Steel Products

SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference Update

Written by John Packard

The 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference start is in 24 days (August 24-26). We are close to 600 registered attendees from 200+ companies on our way to 800+ attendees. This will be the largest virtual steel conference in North America during 2020. With 33 speakers including steel mill CEO’s, economists, analysts, steel buyers and industry experts we will discuss and forecast business conditions for 2021 and beyond.

Out of the ashes of the pandemic rises the new virtual SMU Steel Summit Conference. As with any endeavor Steel Market Update tackles, this task has had some unusual challenges. As the project has gathered steam, we have found that our platform presents us with opportunities we did not anticipate to introduce pure gems into the program.

You are going to hear us crow about the quality of the speakers from now all the way through to the end of the conference. Right now, we are speaking to every speaker, covering every angle, and preparing them to provide the best content possible during the time we have allotted. I know they are excited about doing this conference. We have shared the platform with most of them, and they see the value we are creating.

I anticipate doing some new things this year. Since this is a year of change, and we will be in a virtual setting, it is time to adapt to the new world order. The close of the conference will be unique in that we are bringing in two people SMU CEO John Packard worked with during his steel sales career. They do not know one another and are located on opposite ends of the world. Over the years Packard has grown to appreciate their knowledge and has accepted their counsel on many occasions. The two guest speakers are Tom Cullen, owner of Magic Coil Products, and Micheal Setterdahl of the Global Advisory Board of the GFG Alliance. Packard worked for Tom when he was president of Duferco Steel Trading, and Packard was an agent that represented Michael’s company Novosteel. They have hands on, unique perspectives on the industry, both here and abroad.

If you have not yet registered for the 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference you still have the opportunity to do so. You can click here, or you can go to or you can send an email to We are here to help you and your company adapt to the new world because we don’t yet know what next year is going to look like… Oh, SMU has noticed we are getting new companies who have never attended one of our conferences before. Packard, being an old sales guy, noted that you may want to meet the “new blood” during our conference before someone else does….

This week’s SMU Community Chat Webinar was about the platform we will be using for this year’s virtual conference. The 45-minute recording of the webinar is available to anyone who would like to view it. We think you will find it interesting, whether you plan on attending the conference or not. You can retrieve the recording by clicking here or going to

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


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