The return of face-to-face industry events will help drive innovation

I’ve always been a fan of face-to-face conferences and events, so I was delighted that October has been a particularly prolific month for IMET Alloys attending 2 major industry events, namely the ITA (International Titanium Association) Conference in Orlando, USA and the French Titanium Association Conference taking place in Nantes, France this month.

Communication isn’t all about words and one of the major benefits of face-to-face meetings is being able to read body language and facial expressions to gain a much better and genuine understanding of what somebody truly thinks about a certain topic or an idea.

Hybrid or online events provided an excellent solution during the pandemic when face-to-face gatherings were simply not possible.  But now it is encouraging to see near normal attendance levels returning to in-person events once again.

Conferences are also excellent forums for sharing thoughts, innovations, and to encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas to help organisations from all sectors develop and grow. The true magic often happens not during the plenary session on the mainstage, but amongst the gathering of delegates over a coffee or something a bit stronger.

To quote the vision statement of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) – located only 20 miles from IMET’s Global HQ here in Livingston – ‘we create an environment to inspire ideas that change the World’. In this sense, conference venues are much more than gathering places, but forums for idea generation and innovation.

The EICC will, in fact be hosting the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, (I.M3) for the 15th ‘World  Conference on Titanium’  in June 2023 and I’m intrigued to find out what the key areas of discussion will be during this period of rapid change for the World’s titanium community.

Indeed, some of the key points from last week’s ITA in Orlando unsurprisingly related to global Titanium supply issues including some of the below points:

  • Boeing have suspended major operations in Russia with no plans to purchase Russian titanium and it will be a long time before it is even considered.
  • Boeing will continue to utilize the US supply chain and have implemented a forge press health assessment in preparation for the 737 ramp up.
  • Airbus is utilizing a multi-source approach to sourcing.

IMET Alloys is aware of the extra demand that this places on our unique technologies and services, yet we are also very excited of the opportunities and challenges that this presents.

We will certainly be making the short journey along the M8 to attend the World Titanium Conference in Edinburgh and look forward to learning from others about the challenges, threats, and opportunities that they face in titanium and other critical raw materials supply. 


Ruaraidh Williamson