Steel Products

SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference – Come Join and Put Your Feet Up

Written by John Packard

The biggest misconception of the upcoming SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference is it will be nothing more than a series of boring webinars. No one can imagine sitting in front of their computer screen for three straight days watching endless talking heads (blah, blah, blah).

Relax. We have no desire to provide anything but an awesome experience, and sitting through a bunch of webinars is not what we have in mind.

The virtual experience will be different than a normal SMU live event. No, you will not be able to stand two feet away from someone (or groups of someones) and shake hands, risking infection from those around you as you lean in to hear what is being said over the crowd noise.  No, you will not have to wear a mask to attend this year’s event. No, you will not miss any of the program.

Yes, the program will be interesting. Yes, you will be able to network.

We understand the steel community is getting “zoomed” out. We conduct weekly SMU Community Chat webinars, and they do not go on for more than 45 minutes. We understand the attention span of an audience that is sitting in front of a computer screen. How will we overcome webinar fatigue? How can we improve upon a live event?

With a virtual platform we will have many advantages over a live event.

  • Ability to expand the topics covered
  • Offer “on-demand” programs
  • Expanded participation beyond the three days of the live virtual conference
  • More time to interact with other attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors
  • Shorter presentations with more Q&A
  • Special “vignettes” which will be short, focused, and entertaining
  • Ability to have constructive conversations between speakers
  • Offer programs with solutions to industry problems
  • Gamification to help keep attendees engaged
  • Attendees can be in two places at once (such as watching a presentation while chatting with an exhibitor)
  • Cost to attend at $450 ($350 with all discounts) per person is reasonable (probably too low) considering the benefits being offered. Plus, no travel costs.
  • All from the comfort of your office or home. Put your feet up, relax and enjoy the experience (BYOB)

Virtual Platform: What Does That Mean?

Steel SummitPart of the misconception of the program being nothing but an endless stream of webinars is not understanding the capabilities of a virtual platform. When you click on your registration confirmation link inviting you to attend the conference, you will not go to a webinar. You will enter the 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference platform. What does that mean?

You will enter the conference main hall, which will seem familiar to past conference halls you have attended in person. There will be a “help desk,” along with the entrance to the auditorium where presentations will be held, a networking lounge, exhibition area, access to registered attendee names, chat rooms and more.

Steel Market Update has championed networking along with quality speakers and content at all our conferences. This virtual conference will be no different.

Of course, as with any conference, if you choose to hide in a corner somewhere and not participate, your experience will not be as productive as those who spend the time to search the platform, watch our speakers and panelists and to interact with other attendees, sponsors/exhibitors and speakers.

You can start by clicking here.

You can ask questions by sending them to

You can register by clicking here.

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