Stewie McDonald – Vertical Events

ONE OFF THE WOOD: While at the recent Resources Round-up conference in Melbourne,The Roadhouse was able to blow the froth off a couple while speaking with Vertical Events managing director and resources identity Stewart McDonald.

This is the second time you’ve held the RIU Melbourne Resources Round-up, how do you gauge the success of this one so far?

Very good. Despite the market being down the investor turn-out is pretty high, the broker turn has been reasonable. I guess days like today, they need to stay in their office.

The involvement this year of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries has introduced a different edge providing more technical information as well as the company presentations.

It’s pretty hard to go to a resources conference anywhere around Australia and bump into you. How many conferences does Vertical Events operate throughout the year?

We have about eight in Australia and we operate the Australian component of a number of overseas conferences.

The Aussie conferences we focus on Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Perth, which includes our Oil & Gas and Uranium conferences.

They always seem to be well supported, by both the industry and investor communities.

We have competitors, like everybody else, but I think we are seen to be the ones that deliver the right level of investor to the client.

Other shows, from what I am told, are mainly industry talking to industry. They don’t seem to have the same level of investor involvement that ours do.

We work hard on that to maintain it as a speciality.

That is one thing I have noticed this week, that there has been a lot of investor badges walking around the room.

In places like Melbourne and Sydney the population is much larger than say Perth. Because of that we are able to get that level of investor through the door that may be retired or working part-time that has the ability to attend on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

The timing of the Melbourne conference seems to be quite opportune, given it is AFL Grand Final week.

Gee, that was fortunate wasn’t it?

Was that a deliberate part of the conference design process?

Absolutely; a lot of the guys from Perth are over here anyway for this week, regardless of who is playing in the Grand Final.

They’re going to be here anyway so we may as well provide them with something worthwhile to do.

The next cab of the Vertical Event conference rank is Brisbane Mining 2011, which I understand is shaping up to be pretty big this year.

We’re at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this year so we have a larger area, which is just as well as we have 147 booths booked and around 1500 delegates.

Is the Brisbane conference developing as your biggest?

It is; and this is the first year that we will be working with the Queensland Resources Council, on day three of the conference, to include the coal and coal seam gas sectors.

What they want to do is see how that goes this year and if they like the response they get then maybe enlarge that next year to then have three auditoriums running throughout the conference.

After nine years it has now become a mining week. They have the Queensland AUSIMM Ball, the Queensland Resources Council breakfast; it’s all part of the same week.

The industry trusts us, after so many years, to put on a good show.