Meet the Buyer
Topic of the practice
support to SMEs: networking events
Good Practice Information
The main objective of this tool is to enable companies to meet the buyers directly and thus get first hand information on procedures and services needed. It also allows companies to network with each other which may lead to joint tenders via a consortium.
This service is delivered across Wales by 4 external contractors. “Meet the Buyer” events usually last for a day.
The format of each “Meet the Buyer” event will vary, some commence with a collective seminar (about 1-2 hours), followed by individual meetings; whilst at others there is only one to one meetings with the buyers. Mainly the events are aimed at buyers from public sector organisations, and occasionally for buyers from the private sectors for specific contracts.
The “Meet the Buyer” events are part of a larger project to assist SMEs on public procurement - “Supplier Development Service” - with “How to tender workshops” and one to one support.
• Contact a public sector buyer (or a private sector buyer)
• Identify the good speaker within this public entity
• Identify a venue
• Promote the event (local press release, web site etc.) towards companies in the sectors matching the identified needs of the public buyer
• Carry out an evaluation of the event at the end
External tools and Budget
• External costs: Organising “Meet the buyer” events costs about £100 000 per annum. These costs include venues, snacks and refreshments and marketing of the events
Cost for the companies: free
The project has benefited from European Regional Development funding
Staff and time needed: 1 member of staff ; 2-3 days of organization
To implement this service you should identify the buyers and the contracts that their organisations are seeking to tender. It is important to develop a good working relationship with the local buyers.
Evidence of success
Results of the organisation
About 20 “Meet the buyer” events are organised yearly with an overall attendance of 50 to 100 businesses per event.
During 2009-10 the “Supplier Development Service” helped SMEs in Wales win contracts to the value of £65.5M.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Welsh Assembly Government