THE Supplier Development Programme (SDP) has postponed the 12th annual Meet the Buyer event until next year, due to disruption caused by the coronavirus.
The announcement was made in conjunction with headline partners, Scottish Government and Scotland Excel.
More than 2,000 attendees, largely made up from small, micro and medium-sized businesses, were expected to attend the Meet the Buyer gathering that was set to run in Edinburgh on 2 June this year.
The new date has been announced as Tuesday, 8 June 2021 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
While the delay was almost inevitable in the light of coronavirus, some public sector procurement officials believe there may be a ‘silver lining’.
Councillor Peter Henderson, chair of the Supplier Development Programme board, said:
“Scottish businesses are facing unprecedented difficulties in the weeks and months ahead. The supplier pool that buyers hope to engage with to fulfil upcoming public sector contract opportunities at Meet the Buyer each year has dramatically changed and, indeed, may never be the same again.
“Government at local, Scottish and wider UK levels are already planning to spend vast amounts to boost the economy once the pandemic is over. Meet the Buyer is a vital conduit for public sector buyers to connect with small, micro and medium-sized businesses to unlock the potential of innovation from the Scottish business base for future procurement, and ensure that public money is spent on sustainable and renewable projects.
“SDP will work closely with public sector buyers to meet the increased demands for increased spending by consistently raising awareness of public sector contract opportunities. Meet the Buyer 2021 will provide free access to public sector buyers and the wider supply chain to contribute to open and transparent procurement practices throughout Scotland and the UK.
“The Supplier Development Programme is free to all Scottish SMEs, third sector and supported businesses. As it has for years, SDP continues to offer robust tender training to Scottish businesses via digital webinar delivery in the short-term.”
Suppliers that registered for the 2020 event have had their bookings moved to the new date in 2021.
Businesses of all sizes are invited to book free tickets for Meet the Buyer 2021 by visiting www.sdpscotland.co.uk.
Notes for editors:
- SDP is a publicly-funded partnership led by Scottish local authorities, working in conjunction with Scottish Government and other public bodies, to bring Scottish SMEs support in all aspects of tendering. By assisting businesses to become tender ready for public procurement, SDP improves all-round efficiency, sustainability and market potential.
- In Scotland, there is an annual public spend of £11billion. In the UK, there is an annual public spend of £240billion. SDP Scotland offers free training throughout Scotland to Scottish SMEs to support and champion them tendering for this work.
- Visit www.sdpscotland.co.uk for more information.
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