Choosing the Right Meet the Buyer to Attend

MTB LogoWhat are Meet the Buyer Events?

As an increasing amount of councils are looking to engage local businesses and social enterprises, they are turning to Meet the Buyer events to network face-to-face with suppliers. These Meet the Buyer Events provide a great chance for private sector suppliers to meet public sector buyers in a relaxed environment and find out more about their opportunities.

SDP Meet the Buyer Events

This is where the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) comes in. SDP hosts a large amount of Meet the Buyer events in Scotland, and you can register with the Programme for free to ensure you you can attend these, plus other tender training events. All of these events are free of charge if you are a Scottish SME, Social Enterprise or Third sector enterprise.

Prioritising Events

With such an array of Meet the Buyer events to choose from, you might be wondering which to attend. To help you decide, let’s look at the main types of Meet the Buyer events, local council, regional and national ones.

Local Council Meet the Buyers

Local Council Meet the Buyers usually feature one council authority, for example the Dumfries and Galloway Council Meet the Buyer Roadshow. These events present a fantastic opportunity to understand local spend and procurement. Local Council Meet the Buyer events also allow you to ensure the authority knows you are a local business or social enterprise that they could contract.

Regional Meet the Buyers

Then we have Regional Meet the Buyer events, which allow you to meet more than one council and sometimes other organisations, such as the local NHS and Universities, which operate in that area. If you want to focus tendering on only one particular region, this event offers a fantastic opportunity to meet with your local buyers and businesses.

Scaling up this approach, we then have larger regional events, such as Meet the Buyer North, which provide a dedicated networking space for public sector bodies from wider geographical areas. In the case of Meet the Buyer North, this gives private sector contractors delivering projects in the North a chance to collectively highlight opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.

National Meet the Buyers

Finally come National Meet the Buyers, such as the event SDP hosts every summer. SDP’s National Meet the Buyer showcases opportunities across the whole of Scotland. This event gives businesses access to public sector buyers including, councils, NHS organisations, universities and bodies such as the Ministry of Defence, Crown Commercial Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Historic Environment Scotland, Registers of Scotland and many more. These organisations  have common requirements, such as delivery of goods, services and works, as well as physical assets to maintain. Attending Meet the Buyer National means  you can connect with range of public and private sector contractors who are delivering projects and business support, all in one day and place.

Which Meet the Buyer to Attend

So, which type of Meet the Buyer should you attend? Really all of them!

In the first instance, Local Meet the Buyers are important, so that you can target specific areas in which you wish to do business and connect with its council procurement teams and main contractors.  

Regional Meet the Buyers then widen your opportunity to introduce your business to other councils, still within your geographical reach, which may not have thought of employing your type of business, but still need to buy the goods, services or works, you can provide. Regional events also allow you to meet the other organisations such as the local NHS or university and hear about their contract opportunities.

Finally, SDP’s National Meet the Buyer is unique in its scope to simultaneously introduce your business to multiple potential buyers in Scotland, some of which you may not even have thought to target! If you don’t go to this national event you may miss out on hearing about up-and-coming contracts. You might also miss the opportunity to network with buyers who become your future contractors or businesses/ social enterprises that become your future supply chain partners.

Book SDP’s Meet the Buyer Events here…

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