Steel Products

SMU Steel Summit Conference Registrations Rising

Written by John Packard

On August 24 through the 26th Steel Market Update will host our 10th SMU Steel Summit Conference. Unlike past years the conference will not be held in Atlanta but rather on our virtual platform. We have close to 650 registered executives from over 200 companies. We anticipate many more registrations in the days to come as the word is out that this is the one steel conference to see during calendar year 2020. Why? SMU president & CEO John Packard will explain…

16 Days to Go for Start of 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference.

The number of executives from manufacturing, distribution, steel mills, trading companies, toll processors, banks, trucking companies, scrap companies, paint companies and suppliers to the industry is now in the mid-600’s heading toward 700 registered attendees. My goal continues to be 800+ (so go out there and tell your industry friends they need to sign up:

New registrations over the last 24 hours: Steel Dynamics* (15 executives, thank you), Phillips Manufacturing*, SSAB, State Steel Supply*, OWC*, California Steel Industries, Pacific Steel & Recycling, PGT Trucking, Steel Sales America and more (those with an * denotes more than one executive registered within past 24 hours)…. You can join them by clicking here. If you have questions, please reach out to 

Question of the day?

John Packard Summit 18“John, I love your live conference.  I just don’t see myself sitting in front of a computer screen for 4, 5 or 6 hours during the workday. Why is it worth it for me to attend your virtual conference?”

Good question and a legitimate one that we had to consider when making the decision to move from a live event to a virtual one. We expect registered attendees will jump in and out of the platform as the day goes on. We built the platform to work with your office calendar so you could easily block your calendar for those presentations that you would like to see live (and maybe ask the speakers questions).

The advantage of a virtual event is you do not have to miss anything. You can watch it live, or you can go back and watch it “on-demand.” Because the platform will remain open prior to the day’s beginning, or into the evening, as well as for a week or two after the conference has concluded, you will have ample time to see all of the speakers, exhibitors and on-demand materials. By the way, some content will be available on an “on-demand only” basis. A virtual event allows us to add extra content, or expand on a subject that a speaker cannot cover in the allotted time slot.

This is important to consider when you review the strength of our agenda, the speakers, and the way the program will be run. You can clearly see how powerful a program we will have. There will be more interaction between speakers and myself. We will focus on core issues regarding the pandemic, the economy, specific market segments, steel-related issues, pricing forecasts as well as leadership and attracting and retaining young people to your organization.

Then there is networking. Yes, you will be able to meet new people, and if you are creative, I anticipate there will be new business being conducted during our conference. You will have the ability to email, chat via an instant message type service and video chat with up to 25 people at one time – all while on the SMU Steel Summit platform.

Lastly, just like our live conference, everyone who is anyone will be there. Take a look at the companies registered to attend (click here or go to

Oh, and the cost is probably equal to a good dinner with one customer and a decent bottle of wine. Now is the time to let your young leaders attend a conference, human resources (we will have information valuable to HR in this year’s program), purchasing, sales, customer service, GM’s, VP’s, Presidents & CEO’s. There is no excuse for not attending this year’s event!

We had Lisa Goldenberg of Delaware Steel and Michael Barnett of Grand Steel as co-speakers earlier this week for our SMU Community Chat Webinar. It is unusual for privately held companies to get together and talk as frankly as they did about the market. You may want to view the recording, which you can access by clicking here or going to: and clicking on the Aug. 5 webinar link.

Next week we have Tim Gill, Chief Economist for the American Iron and Steel Institute. You can register for that free event by clicking here.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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