Resources conference doyen and managing director of Symposium, Kerry Stevenson dropped into The Roadhouse this week to run the measuring tape across our Lang Hancock room as a potential site for one of her upcoming events.
The upcoming year is going to be very busy and that can most probably be credited to the meteoric rise we have had.
Symposium was established at the end of 2009, right in the middle of the GFC, but my view is that if you are really passionate about what you are doing it makes life a lot easier.
I love the resources industry, but I can also see where roadblocks exist in terms of how companies market themselves and how they might need to approach things a bit differently than how they have in the past.
The first event we organised was taking five, fairly well-known Australian mining identities up to China to meet some interesting investment types.
From a Symposium point of view, Australia has a population of 23 million and we have to look beyond our shores for investment.
Having said that there also needs to be a bit of support from, not just the Government, but also the Australian people, who need to realise that we do live in a resource-rich country and we should be doing everything we can to support that.
There is a disconnect from those that work in the resources industry and those that would like to know more.
One of our passions is to help educate all Australians about the industry and the opportunities
We should also be encouraging investment from overseas without, ultimately selling off the farm.
As a company, Symposium works hard to encourage better dialogue and understanding between industry and the general population.
We look to provide the industry with the opportunity to not continually talk to industry people but to look at everyday Aussies that are keen to understand the industry but just havent felt comfortable asking basic questions.
As an industry we need to communicate better with all Australians not just those that work or currently invest in the industry.
When we ran the Gold Symposium in November 2011, which you attended Wally, you would have noticed that there was a lot of people, who I like to describe as, not the usual suspects, in attendance.
There were people there who wanted to learn more about how and what to invest in, in regards to the gold sector.
People, who hadn’t made the connection before, walked away from that conference understanding that investing in a gold exploration or mining company was another way of investing in gold itself. That’s what makes us feel that we have done our job.
We don’t rest on our laurels, Wally. We will be taking clients up to North America at the end of February but not to the usual places but to San Francisco and Denver.
These are areas with real money and a true understanding of the industry and they are thirsty to know more about Australian companies.
We have our monthly roadshows in Sydney and Melbourne and then we have the flagship event The Resources and Energy Symposium 2012 in Broken Hill from the 21-23 May.
We ran that conference for the first time last year and received amazing feedback.
We hold the event in Broken Hill for two reasons: first because once delegates arrive they are there for the duration of the conference. They can’t just slip back to their offices. That way deeper relationships develop that enable deals to be done.
Secondly, Broken Hill was the town that started the industrialisation of Australia. It was the birth place of some iconic mining houses, as we know.
The whole premise behind the Resources and Energy Symposium, which is a slow-growing gorilla in the room as we move forward this century, is the consumption and cost of energy and you can’t run a mine unless you have access to energy.
It’s not just a conference it is a think tank of some real issues facing the industry such as the coal seam gas issues and the mining and farming debate that needs to be given a good platform. We have an extraordinary line up of speakers.
But more importantly and something we are very proud of is that this Symposium gives back by putting funds aside for scholarships for students. If we don’t look to keep educating the next generation then we are not doing our best to help educate the community.
That is an interesting story. We, as one of the worlds leading resources nations, were very close to losing out on having Australian representation at the largest mining expo on the planet, which is only held every four years.
We were delighted that we were able to acquire space at MINExpo and we will be running the Australian pavilion for 40 or so Australian supply companies.
If Symposium hadn’t have put its hand up to take on the task that would not be happening.
This is the largest mining expo in the world and is only held every four years. There will be close to 40,000 visitors over the three days and a fantastic opportunity for Aussie supply companies to market themselves to an international audience.
It is going to be an interesting ride, but we have the right team on board, and I think we can safely say that we are starting to come of age.
You are right. I heard all the naysayers. I guess that’s a good lesson to be learnt by all business owners.
If you truly believe in what you do and you are passionate about it, just dont listen to the negative comments.
We get phone calls every day now from people who have heard about what we are doing and want to be involved. I think they like our can do attitude.
As a company we love the resources industry and we look forward to working with more companies and helping them communicate through our Symposiums.