By Kathrine Moore
Vancouver, Canada is where many resource companies have their headquarters. It is also home to Cambridge House International, a company that has been putting on trade shows since 1993. Many of Vancouver’s resource companies, along with other companies from around the globe are planning to attend or exhibit at Cambridge House’s annual Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2019, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, January 20 – 21.
Jay Martin, CEO of Cambridge House International, spoke to Resource World about this year’s conference.
This year, Martin says he is expecting over 300 companies on the exhibit floor and over 8,000 investors to walk the show room floor and attend events. This presents a unique opportunity for investors to speak to resource company management.
Martin told Resource World that he is excited about the upcoming conference as things are looking up. The numbers of exhibitors and attendees is trending higher. “What I am most excited about is that our investor registration has outpaced the last conference. This is the first time that that has happened in seven years. It’s good news for all of us. It’s our flagship event and, in a way, it has become the bellwether of the junior mining sector.”
Another good sign says Martin, is a positive shift in demographics. He said, “It has changed a lot in recent years. We are seeing a younger demographic starting to show up. This is exciting because there were a few years where we didn’t know if that was going to happen. In the last two years and definitely last year, we saw an increase in the number of investors that are younger than 35 years old.”
Also of note, for the upcoming January conference, is that Rex Murphy, renowned Canadian commentator and author, will be giving the keynote speech and hosting a Q & A with the audience afterwards. Martin said, what Rex Murphy brings is expertise and experience in Canada’s natural resource economy. “He is coming at it from outside the capital markets. He has more of a macro take with his opinions on the political climate and Canada’s resource economy. Rex is an interesting guy. He isn’t afraid to say what he thinks …He is a Canadian legend and we are happy to have him come this year”, says Martin.
Martin says the best thing about the conference is the conversations. “When you walk in you can choose your own adventure. You can just go ahead and talk to anyone you want.” He said, “I love that our business is all about people. I am an investor myself and I love researching the sector. The most diversified and efficient way to do that is to have conversations with the most active people in the industry. When I am at the conference in January, I will be spending most of my time chatting with as many of the speakers and clients as I can. A percentage of investors come to all of our shows and I look forward to catching up with them and what they are looking forward to in 2019 and where they are going to be putting their money.”
Martin said that in terms of gauging market sentiment, there is no better way to go about it than attending large industry events. “The conversations that occur over those two days really tell you how the market is doing right now…It is massive and large scale event that gives you a clear indication of where the market is going.”
“But, if you really want to get the most out of our conferences,” says Martin, “you’ll do things like sign up for the conference deal room. A scheduling system allows you to set up one on one meet ups with a company or speaker. We host all our receptions right on the conference floor. We have each day, in the speaker hall, a meet and greet with all of our speakers. They are on the floor having cocktails with the investors. Clients come out from the trade show and join in.”
A half a dozen of keynote speakers will be hosting walking tours around the show floor. According to Martin, These kick off at 9 am and 12 pm each day. For example, Brent Cook, a geologist, consultant and investment adviser well known in the industry, will be meeting investors at 12 pm on Sunday afternoon. You can join Brent’s walking tour where he will take you to meet six of seven of his favourite exhibiting companies.
It takes about a year to put on a large show like the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. Martin says, “We have a lot of fun doing these shows. All of our energy is spent right now, on innovative ways to increase engagement. What that means to me is more investors meeting with more companies and more companies meeting with more investors. The more conversations we can generate the better.”
Visit cambridgehouse.com to register for the conference.