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Fife Council Virtual Meet the Buyer Outcomes

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Fife Council’s Economic Development Team and the Supplier Development Programme hosted a virtual Meet the Buyer event on Thursday, 5 November, as part of Fife Business Week 2020.

As businesses adapt to how they buy and sell, this virtual event was delivered under the banner of InvestFife in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, and brought together 258 participants virtually to create new opportunities in the new ‘normal’. Of those, 60 attendees were from businesses based in Fife.

The virtual Meet the Buyer event showcased a range of contract opportunities currently available in Fife, across various sectors, including construction, offshore wind, renewables, and manufacturing. In addition to a welcome from Fife Council’s Economic Development and Procurement Teams, there were presentations from Talgo, EDF Renewables, SSE Renewables and Red Rock Power Limited that offered key insights into supply chain opportunities and nuances that could support Scottish SMEs interested in tendering.

The Supplier Development Programme also delivered an interactive question and answer session with a panel of its expert trainers for suppliers in attendance.

Ann Camus, Enterprise & Business Development Manager at Fife Council, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed the B2B marketplace. We’re all having to adapt, and so this year, we took our traditional Meet the Buyer event, as part of Fife Business Week, online to support businesses to realise contracts in the new ‘normal’.

"Participants learnt about significant projects happening here in Fife and were able to find out how to be part of the supply chain as well as invaluable tender training and support available free through the Supplier Development Programme.

“It was extremely encouraging to hear that over 250 participants took part in this event, and from a poll taken on the day, 86% of those believed the event would encourage them to bid for more public sector contracts.”

Talgo UK

Talgo presented on opportunities to become part of its supply chain for works on its multi-million pound factory on the site of Longannet, whilst EDF Renewables updated local businesses on plans for Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore windfarm, for which supply chain opportunities exist.

Jon Veitch, Managing Director of Talgo UK Ltd., said:

“We were absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to Fife Business Week and especially the Meet the Buyer event. It is so heartening to see the capability and qualities of organisations from Scotland and Fife, which we hope to harness in the coming and lasting years.”

Outcomes

The Supplier Development Programme collated some statistics from the virtual event, including:

  • Prior to the event, there were 292 supplier attendee bookings on the SDP website.
  • On the day of the Fife Meet the Buyer virtual event, in total, there were 258 participants made up of 227 supplier attendees and 58 exhibitors/speakers/public sector colleagues.
  • Of these, 168 attendees were from 138 unique Scottish SMEs/supported businesses.
  • Included within this number, there were 60 attendees from businesses based in Fife – and 49 of these were Fife attendees from 38 unique SMEs/supported businesses based in Fife.
  • An additional 19 attendees from 16 unique businesses in Fife registered for the event, but did not attend.
  • From the poll on the day, 86% of attendees voted that the Meet the Buyer Event has encouraged them to bid for more public sector contracts!

The Supplier Development Programme also conducted an online survey after the event concluded. After attending the Fife Virtual Meet the Buyer Event in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme:

  • 75% of suppliers from Scotland that responded to the survey said they felt more confident engaging with Talgo, Offshore Wind Developers and Fife Council Procurement to determine/discuss future supply chain opportunities.
  • 81% agreed that the virtual Fife Meet the Buyer event, delivered in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, demonstrated that public sector procurement is open and transparent, despite challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Almost half - 43% - heard about the virtual Fife Meet the Buyer event through the Supplier Development Programme – and a further quarter – 24% - learned about it via social media.

Some supplier comments included:

  • “It was a great event.”
  • “Very well structured virtual event. I was very impressed.”
  • “Having never previously been to a Meet the Buyer, it was very informative and interesting.”
  • “The event was well organised and well delivered.”
  • “I’m going to take this opportunity by saying that was one of the best virtual events I’ve attended so far.”

Feedback and Additional Materials

All enquiries can be sent by email to SDP Scotland.

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