Last week, at the Cambridge House Resource Investor Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the organizers asked me to deliver a keynote.
This is not a new thing. Past Parry keynotes have included “Everyone Out There on the Conference Floor is Lying to You”, “Anatomy of a Pump and Dump: Where Your Marketing Dollars End Up,” and the still popular “Five of You Guys Will be Dead by This Time Next Year, So Let’s Get Some New Blood in the Door.”
People keep turning up, even with the swearing.
Building on that last speech I referenced, I walked around the conference floor of this year’s mining show annoyed that I was seeing nothing I haven’t seen before – indeed, nothing I wasn’t seeing at the next booth. And the next booth. And so on.
I saw young investors show up, clearly looking to learn about the mining business, and quickly leave as they were faced with shiny bald head talking to shiny bald heads about inside baseball stuff, with no attention given to education or differentiation.
So, late at night, I made big changes to my keynote so it was scope-locked on the only group of people who seemed to be in the building: Mining execs.
My theory, and it’s one I’ve been talking about for a few years, is that younger investors ABSOLUTELY like resources as an investment opportunity. Indeed, they were the ones leading the charge in lithium and cobalt, before retreating to marijuana where they’ve since 3x’ed their dough.
Come tax loss selling season, they got into cash and kept their powder dry for a while, waiting for another industry to show itself as worthy.
Mining, as an industry, did not heed that call.
That frustrates me, because my daughter mines all weekend, looking for gold, iron, coal, diamonds, emeralds and more. She plays Minecraft, the top selling video game in the world for eight years now, in which mining is the basis for everything.
Fortnite, the other video game you’ve probably heard of, also involves mining. There are many, many others, because mining for resources is a video game trope going back twenty years.
And yet, while grandpa spends his day searching for resources, he’s seemingly unaware his grandkids – and his kids, for that matter, have grown up doing likewise.
Mining needs millennials, but millennials don’t need mining. They’ll continue making money on weed, they’ll be all over crypto if that ever breathes another breath, they do tech all day long, and e-sports is the hot ticket right now in terms of what’s next.
Meanwhile, mining investors are literally dying. Each year’s mining conference gets quieter, as the presentations waffle on about grades and maps and macroeconomics and ten year timelines.
Time for a change. May the first mining execs aboard have all the booty.
Here’s my talk.
If you prefer to read, I outlined a lot of this stuff in my article below:
And hey, Cambridge House, this advice applies to you too. If you want your conferences to grow, quit aiming them at a shrinking segment, and start marketing to the 80% of people who haven’t invested in anything and want real information about how to do so. They’re out there, but plenty.
Side note: While in Toronto last week for the Cambridge House Cantech Conference, I stepped into James West’s livestream grotto and talked E-sports, which isn’t as easy money as some are thinking.
If you like what you’re seeing, enjoy these:
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: … Sup, ladies.