Ask any resource investor to list their "must attend" resource investing conferences – the places they go to hear good experts and to meet potential investments – and one of the top conferences is the San Francisco Hard Assets Conference.
The San Francisco Hard Assets Conference is an annual event – currently one of two hard assets conferences hosted by International Investment Conferences (a subsidiary of Summit Business Media). This year's conference was held November 27 – 28 at the San Francisco Marriot Marquis.
While at this year's conference, we caught up with Jonathan Moore, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Event Division, who puts together this show. We asked him to tell us a bit more about this show (especially for readers who were unable to attend but are thinking about attending in the future), and to tell us what he has planned for future shows.
"We're very pleased with the show this year," Mr. Moore said. "Despite the uncertainty in the market right now, our attendance continues to surge. San Francisco is always the strongest program in our portfolio [of conferences]. Each year, we continue to see a more professional and a more focused investor. We're very happy with the conference."
Indeed, investors come from all over to attend the show – to see the show's expert line-up of speakers or to meet the companies who might be the right potential investment for some investors.
"We've had a lot of the speakers who helped to make us the most successful event in the [hard assets] space: Jim Dines, Rick Rule, Ian McAvity, Mickey Fulp, Tom O'Brien," Mr. Moore listed. "These are the people who are the true experts in the marketplace. They sleep and breathe hard assets. They have strong, loyal followings. They're the large driver of our attendance."
The show includes keynote speakers like Jim Dines, Paul Van Eeden, Frank E. Holmes, Rick Rule, and Frank Trotter. Attendees also enjoy workshops like "The Next Phase in the Metal Market", and "The New Alaskan Gold Rush", and "The Evaluation of Junior Mining Companies", and more. There are Expert Views events where experts share their insight on topics like the resource boom, currency, and gold versus paper money. Interspersed throughout the event, there are company presentations and panel discussions.
But speakers and workshops aren't the only things attendees will find at the conference: "There are 224 companies here," said Mr. Moore about the companies that sent representatives to the show to share their stories with investors. "The audience that we have can identify some of the truly unique investment opportunities that are happening within the hard assets space – gold, silver, rare earths. The companies that are here are oftentimes that next great opportunity that you have in the space. A lot of the folks you see at the companies that are here have been in this marketplace for a long time and have been successful at other companies and are now on to their second or third or fourth ventures. As a result of that, you get a unique opportunity to not only hear from the expert speakers but also to talk to the executives that are running the companies. That's where the magic of the show really starts to happen – bringing the two components together in one show. An investor can come to the show for something really unique."
Attendance has grown, not only because of the continued success of these events but also because more and more people are becoming aware of the resource sector as an investment opportunity: "You're starting to see [resource experts] more frequently in the mainstream because the idea of hard assets has finally gotten out into the public forum; that helps to drive the attendance component at our event."
And this year, there's something else at the event that should prove to be interesting: "There's an up-and-comers battle," added Mr. Moore. "We want to find and put on the map the next Jim Dines. We have a group of people who are going to share their thoughts and ideas. We've been trying to put this together for a while – it's a forum for the next generation to discuss their stuff."
And immediately following the hard assets conference is a related event of interest to resource investors: "Tuesday is the rare earth summit," explained Mr. Moore. "It's a new event for us. It's a one-day program specifically dedicated to rare earths for the sophisticated investor. It has a very deep line-up of rare earths expertise. We're excited about it. It should be a good show."
And for resource investors who just can't get enough of the valuable information at the San Francisco Hard Assets Conference, Mr. Moore has some exciting news: "The New York Hard Assets Conference is on May 14 and 15 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. It's a great program. I'm really excited about it. Last year, we had a fantastic audience and a lot of high-level professional investors at the show."
And even more exciting is the addition of a third hard assets conference: "I'm pleased to announce that we are expanding into Chicago," said Mr. Moore. "We'll be taking the expertise that we have in our hard asset investment conferences and bringing it to Chicago and the Midwest – September 21 to 22 at the McCormick Center. We're excited to have it as an addition to the portfolio. It's been something we've had on the shortlist of things to do for a while now." Investors should watch for that show and register as soon as possible.
The San Francisco Hard Assets Conference was a success. We heard great speakers and panel discussions; we talked to some interesting companies, and took away some valuable insight for MetalsNews readers. Likewise, Mr. Moore is very happy about the conference, too: "It's always wonderful to come to this city. The hard asset investment crowd here is quite passionate. They have some strong expectations about what they'll get here – both in content and the types of companies they'll see. I think we've delivered for them. I'm very proud of it," he concluded.
Jonathan Moore: http://www.summitbusinessmedia.com/about-summit/our-leaders/
International Investment Conference: http://www.iiconf.com/
Summit Business Media: http://www.summitbusinessmedia.com/
San Francisco Hard Assets Conference: http://www.hardassetssf.com/
Rare Earth Summit: http://www.hardassetsres.com/