PDAC Convention – Toronto 2011: Where the Mining World Meets

The annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, hosted in Toronto, Canada, is the world’s largest gathering of professionals involved in exploration, development and investment in the global mining industry. While I am no stranger to the event, this year was different as my colleague from the Globe 24-7 office in London, UK would be joining me and more importantly, I would not be relegated to a booth – freedom.

The PDAC Convention is as big as they get for most industries, let alone mining. This year saw 27,000 participants from all over the globe. This massive attendance was most notable towards the end of the day when everyone tried to file out and up only a few escalators. Or the revolving crowd around the rescue capsule so famously used to rescue the 33 Chilean miners from their underground captivity.

With such a massive amount of people and thousands of exhibitors, one can easily become overwhelmed and lose sight of the opportunity at hand – that of meeting with the largest group of professional peers one will ever be amongst in a 4 day period.

Having the experience of working the PDAC from a booth and now from the floor, the clear way to get the most out of this convention is to not just methodically walk the aisles of mining and service company booths but, seek out and take advantage of the periphery activities taking place outside the show throughout the 4 days. My colleague, Will and I , attended the annual Mine Africa breakfast – a gathering of over 350 participants with an interest or ‘stake’ in the African industry. We networked at the table, witnessed some poignant speeches from visiting ministers and then attended a variety of presentations from companies active in Africa. The PDAC brings groups like this to Toronto and without this external event, would not necessarily collect in one place for a like purpose.

One cannot advise participation in extracurricular activities during PDAC without mentioning the rash of networking events throughout downtown Toronto during this 4 day marathon. Any given venue will be host to a ‘reception’ sponsored by service providers, law firms, banks and even   mining companies themselves. These events welcome and foster the networking opportunity that exists during the show by providing more intimate opportunities to meet and exchange with the top individuals in the industry – not to mention have a good time and enjoy some entertain after a long day in the convention centre.

The PDAC is not likely to shrink in size; in fact, it will probably continue to grow in attendance so, learning these lessons early will prove invaluable for future conventions. If you find yourself in Toronto in early March, feel free to contact Globe 24-7 Consultants, we are sure to be in town but not necessarily on the trade show floor.

Thousands of participants make their slow exit from the Conference

Rescue capsule used to rescue the 33 Chilean miners from underground captivity
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