Steel Products

SMU Steel Summit Conference – It’s Showtime!

Written by John Packard

After 12 months of planning, countless hours of discussions about our agenda, whether we would be virtual, live or both, and agonizing over how to best conduct a safe live event not knowing what direction the pandemic would be taking – the bottom line is it’s showtime.

The weather forecast is for no rain on Monday and Tuesday with a chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures will be in the high 80’s to low 90’s for highs and the low to mid 70’s for the lows.

The doors open at the Georgia International Convention Center at 7 AM Eastern Time. Please be sure to wear your mask when inside the convention center. The weather forecast for inside the GICC is for cool temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70’s.

SMU Steel SummitYou will enter the GICC from the South entrance, which is the one closest to the Marriott Gateway and across the street from the SpringHill Suites hotels (the Renaissance and AC Hotels are close by).

Once in the GICC you will see the registration desk off to your right, just prior to the entrance to the exhibition area and then the conference area. You need to walk through the exhibition area to get to the conference area where the speakers will be. We have spaced the seats a few feet apart and put more space so you shouldn’t have to walk over too many people to get out of your row. We have limited tables this year due to the spacing constraints in trying to keep people as socially distanced as possible.

The Pre-Summit Programs begin on Monday at 9 AM ET and we have three programs between 9 and Noon. All three of these programs will be in the GICC.

We will have lunch from Noon until 1 PM in the GICC.

The opening of this year’s conference will begin at 1 PM with John Packard and Michael Cowden of Steel Market Update as your hosts. At 1:30 our keynote speaker will be Michael Smerconish followed by steel forecasts with Josh Spoores of CRU and John Anton of IHS Markit. The day’s program will end with a one-on-one interview with Lourenco Goncalves who is the Chairman, President and CEO of Cleveland Cliffs. After the interview we will have a networking/cocktail party in the exhibition area until 5:30 PM.

At 5:30 there is a VIP reception for the SMU NexGen Leadership Award nominees. The room being used is the Phoenix Room in the Events section of the Marriott Gateway Hotel.

On Tuesday, the doors to the GICC will open at 7 AM and the day’s events begin at 8:30 AM.

On Tuesday morning, after some opening remarks from SMU CEO John Packard, we will begin with our first panel discussion with Ben Abrams of Consolidated Scrap, Ryan McKinley of CRU, and Paul Lowrey of Steel Research Associates. The panel will be moderated by Michael Cowden of SMU.

Next up will be a one-on-one discussion between Nucor’s CEO Leon Topalian and John Packard of SMU.

Just prior to lunch will be another excellent keynote address by Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics.

Lunch will be extended to allow for the special social distancing and contact protocols we will have in place.

At 1:10 PM our first after lunch program will feature Kevin Dempsey, President & CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, and trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz. Michael Cowden will moderate as they discuss near-term and longer-term trade and trade rules, what may happen with carbon border adjustments, and more.

We will then announce our NexGen Leadership Award winner.

Then we have Bernard Swiecki with the Center for Automotive Research who will discuss the automotive market and provide a forecast for automotive production, and Ken Simonson with the Associated General Contractors of America who will provide his construction forecast.

The last program of the day will be a one-on-one with Mark Millett who is the CEO of Steel Dynamics.

We will have a networking/cocktail party after John Packard and Mark Millett.

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