Public Procurement and Property

Meet the Buyer 2021

May 24, 2021 by No Comments | Category buyers, Guest Blog, Meet the Buyer, Procurement news, Scottish Procurement, SMEs, Supplier Development Programme, suppliers

In years past, Meet the Buyer is generally a very busy and somewhat noisy experience: more than a thousand suppliers register to attend annually on average to speak to around 100 public sector buying organisations about upcoming contract and framework opportunities.

It will be quite different this year, as the 12th Annual Meet the Buyer 2021 will take place as a live, fully virtual event on Tuesday, 8 June 2021, organised by the Supplier Development Programme (SDP). Headline partners include the Scottish Government and Scotland Excel.

Year on year, the Supplier Development Programme consistently facilitates suppliers with crucial access to the public sector.  Taking place virtually from the comfort of your own screen, Meet the Buyer 2021 will provide suppliers with the same increased ability to raise their profile as a business to buyers, as well as the opportunity to learn more about and prepare for upcoming bidding and supply chain opportunities.

There will be a main agenda, with opportunities for businesses to ask procurement and economic development staff questions live, and have them answered.  Three concurrent themed virtual stages will run on:

  • Inclusive Growth,
  • Sustainability
  • Community Wealth Building (Supply Chains).

Inclusive Growth Stage

The City of Edinburgh Council will kick off the day’s festivities with a Meet the “Real” Buyer presentation, followed by information on the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and Capital City Partnership and How to Do Business with The City of Edinburgh Council.

Later, Glasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken will deliver a presentation on opportunities for businesses through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, followed by the launch of its Sustainable Procurement Strategy and an associated project pipeline with upcoming opportunities for suppliers. This includes presentations on sub-contract opportunities on the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project with Renfrewshire Council, development of the former Exxon Mobil fuel depot at Milton and forthcoming works contracts with West Dunbartonshire Council and Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure and forthcoming works contracts with North Lanarkshire Council.

Sustainability and Innovation Stage

On the Sustainability and Innovation Stage, suppliers will learn about Scotland Excel’s shared service funded by Scotland’s 32 local authorities with information on upcoming contracting and framework opportunities set to go to market within the next year.  There will also be a presentation from the British Association for Supported Employment – BASE – a national charity that promotes the principles and delivery of high quality Supported Employment services. More speakers are being confirmed and will be announced soon!

Community Wealth Building (Supply Chains)

Suppliers can learn about how to get involved in supply chains with Robertson FM and RJ McLeod, including on-site activities not necessarily related to the supply chain.  For example, Primary Contractors in Scotland are asked by the public sector to maximise opportunities for micro and small businesses, and particularly for supported businesses and third sector.  This can include everything from local food and drink and cleaning businesses right through to civil contractors, portable cabin manufacturers and crane operators, garages for vehicle services and MOTs, electricians, plumbers, mobile blacksmiths, agricultural suppliers, timber mills, builder merchants, specialist equipment hire, tool suppliers, straw suppliers, accommodation including B&Bs, plant hire and more.

There will also be a joint presentation from Food for Life Scotland and Scotland Excel.  Food for Life Scotland works with local food producers and suppliers to put more Scottish food on the table in schools across the country. Scotland Excel’s food contracts, which include milk, meats, frozen foods, bread and rolls, fruit and vegetables and groceries, are worth a collective £82m a year. Scotland Excel is looking for local food and drink businesses to supply the products served up in schools, nurseries, care homes and community centres across the country.

Virtual Exhibitions

Like in-person events, there will be queues – virtual ones – in the virtual exhibition area.

Businesses will be able to meet procurement teams from local councils, alongside other public and private sector buying organisations, private contractors and business support organisations, like Social Security Scotland, The Scottish Parliament, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Transport Scotland, Scottish Procurement Alliance and many more. The full list of exhibitors can be viewed on the Supplier Development Programme website.

As the largest free procurement event in Scotland, the event affords suppliers unprecedented access to buyers and decision makers from across the public and private sectors, with the opportunity to raise your profile as a business and prepare for upcoming contract opportunities. SDP is building upon success: 90% of Scottish SMEs said they were more likely to bid for public contracts after participating in the Meet the Buyer North 2020: Live Virtual Event.

The event is FREE to attend and open to all, and to ensure that you get the most out of this event, please register early with the Supplier Development Programme.

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