Constructionline’s Meet the Buyer events offer the chance for local contractors, consultants and material suppliers to talk to the UK’s biggest public and private sector buying organisations, in an informal setting.
In 2014 we broke all of our records by holding our most successful Meet the Buyer programme of networking events to date, held at locations across the UK including Wembley Stadium, Newmarket Racecourse and the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. 3,500 suppliers and 220 buyers attended our Meet the Buyer events in 2014 to discuss opportunities of all sizes, from minor works valued at £30,000 to some of the UK’s largest framework agreements such as the Elephant & Castle regeneration project worth £1.5 billion.
With a plan to top it in 2015, Constructionline started the year with a big success.
The Yorkshire Meet the Buyer event, held at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield on 12th March 2015, played host to nearly 450 suppliers and 30 exhibiting buyers. With such a high turnout, this event was our largest regional networking event in our history, second only to the national Showcase event held at Wembley Stadium in early 2014.
A wealth of opportunities
Speaking about the event, Client Relationship Manager, Aaron Good* told us: “In our experience, buying organisations are keen provide work for SMEs local to their projects, and contractors are equally as eager to win these tenders. This event offered a great chance for local contractors to meet key procurement decision makers to understand how they can win work in the Yorkshire region. With such a great turnout at this event, we were really impressed by the level of enthusiasm from buyers and suppliers to discuss opportunities in the pipeline.”
30 buyers exhibited, with regional and national organisations such as Sheffield City Council, The University of York, Wates Construction, Kier Services, Longcross Construction and Capita Property and Infrastructure - key decision makers were on hand from each, all keen to discuss impending work opportunities and provide attendees with advice on bidding for work.
The Highways Agency, an exhibiting buyer, was keen to engage with SME suppliers for their road-based river crossing project in the Lower Thames area, as well as their general frameworks and re-tendered contracts. Shepherd Construction took the chance to speak to local firms about their building works at Leeds Wellington Place and The University of Leeds, while Leeds Federation Housing Association was eager to talk about their works on 3,800 properties across Leeds, Wakefield and North Yorkshire.
Exhibiting at the event to speak to contractors about their major capital development and ward refurbishment projects, Phil Colebourne, Senior Project Officer at Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust told us, “We had a very busy day and were really impressed with the level of interest in our projects.”
Speaking about the opportunities they discussed at the event, Russell Morgan, Sales Director at Pyrotect Ltd told us, “We’re really keen to connect with main contractor buyers, so the Meet the Buyer events are ideal for us. We spoke to a number of main contractors about opportunities relevant to the work we offer, so I am positive we’ll be able to capitalise on the leads we made on the day.” And Yvette Langham from BDA Surveying Ltd added, “We attended the day with a plan to talk to Wates and Kier, but were pleasantly surprised at the quality of other buyers exhibiting on the day. We enjoyed the opportunity to speak to buyers and made some very promising leads at the event - a majority of which have already provided good feedback.”
Attending a Constructionline event for the first time Neil Sykes, Contracts Manager at Hadee Engineering Company Ltd explained, “It was a great chance to meet buyers. Prior to the event we were interested to talk to Barhale, Kier and Highways Agency about their upcoming opportunities and this event offered a good format to do that.”
Event attendees were also given the opportunity to sit in on seminars held by influential speakers from Constructionline, SEE Things and Capita Property and Infrastructure to learn about equal opportunities in the workplace, upcoming opportunities and tips on how to make the most of Constructionline.
*Aaron has since left Constructionline