Batting for Business
26 October 2015
Businesses stumped for ways of meeting leading public and private sector buyers were bowled over by an annual matchmaking day at Hampshire’s cricket headquarters.
The appeal of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Buyer day at the Ageas Bowl, near Southampton, was plain to see with 65 participating businesses declaring it a major success after more than 600 strategically organised appointments were staged.
The event enabled small to medium firms across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to catch up with 17 local authority and private company buyers, make partnerships, network with new contacts and development specialists and attend a free growth clinic led by experts from the Solent Growth Hub.
Hampshire Chamber President Andrew Finney, who officially opened the event, said: “It is a key opportunity for local suppliers with products to sell to meet the buyer and understand what is required in a complex procurement world. Sometimes understanding this is the key to success.
“Business is tough – the recent challenges for the steel industry are a key example of that – and we need to work together to rise to this challenge, locally, nationally and globally.
“We are hoping to match last year when deals worth £6 million originated from the event – which has proved again to be the perfect opportunity to bring together suppliers and buyers.
“There was certainly a buzz about the Bowl as it is extremely rare to find all these people in the same place on the same day. As a way of boosting business in Hampshire this day dedicated to sales and growth really has no equal.”
Roger Farthing, Senior Procurement Manager from Southampton City Council Capita Partnership, said: “Meet the Buyer Events present a great opportunity for us to meet the market, speak to suppliers, discover their concerns and offer advise on how to compete for new business. We want to show that local authorities are approachable and that we support SME’s.”
Suppliers had the chance to arrange one-to-one meetings with potential sales targets during the 8.30am to 5pm event to source competitive deals thanks to intuitive software that matched them with relevant procurement officers.
Private sector buyers included BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty Regional Construction, Colas, Keepmoat, QinetiQ, Trimline, Vitacress, Red Funnel and SSE Contracting.
Business activities under discussion ranged from air conditioning and architecture to waste management and mechanical engineering.
The event was ran by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Solent Growth Hub and local authorities.
This year’s local authority funding partners were Portsmouth City Council, Havant Borough Council, Winchester City Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, New Forest District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and Southampton City Council.
Location: Ageas Bowl