SMU Community Chat - How to Generate Actionable Takeaways the SMU Steel Summit

SMU’s Steel Summit Conference 2023 is two months away, and it’s never too early for attendees and prospective attendees to start preparing for how to take advantage of the conference’s resources.

CRU principal analyst Josh Spoores sat down with SMU managing editor Michael Cowden and senior analyst David Schollaert on Tuesday for a webinar in which they discussed actionable takeaways to walk away with from the conference in Atlanta.

First, the logistics. It’s at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), right next to the Atlanta airport. There is a free ride to the conference and hotels via the Atlanta SkyTrain​. The conference starts Monday, Aug. 21, at 8:30 a.m.​ and ends Wed., Aug 23, at 2:15 p.m. after lunch​. There are multiple hotels adjacent to the GICC, and even more nearby​.

Many bill the Summit as the unofficial official kickoff to contract negotiations, and this is just one example of the networking opportunities available.

“It’s like you can get good intelligence just at the sidelines of the event,” Michael Cowden said.

David Schollaert noted that “it’s almost like a trade show at the entrance, with everyone mingling,” adding: “You’re going to find everyone from your supply chain there.”

Josh Spoores said that with all the industry experts on tap and wandering the conference, “It’s almost like an accelerated learning course.”

With around 800 attendees registered so far (and that number is growing every day) and the host of experts from the scrap industry to steel mills to analysts, service centers, and more, there’s no telling what you might pick up in the halls.

“We leave a lot of time for networking on purpose,” Cowden said, adding that sometimes executives use the conference to break news.

There will be an app dedicated to the conference available for download. You can see who else is attending,​ send messages​, and share your experience with other attendees​.

You’ll hear from panels on such topics as price risk management, the digital transformation, and financing in a high-interest world. Besides the panels, there will be fireside chats with figures such as Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president, and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs; Karla Lewis, president and CEO of Reliance Steel & Aluminum; MáximoVedoya, CEO of Ternium; and Barry Zekelman, executive chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries.

There you have it. Make plan of what you want to see. Be open to networking opportunities. Use our handy app to communicate. And get ready to take it all in.

“We look forward to seeing you all there, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions,” Cowden said.

To register or learn more about the conference, click here.

To see the full video presentation on actionable takeaways, click here.

By Ethan Bernard,