will be the best attended, the best networking group of attendees, the best program and that our conference offers the absolute best value for your company’s hard-earned dollars when you take into consideration transportation costs (ATL hub airport for the world), no need for rental car, direct and free transportation to and from the airport, good hotels at great prices within an easy walk to the convention center, free networking/cocktail parties for all attendees, many of our speakers tend to remain at the conference to mix with the attendees, a great program with a blend of the familiar and the new, and a friendly SMU staff who knows how to entertain our guests. Go to for more details, costs and how to register.

I got a call from someone who was already attending asking if a couple of his customers “needed to be sponsored” to attend? SMU lives by the philosophy that we will allow pretty much everyone in the industry to attend. Manufacturing or fabricator? You are welcome to attend, and you will enjoy being with hundreds of other interested (and interesting) players from service centers/wholesalers, steel mills (just about every mill in the U.S. and Canada and a couple from Mexico), trading companies, toll processors and many suppliers to the industry (trucking, equipment, financial, consulting, etc.).

SMU MobileWe are getting requests for names of individuals who will be attending this year’s event. It is our policy not to provide names ahead of the release of this year’s Events App. We anticipate the App will be made available around the middle of July. If you have downloaded the App for past conferences, you will not need to download it again. Just sign in and go to the 2018 event. However, the 2018 data is not yet being made available to non-SMU people. Once we dump in all of the attendee names (and yours is one of them), then it will be live to those who already have the App and are attending this year. Our ETA is mid-July for that to happen.  

If this is your first time to a SMU Steel Summit Conference, you will need to go to your phone’s App store and look for the SMU Events App. The App is shown to the left of this article, so you can recognize it when seen. The App is free to anyone who wants to download it.  It is only good for those who are registered for one of our conferences and especially those who are registered for the 2018 conference.

In the App will be a listing of the attendees, which can be searched alphabetically by last name or by specific company name. There is a way to contact an attendee through the App, but we do not divulge an individual’s email address. So, you will have plenty of time to arrange for dinners, breakfasts or meetings during or after the conference. Remember when making dinner arrangements, the convention center is about a 15-minute Uber ride to downtown restaurants. On Monday and Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. we will have a networking/cocktail reception in the convention hall. Monday’s is sponsored by Steel Dynamics and Tuesday is Heidtman Steel. Please make plans to go to dinner after the networking events.

This year’s App will have information about speakers. On the day of their presentation we will load their slides into the App, which can then be downloaded by attendees. We will have polling questions in the App as we did last year. There will be a couple of questions we would like our attendees to respond to prior to the conference. During the conference, we will have an interactive session with real-time polling, which will also be done through the App.

A note about our hotel room blocks. All of the Gateway hotel room blocks are sold out. This includes the Atlanta Airport Marriott GATEWAY Hotel, Renaissance Gateway and Atlanta Airport SpringHill Suites Gateway hotels. These hotels could have rooms left to book, but you will have to pay whatever the rack rate is at the time. We have 70 rooms left at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel, which is located about a mile from the convention center. We will have a shuttle bus going back and forth from the Gateway/Convention area to this hotel. You can book this hotel by calling 1-888-239-1203 and asking for the “Steel Market Update room block.” There is also a link to the hotel on our website.

If you do rent a car or are planning on driving locally to the convention center, there is plenty of parking on site.

There are now 66 days to go – tell your steel friends to register for the conference and to book their hotels.

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