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Meet the Buyer

Support provided by Supplier Development Programme

What does this involve?

Meet the Buyer is a national event for suppliers who wish to do business with the public and private sectors in Scotland and further afield. The event gives you 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.

Each year, everything in the public sector is bought, which adds up to an overall spend of £14.5 billion. There is a regulated tender process to be a supplier to the public sector, and buyers have a duty to engage with local SME businesses in order to contribute to sustainability, support local employment and retain wealth locally. Transparency is required for the procurement of goods, services and works, so public sector buyers are required to be open, fair and honest in the way they choose suppliers and in any dealings with them.

For owners of small or medium-sized businesses, the public sector is the best customer to have because there is no debt risk: payment can be made on a received invoice within 10 days if there’s a cash flow need, and within 30 days as the legal maximum.

Unlike most exhibition events, the essence of the Meet the Buyer event is to 'meet the buyer' - so exhibitions are only open to public sector buying organisations, primary contractors with supply chain opportunities, and public business support organisations. Rather than exhibit, suppliers are encouraged to attend for free to promote your business's goods, services and works by making your way around to meet buyers face-to-face, so you can introduce your business and discuss upcoming contract opportunities.

Each year, Meet the Buyer traditionally features a main agenda with presentations and question and answer sessions. Themes embedded within the main agenda include community wealth building, sustainable procurement, Fair Work First, how to bring innovation to the public sector, the climate change emergency in public sector procurement, Brexit, Growth Deals, COVID-19 economic recovery and economic growth plans. 

Am I eligible?

The full Supplier Development Programme is open to micro, small and medium-sized businesses based in Scotland - including supported businesses in the third sector - interested in becoming a supplier to the public sector.

All businesses in and outwith Scotland can register for and attend Meet the Buyer events.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

All suppliers that wish to do business with Scotland's public sector - and find, win and keep public sector contracts - are welcome to attend.

How long does this take?

The event is open for one business day, and you will control your own schedule.

Important information

The event is free to attend, but you must register your place in advance on the Supplier Development Programme website.

Next steps

Visit the SDP website for more information and to register for your free place.

Support provided by Supplier Development Programme