TAPPED IN: What to do about Istanbul?

Metal Bulletin reporters have received numerous enquiries over the past few weeks about the International Ferro-alloys Conference coming up next month in Istanbul.

Metal Bulletin reporters have received numerous enquiries over the past few weeks about the International Ferro-alloys Conference coming up next month in Istanbul.

Turkey, due to its border with Syria and internal political tensions, carries a heightened risk of terrorism and disruption at the moment. Several other major international cities, including London, are also at high risk of terrorism and have been for many years.

Metal Bulletin Events recently ran two successful conferences in Istanbul.

Claims that swathes of delegates have cancelled their IFA registrations are unfounded.

A few delegates have cancelled their registrations for the Metal Bulletin event, but the impact of that has been offset by new registrations. 

The MB events team signed up numerous new delegates last week.

In all, there are slightly fewer registrations today than there were in early October last year but roughly the usual turnout is expected.

We cannot predict whether or not there will be no-shows on the day, but I can say that the vast majority of my contacts in the bulk alloys market are still attending.

Certain delegates rumoured to have cancelled their registrations have firmly informed us that they are still attending and that they are irritated to have seen their company dragged into a conversation about it.

I have personally been sent a list of several companies that are allegedly not attending. I can confirm that most of those companies are still registered for the event and some of them will be sending speakers or hosting clients in a meeting room.

I would also like to respectfully point out that some of the people raising safety concerns about the event have not attended Metal Bulletin events for many years and therefore were not necessarily expected to have attended anyway.

Different countries have released slightly different travel advice for Turkey.

The UK Foreign Office is advising against all travel within 10 miles of the Syrian border and all but essential travel to certain regions in eastern Turkey.

Germany is advising travellers to Istanbul to employ “an enhanced sense of prudence”.

There are varying concerns being voiced among delegates and non-registered Metal Bulletin readers.

Some are genuinely concerned about their safety and, of course, we sympathise.

Others are worried that they will travel to the event and there won’t be enough people to meet.

Markets are tough; costs are high, prices are low and companies are under pressure.

Some people have spent a lot of money and have expressed frustration at the prospect of losing it.
Others are worried about spending more money for no good reason.

It’s up to individuals to work out the value of this conference to their business.

I’m afraid I can’t predict the future or guarantee anything in today’s volatile world.

As a Metal Bulletin journalist, the only practical advice I can give is that people speak personally to the market participants they intend to meet; don’t just assume they are not going because someone else said so.

Metal Bulletin Events is introducing additional measures aimed at making delegates feel safer, such as vehicle checks and extra security. Some have said this has made them feel even more uneasy.

That is regrettable, but I’d like to assure our readers that we are listening to everyone’s concerns and doing what we can to allay them.

I am still going to Istanbul and looking forward to seeing a healthy turnout at what many of you have described to me as “the ferro-alloys event we can’t afford not to go to”.

This conference is one of the highlights of my year and I hope to see you there.

Janie Davies
Ores & Alloys Editor, Metal Bulletin
jdavies@metalbulletin.com 
Twitter: @janiedavies_mb

To view details of the event, go to:
http://www.metalbulletin.com/events/international-ferro-alloys-conference/details.html

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