Showcase Meet the Buyer & Conference 2014

Over a thousand suppliers overcome London’s tube strikes and bad weather to talk business with key decision makers from the industry’s top buying organisations.

In February 2014, Constructionline kicked off its Meet the Buyer event programme – and despite the mixture of strong weather conditions and tube strikes, the Showcase event turned out to be our biggest networking event to date! Held at Wembley Stadium, the Showcase event played host to over 50 construction buyers and trade partners looking to source suppliers for upcoming work projects.

Constructionline Managing Director, Gareth Kings explained, “Despite the upturn in construction, finding and winning work continues to be a hard fought battle for SMEs, while those overseeing major programmes want to be assured that their supply network is reliable. The Showcase event offered a valuable introduction between both buyers and suppliers, providing an opportunity to discuss how they can best work together on the wealth of high profile projects in the pipeline.”

And there was plenty of work to be had! Among the exhibitors on the day were London Construction Programme (LCP), a consortium of London local authorities – set up to procure construction services. LCP was keen to recruit a number of suppliers for several framework agreements. Lend Lease also attended to deliver a presentation, discussing the opportunities available to suppliers to work on its £1.5bn Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme.

Attending as a delegate, Nicola Jameson, Sales Manager at ASD Architectural told us, “This Case Study – Showcase Meet the Buyer & Conference event was a great chance to find out about upcoming projects. We enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the right people, and this event makes it very easy to do so.” And Mark Thompson, Director at Environet added; “Its great to have one-to-one conversations with key individuals who are genuinely interested in what we have to offer.”

A fundamental reason why the Constructionline Meet the Buyer events are a success, is the opportunity for attendees to speak to the key decision makers from buying organisations. With over 50 buyers exhibiting on the day at Wembley, suppliers were spoilt for choice. “The demand for this event was phenomenal”, says Philip Prince*, Director of Sales and Marketing at Constructionline, “Workloads in the industry seem to be picking up and events like these are perfect for putting buyers in touch with suppliers for those contracts.”

Attending a Constructionline event for the first time, Barrie McGuire, Director at Air Electrical explained; “The Showcase event was a good chance to meet companies and network. We came to meet VINCI and Kier, but it was fantastic to talk to other buyers with relevant work that we weren’t even aware of.”

Exhibiting at the event, Dan Mistry, Fusion and Industry Manager at UK Atomic Energy Authority enjoyed the ability to engage with local suppliers. He commented; “a fantastic turnout of companies today and a good opportunity to connect with local SMEs.” With over 65% of Constructionline’s registered supplier database consisting of SME businesses, we welcome the chance for local suppliers to meet buyers at our regional events and benefit from the wealth of opportunities available.

On the day, buyers and trade partners took to the stage to present about upcoming projects and how they use Constructionline to procure. Buyers speaking included McLaughlin & Harvey, LendLease and London Construction Programme – all taking the opportunity to give suppliers an insight into the range of upcoming work projects in the pipeline. Other organisations including the ECA, The Supply Chain Sustainability School and Trading For Good held presentations offering advice on hot topics in the industry such as PAS 91 and sustainability.

As a part of our committment to helping our members benefit from the full potential of the Constructionline service, we hold a profile workshop at all of our Meet the Buyer events. A team of Constructionline staff was on-hand throughout the day – offering  advice and assistance to members in regards to their Constructionline profile. We take a look at the supplier’s profile from a buyer’s perspective, and therefore offer valuable advice on areas the supplier needs to update to ensure complete visibility to our registered buyers. John Kaefer from Kaefer C&D visited the profile workshop, he explained; “We’ve been told by buyers in the past that we didn’t feature in any of their searches on Constructionline. One of the main reasons we have attended this event is to rectify this issue. We want to make the most out of our Constructionline membership.”

*Philip Prince has since left the business.