Timesaver’s guide to CIRI

May 23, 2013
<p>Get the lowdown on CIRI's 26th annual conference, running from June 2-4 in Whistler, BC</p>

Say hello to the new CEO... and the old one, too

Yvette Lokker organized four past CIRI conferences but this is her first as CEO, the job she took up at the start of 2013. Tom Enright, CIRI’s CEO from 2008 to 2012, will be back to do a breakout session based on his new book, Business relationships: key to your success.

Cheer a volunteer

‘CIRI has really been built on our members’ efforts,’ Lokker says. Sunday evening’s welcome reception will honor volunteers including, of course, the conference planning committee co-chaired by OpenText’s Sonya Mehan, who is also the incoming president of CIRI Ontario, and Rhylin Bailie from New Zealand Energy and Southern Arc Minerals.

Network your heart out…

Conference numbers have been picking up year after year, hitting 265 in Montreal in 2012. As IR Magazine went to press, registration was 13 percent ahead of last year. ‘Whistler has always been one of the best-attended conference venues,’ Lokker notes.

…especially if you’re from a small-cap company

CIRI anticipates high attendance from Vancouver, which means a lot of resource and small-cap firms, so many of the sessions have both a small-cap/large-cap perspective and a resource bent. For example, a crisis management session will have both $7.5 bn Cameco and $800 mn NOVAGOLD presenting. Another session on raising capital should be especially popular with junior mining companies. ‘The lower your share price goes, the harder it is to raise capital. But you have to weather these tough times,’ Bailie says.

Come with your cape

There’s something about the Canadian air, especially out west, that makes IROs want to dress up and party, so the theme of the Tuesday night dinner and dance is perfect: IR superheroes unite!

Rise to the challenge

This year’s theme is all about how an IRO, a ‘jack of all trades’, is doing a tougher job than ever. ‘You need to be good at everything,’ Bailie says. ‘This career is so dynamic – every day there is something new. You have to keep up with regulation, not to mention the markets. Particularly for mining firms right now, it’s tough on the share price, tough on investors, and therefore tough on IR.’

Catch your breath – and have it taken away

If you have any time before or after the conference, you’re in the right spot. ‘If you haven’t been to Whistler, you can’t appreciate just how much there is to do,’ says Bailie, who has lived in Vancouver since 1995. She suggests walking or biking Whistler’s easy, paved trails, or taking the kids to the Family Adventure Zone. As for Vancouver, walk down English Bay or do a 10 km run around Stanley Park. ‘Drive over to Spanish Banks and look back at downtown and up to the mountains,’ Bailie adds.

Get a new perspective on Whistler

One of a series of sponsored sessions on Monday afternoon will look at the impact of the 2010 Winter Olympics, with community leaders and tourism experts weighing in to the discussion.

Do your best to be prepared for the worst

Mehan is particularly excited about Jeff Ansell’s Monday morning keynote speech, ‘What to do when you’re the headline’. She has previously heard the former Citytv reporter speak and says he’s an inspiring orator. ‘You’ll walk out of his session saying, I have hands-on knowledge of exactly what to do if my company is in a crisis situation,’ she says.

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