Agoracom Blog

Are Small-Cap Investor Conferences Becoming Less Relevant?

Posted by AGORACOM at 3:23 PM on Monday, June 16th, 2008

I don’t have any empirical evidence yet but anecdotal evidence over the last 6 months is clearly indicating significant attendee drop-off in small-cap / micro-cap investor conferences across North America. Quite frankly, I am not surprised given the following factors:

  • Online Research Dominates – The majority of research into new investment ideas by small-cap investors is done via the web.
  • Too Big – With upwards of 400-500 pubco booths under one roof, investors typically can not make it through an entire show.
  • Lack Of Focus – With so many companies from so many different fields under one roof, investors don’t know where to begin or how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  • Inconvenient – To attend a conference, you either have to take off a day of work or give up part of your weekend. Not too many people want to do either these days.

I believe the biggest challenge facing small-cap and micro-cap conferences is the temptation to keep getting bigger. Bigger is great from a revenue point of view but terrible from an attendee experience point of view. The answer is actually smaller but more frequent conferences targeted towards a specific audience. If you need any proof of this, just look at how TechTarget ate COMDEX’s lunch by providing smaller but more targeted conferences, resulting in greater revenues and fantastic attendee experiences.


I’d like to hear what investors think. You can simply post your comments below, or take part in our simple, 4-question survey.

UPDATE:  The survey results are in and can be found here.


To be clear, Investor conferences are not to be confused with industry conferences that are strictly meant for professional networking and knowledge. For example, the Reverse Merger conference taking place in Los Angeles this week will bring together investment bankers, attorneys and other key professionals from across the world to learn about changing legislation and conduct great networking. In addition, the targeted nature of the event means attendees get a lot bang for their buck.


11 Responses to “Are Small-Cap Investor Conferences Becoming Less Relevant?”

  1. AGORACOM says:

    Unfortunately, Alex there isn’t. We’ve thought about putting one together and may do it yet. Do you think there is a lot of demand?


  2. Alex says:

    Is there any website to find the list of small cap investor conferences which will be held in 2010?

  3. Is there a way to become a content writer for the site?

  4. […] morning to you all. Last week, I posted my thoughts on the relevancy of small-cap investor conferences and asked for your thoughts on the matter via […]

  5. TDA says:

    I would like to hear from PTSC directors and see what the only dividend and cash rich small-cap company has coming for investors. I would like to hear from related businesses at the same time and hear how higher gas prices and less travel will increase the use of high tech tele-commuting. Thanks, Jim

  6. mergatroyd says:

    I prefer to visit mine sites or drilling locations where relevant activity is occurring by companies in which I am most heavily invested, but that is not always possible, so I’m one of those for whom “meeting principals in person” is the primary reason for very selectively attending conferences. However, the sad reality is that travel has become increasingly cumbersome, environmentally questionable and expensive, so webcasting and other technologies are bound to gradually replace “face to face”. A relatively senior company employee who is well informed and easily accessible by phone/fax/email can be a great asset to investors doing due diligence on a small cap.

  7. pete says:

    Yes this site is very valuable ,especially when you get some exeprinence people who know how to dig for information and are willing to share . Some have posted things I was not awaur of ,and wish I had known earlier. Some of this includes mineing information ,i.e.terms of formations and maps pertaining to the areas of interest. also another big item some attend these conferences and come back on here to mention the details that could give us an insight as to what the discussions were about …

  8. Mike Q says:

    Investor conferences are very helpful for me personally because I work them to glean as much from them as I can in terms of prospective companies as well as finding out the skinny on existing holdings. They allow for a one on one meeting to flush through information to determine what is and isn’t really relevant. You can pick up info which will never make a news release as well as get a better sense of timing and managements expectations.

    Second: Companies who exhibit provide useful info which allows for a quick determination of whether or not they are a company worth following at that particular time. It’s also a quick way to do some fast scoping on companies you have heard about and to find out quickly whether or not they meet your investing criteria and merit further follow up.

    Third: Walking the floor speaking with company principles gives one a sense of who is and isn’t on the ball. I also like to chat with analysts whenever they are available for their views.

    Fourth: I like to chat up the crowd to guage what the general sentiment is regarding the market, specific sectors etc and determine where their focus is at the time.

    Fifth: I take notes as I go of my relevant conversations so I don’t leave confused as who and what I spoke about. There is a lot of secondary and helpful information to be attained from working these shows.

    Greater portfolio performance comes with a greater depth of effort and the shows do in my opinion help towards that end.

  9. Dave says:

    Conferences are relevant, but I’ve never been to on. Summaries and findings would be of interest.

  10. AGORACOM says:

    David, thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed response. We agree that webcasting is a great way to provide the personal touch that small-cap investors need. A look at the early results shows that, for those who do attend conferences, “meeting principals in person” is the primary reason.

    If you are going to make the trip to New Orleans, Bill is a great reason to do so.


  11. David Huffard says:

    In response to your Small and Micro Cap Conference survey, I must note that since I currently live in Brazil, I am unable to attend most and in fact have not attended one since I began trading again in the precious metals mining sector in 1999.

    However, I am very interested in attending the New Orleans Conference with Bill Murphy et al sometime in the future.

    My comment would be that a conference with 400 to 500 pubco’s in attendance would indicate NO screening of the participants at all and that would turn me off from the start. In addition, I would not expect anyone of significance in the company to attend such a mass gathering, a further turn-off. This in addition to your own negatives as put forth on the survey page.

    Live conference calls by individual companies, with Webcast availability would be a super way for companies to reach out to the world. One location is today too small to reach the universe of investors worldwide.

    Thanks for listening.