Forth Valley Meet the Buyer Outcomes
Falkirk Council, Stirling Council and Clackmannanshire Council, in Partnership with the Supplier Development Programme, hosted a Forth Valley ‘Meet the Buyer’ event online on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. The event covered upcoming activities related to the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal and the Falkirk Growth Deal.
Businesses were amongst the first to know what potential opportunities are coming up in relation to the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, worth £214m of funding to boost the economy across Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire, and the Falkirk Growth Deal with project funding worth £90m to help boost the economy around Falkirk.
The agenda ran from 9:30am to 2:30pm. The day started with an opening message from the Leaders of all three councils: Councillor Scott Farmer, Leader of Stirling Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, and Councillor Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council.
Falkirk Council gave a presentation about its Growth Deal, followed by a live Q&A with the Council's procurement team. The Deal aims to boost the local economy and create skilled jobs and enable investments in infrastructure improvements to support sustainable travel, tourism, and energy.
Stirling Council and Clackmannanshire Council presented together, as the Councils are headline partners in a joint City Region Deal. The presentation was followed by a live Q&A with procurement staff from both Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
In the afternoon, there was a session from the Supplier Development Programme on Top Tips for Tendering, followed by a live Q&A session.
The Supplier Development Programme collated some statistics from the virtual event including:
- Prior to the event, there were 273 supplier attendee bookings on the SDP website.
- On the day of the Forth Valley Meet the Buyer virtual event, in total there were 204 participants made up of 159 supplier attendees and 45 exhibitors/speakers/public sector colleagues.
- Of these, 159 attendees were from 153 unique Scottish SMEs/supported businesses.
- Included within this number, there were 10 unique businesses based in Falkirk, 19 unique businesses based in Stirling and 5 unique businesses based in Clackmannanshire.
There was a high level of engagement during the Forth Valley Meet the Buyer event, both with the main agenda and within the Exhibit Hall. Outcomes include:
- 123 attendees at the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal Presentation with a Live Question and Answer Session with Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council
- 99 attendees at the Falkirk Growth Deal Presentation with a Live Question and Answer Session with Falkirk Council
- 54 attendees at Top Tips for Tendering with the Supplier Development Programme
- 759 visits to exhibitions, 483 brochure downloads, 28 networking connections made in the Meeting Hub
- 188 exhibition live meetings and 62 exhibition live chats
- 612 visits to the virtual exhibition area (full list of exhibitors) and 365 individual visits to exhibitions
On the Day Polls
The Supplier Development Programme also conducted online polls during the Forth Valley Meet the Buyer event. Attendees were very positive and the main agenda:
- 93% said the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal Presentation with the Live Question and Answer Session with Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council encouraged them to bid for more public sector contracts (25 questions/comments received)
- 100% said the Falkirk Growth Deal Presentation with the Live Question and Answer Session with Falkirk Council encouraged them to bid for more public sector contracts (15 questions/comments received)
- 100% said the Top Tips for Tendering with the Supplier Development Programme Session encouraged them to bid for more public sector contracts(15 questions/comments received)
Supplier Survey Results
The Supplier Development Programme also conducted an online survey after the event concluded, and there were 17 responses. After attending the Forth Valley Meet the Buyer Event in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme:
- 95% of suppliers said they were more likely to bid for public sector contracts as a direct result of participating in the event.
- 94% agreed that the virtual Forth Valley 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.
- 53% would prefer the formal of procurement and business support events like Meet the Buyer to continue as virtual events in the future, while 53% would like Meet the Buyer to return as in person events.
Some supplier comments included:
- “An enjoyable experience overall.”
- “This was a great event.”
- “I was very worried about attending the event due to very limited IT skills. Once I got on and the event started, a lot of the instructions fell in to place and I found it very relaxing and much easier to navigate around than I thought it would be.”
- “I gathered a good number of contacts.”
Feedback and Additional Materials
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