The mining industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. It is also the industry that goes through the most boom and bust cycles due to the law of supply and demand.
Higher commodity prices = more companies = increased supply = lower commodity prices = less companies = decreased supply = higher commodity prices.
With every boom, new junior companies come into the market to get a share of the pie. Existing junior companies with completed feasibility studies go into production because it is easier to get finance during a bull market.
On the other hand, when the bear market hits, the majority of junior companies go bust. The #1 reason these companies go bust is usually because of the lack of capital to fund their exploration endeavours and employee expenses.
Raising capital is one of the most important roles of the CEO of a mining company. That is either through a capital raise or option exercises. Even some of the biggest names in mining who are billionaires still have to raise capital for their ventures such as Ross Beaty from Equinox Gold and Robert Friedland from Ivanhoe Mines.
When it comes to capital raises, the CEO seeks to push up the company’s share price so they can raise more capital for the business without diluting their shareholders too much.
One way to push up the share price is by getting exposure to influencers. These influencers could be investment managers, decision makers from mid to large-cap companies and newsletter writers and the best way to gain exposure with these influencers (in my opinion) is at conferences.
One of the best channels to gain exposure
Conferences have been the go-to marketing channel for mining companies (especially juniors) to promote their stock. Conferences gather influencers and decision makers from all over the world into one location. Because of this, conferences is also the place where deals get done and companies get funded. According to the Energy Mines and Money, $182m has been invested in projects identified at their conference.
This happens to other industries as well. For example, $72 billion worth of aircraft sales were sold in the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow.
The benefit of conferences
#1 – Get in front of decision makers face to face
Conferences are the only marketing channel where you are given the opportunity to meet with multiple decision makers face to face. For example, here are some of the attendees for the mining conference IMARC:
- CEO of Rio Tinto
- CEO of Fortescue Metals
- CEO of South32
- CEO of Newmont
You don’t do get this kind of opportunity with Facebook or TV advertisements.
Plus, people working in the mining industry are generally from the baby boomers and Gen X-ers. The median age of workers in the mining industry is 39 years. The older the demographic, the less effective digital channels like social media is.
You also get to meet with newsletter writers who have a database of thousands of investors or maybe one of the mining journalists like Kitco who post most of their interviews on YouTube and they have over 29,000 subscribers.
#2 – Promotion
During conferences, you may also be given the opportunity to give a presentation to these decision makers. Imagine cold calling each one of their companies and trying to schedule a meeting with 100 of them. We all know how time-consuming cold calling is.
Sometimes these conference organisers would post these presentations on YouTube or their website which gives you additional exposure to your company.
Maximising the ROI of your trade shows
Unless you are a BHP or Rio Tinto with billion dollar marketing budgets, every dollar in the bank counts. This means buying or renting a custom stand is out of the question because of the price alone. It would be more efficient to spend that money on hiring geologists, drill campaigns or on attending more conferences.
There are three things you can do to maximise the ROI of your trade show investments:
#1 – Choosing the right conference to exhibit at
Obviously, you want to be attending mining conferences because that is where the people you want to meet will be. Depending on your resource, attending related conferences might be a smart move too. For example, if you are a lithium or cobalt mining company, attending a battery-related conference or electric car conference is something to consider.
#2 – Control the cost of your exhibition stands
When it comes to getting the best deal out of an exhibition stand, going down the custom route is out of the question unless you are a large cap company.
So we are left with two options:
#3 – Portability and installation
Mining investments are generally concentrated at countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, and South Africa. If you are attending international conferences, portability and ease of installation are critical. If you are exhibiting at a conference internationally, you want to ensure your stand is portable and easy to install. If not, you will be spending thousands of dollars paying a logistics company to transport it for you and $50/hour installers to setup and dismantle your stand.
What do we recommend?
We believe the best value exhibition stand has to tick these five boxes:
- Easy to install
- Makes you and your company look good
The TRIGA system is a modular exhibition display system that ticks all the five boxes above.
Portable – TRIGA packs down into portable carry bags which means you don’t need a logistic company to transport the stand for you when you exhibit internationally.
Durable – It is built to last a very long time. You don’t want your stand to break down after your second show.
Lightweight – You don’t want to exceed your 30kg weight limit when exhibiting internationally.
Easy to install – Don’t pay $50/hour installers to install and dismantle the stand. Plus, you don’t need any tools to do it.
Makes you and your company look good – Check.
Conferences are one of the most effective marketing channels for a mining company because they allow you to skip the cold calling process and get in front of multiple decision makers all within a matter of days. The next two things that you need to consider are:
- The conferences you are going to exhibit at
- The type of stand you are going to get