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Red Metals Summit

Red Metals Reunion

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MCN Editor Dan Markham Denied in-person events for two years, CBSA members will gather for the inaugural Red Metals Summit next month in Tampa.

It’s been more than two years since the members of the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association last met in person. The past two spring conventions, the only in-person gatherings annually for the entire trade group, have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Rather than wait another eight months to get together, the Overland Park, Kan.-based trade group for copper and brass distributors will launch a first-time event next month. The Red Metals Summit will take place Sept. 27-28 at the Westin Tampa Waterside in Florida.

CBSA staff members have been clear the new event is not a “convention lite,” complete with golf and tours. Rather, it’s a more business-centric two-day session highlighting many of the issues currently facing the red metals supply chain.

The event will be highlighted by a presentation from Connor Lokar from ITR Economics, Moving Forward with Confidence. ITR is the association’s economics partner.

Beyond Lokar’s presentation, the sessions will be driven by facilitated roundtable discussions with CBSA members, touching on a wide range of topics. “It’s more about conversation with industry experts than presentations,” says Susan Avery, executive director of CBSA.

Among the scheduled subjects include supply chain concerns such as lead times and trucking and logistics; business and financial operations including high copper/commodity prices and credit insurance issues; labor challenges; and the effect of President Biden’s policies on infrastructure, taxes, environment and more.
Avery says while the event was only announced this spring, the plans for a potential replacement for a second-straight canceled annual meeting have been in the works for quite some time.

“The idea formulated late last year with the understanding if we didn’t have a convention in the spring we would do something in the fall. We really wanted it to be different from the convention experience, laser-focused on business issues that were on our members’ minds. There are not a lot of the social aspects. This is something very different than we would typically do for our convention,” she says.

Whether this remains a one-off event, becomes a fixture on the calendar or something in between remains to be seen.

“I think we’re open to the possibility of having two events. There’s still a great need for people to let their hair down and talk. But we have noticed a little culture change, people are busier, they’re running with leaner teams,” Avery says. “We wouldn’t be surprised if over time, this merges into a single event and maybe changes the focus of the convention. But we’ll let our members and the market determine that.”

Though Florida, the site of the convention, remains fully open at press time and likely to stay that way given the actions by the state government there, the emergence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and the corresponding increase in cases mean summit-goers must be prepared for a change at the last minute, something the last 18 months have prepared all industry participants for. The CBSA will follow all state, local and facility requirements for guests.

Should members need to cancel, for COVID or other reasons, the organization allows for free cancellation for any reason before Sept. 17. Moreover, if the event is canceled by the hotel, city or state for reasons outside the group’s control, all registration fees will be refunded.

Registration can be completed at the CBSA website at Registrations are due by Sept. 22, though rooms must be booked by Aug. 27 to receive the discounted rate available to summit attendees.

Schedule Highlights

Sept. 27
1:45 p.m. – Opening Remarks/CBSA Update
2 p.m. – Industry Hot Topic: Employment/Labor
3:15 p.m. - IHT: Supply Chain Disruptions
6:30 p.m. – Networking Reception & Dinner

Sept. 28
Keynote Speaker: Connor Lokar, ITR Economics
11:15 a.m. – IHT: Business/Financial Operations
1:30 p.m. – IHT: Government Policies
2:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks
6:30 p.m. – Networking Reception & Dinner

Photo Caption:
CBSA members will spend an intensive two days in September covering all aspects of red metals distribution.  (MCN file photo)