Prepare for Meet the Buyer North
The Supplier Development Programme’s Meet the Buyer North 2021: Live Virtual Event is a one-stop-shop for SMEs to introduce themselves to Buyers in the public sector. So, how can you optimise your time on the day? Follow these steps to prepare in advance for Meet the Buyer North.
1. Do your homework! Consider which Buyers you wish to meet, go onto their websites, read their contract procurement reports, and have a look at their contract registers to see if they buy things that your business offers already – and make a note of the dates these expire. The SDP’s guide to “Who buys what in Scotland?” would be a good starting point, and be sure to do an internet search for a specific Buyer’s Contract Register.
Please note: Business Support is offered to attending suppliers. Though this is a Meet the Buyer event, the exhibitions in the Business Support section aren't there to be 'sold' to, but rather for you to learn what is available to you through business support services. Business Support exhibitions will focus on defining what services are offered to you as a business and answering common questions from suppliers, and attendees will be signposted to speak to individual procurement exhibitions for any specific contract enquiries. Questions you might wish to ask include, "What kind of support can you offer me in getting ready for Net Zero?" or "Do you offer any free webinars or training that may be of interest to my company?" or "How can I get support in a particular area of my business?"
2. Prepare an informal verbal introduction of your business and what you can provide or supply to the public sector. If you have questions for a specific Buyer, or about potential upcoming contract, framework or Quick Quote opportunities, make a note of these.
3. Prepare your contact information in advance! When you connect with a Buyer or another supplier on the day, you'll automatically exchange your contact information. As this is an online event, you'll be asked to fill in settings which will auto-populate with the information you've already provided at registration.
However, you can optionally add a profile picture, an "About Me" summary which you can use to include a summary of your business, and links to your social media accounts. Why not write your summary now, and have your logo or image ready to go on the day?
The Supplier Development Programme has developed a downloadable template to get you started, or you can create your own. You can also view an example of this SME’s A4 summary as a .pdf document. (Please note: you will not be able to upload this document to your profile, but you will be able to copy and paste the information into the "About Me" summary section!)
4. A few days before, visit the Meet the Buyer North event page on the SDP website. Make a note of which Buyers you would like to engage with, questions you want to ask, and rehearse your informal verbal introduction of your business.
5. On the day, join the queues at the virtual exhibition stands and download Buyers' digital leaflets, flyers and information. Buyers are encouraged to display upcoming tender opportunities, business support and other useful information that you can download and read while you wait.
6. Make a point to connect with other suppliers in the Meeting Hub. Be sure to introduce yourself and "connect" to exchange contact details with other potential suppliers attending the event. (They could become your next customer!)
7. Export the contacts you have made from the top right corner of the portal. As this is a virtual event, you'll be able to download the contact information summary from everyone you've connected with during the day - buyers and suppliers alike. You can follow up on conversations and plan future potential business.
8. Finally, be sure to register for free tender training with the Supplier Development Programme! Now that you've found out all the information you need on future public sector contracts, why not take the next step and improve your bidding skills with SDP's expert trainers? Browse the free tender training on offer from SDP!
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at Meet the Buyer North!
2021 Meet the Buyer North Virtual Portal: Step-by-Step Instructions for Suppliers
Curious about how to use the online portal to connect with buyers during virtual Meet the Buyer North events organised by the Supplier Development Programme? Check out this step-by-step guide as to how things worked in the past.
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