The Vancouver Metals Conference Circuit Has Gone Boutique
Kitco Commentaries | Opinions, Ideas and Markets Talk
Featuring views and opinions written by market professionals, not staff journalists.
I always look forward to attending the various mining conferences which are held each year in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada. The mining industry is filled with fascinating and colorful people, and I always come away with a wealth of information, which I can apply to my miner sector knowledge base.
Cambridge House International (CHI), founded in 1995, has become the leading producer of investment conferences located across North America. Top industry analysts, newsletter writers, hedge fund managers, trends forecasters and finance celebrities offer unsolicited opinion and education to the retail investor for little or no entrance fee.
I vividly remember my very first CHI mining conference experience in Vancouver, during the initial stage of the previous miner bull in 2004. I was beginning to become more fascinated with the mining sector and speeches given by financial master-minds to a large audience were thrilling for me. However, I was completely overwhelmed by the vastness of the event, which was populated with well over 200 companies and more than 3,000 attendees as I recall.
By 2014, as the exciting bull in the sector had morphed into a fearful bear, the conferences naturally began to be sparsely attended. This forced the organizers to include companies from other sectors to try and bolster attendance.
This dilemma of the absence in mining focused conferences was recognized by resource based company Sprott Global Resources, who by early 2016, decided to organize a more intimate event strictly devoted to the mining sector. The conference organizers introduced an entrance fee to target the more serious and higher net-worth investor. I attended the Sprott Global Symposium last year and was taken by the quality of the companies in attendance, as well as the speaker list. The keynote speakers and the company management were easily accessible, and I was able to be more focused in an intimate atmosphere.
Due to the success of the Sprott event, a few of the mining sector newsletter writers decided to organize the recently launched Metals Investor Forum. Conducted at the Georgia hotel, this conference was also more boutique in nature, as each company in attendance needs a recommendation from a keynote newsletter writer if they wish to participate. All of the companies in attendance were carefully vetted exploration firms and the event featured the best in breed newsletter writers as keynote speakers. The program was well designed so that the attendees could see each key note speech, without worrying about missing another. The free of charge event was also a catered affair, which was an un-expected surprise.
The changes made to the miner conference experience by Sprott Global and the Metal Writers Forum have not gone unnoticed by the Cambridge House organizers. The just concluded International Metal Writers Conference, in which I was invited to speak, continued the boutique conference theme of a more focused and intimate atmosphere by cutting in half the amount of participating companies from the previous VRIC Vancouver event CHI held last January. The organizers introduced an on-line, interactive one-on-one company meeting system, where the registrant could schedule 10 minute consultations with management of each individual company he/she is interested in. All the over 50 expert speakers’ presentations will be available shortly on the Cambridge House website.
I am hopeful these changes to Vancouver based conferences remain, as the metals conference experience in this beautiful city has made a refreshing change for the better. If you are a retail investor in the sector, you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of these events each year. I have found them to be invaluable to my research efforts and investment portfolio development.