Media release: Virtual ‘Meet the Buyer’ activities with the Supplier Development Programme


MEET the Buyer is an annual event organised by the Supplier Development Programme Scotland, held to connect businesses with the Scottish public sector where there is an annual public spend of £11billion.

While a physical Meet the Buyer event cannot take place this year, the Supplier Development Programme has announced activities on Twitter and by webinar during a virtual interactive event tomorrow (2 June).

These activities will focus on helping suppliers to engage with a range of public sector buyers through a ‘Twitter Takeover’, supported by two free SDP tender training webinars.

Suppliers can interact on Twitter with buyers including Fife Council, East Renfrewshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, and Scottish Government during a ‘Twitter Takeover’ of the SDP Scotland Twitter account between 10am and 3pm.

Utilising the #MeetTheBuyer2020 hashtag, businesses are invited to ask real time questions to these public sector buyers that may normally be asked face-to-face at the Meet the Buyer event, on wide-ranging topics such as how to do business with the buyer, Quick Quotes, and what upcoming contracts and frameworks may be available, in reaction to COVID-19 as well as longer-term procurement opportunities.

To participate in the live virtual event on Twitter, suppliers must create and login to a Twitter account on the day.

Scottish businesses and other suppliers are also encouraged to sign up to two webinars on 2 June on Frameworks & Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS), which will run in the morning, and Public Contracts Scotland (PCS): What would you like to know? which will run in the afternoon.

To participate in the webinars, businesses must register for free in advance on the SDP website. The joining instructions and link will be emailed by SDP Scotland, and suppliers will be able to attend each webinar from their remote working location. All staff, including those on furlough, are welcome to voluntarily participate in this free tender training.

Gillian Cameron, SDP Scotland programme manager, said: “The current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented and is having a significant impact on businesses of all sizes. Even during these difficult times, the public sector still has to abide by the procurement rules to ensure that, as much as possible, it can continue to tender vital contracts for goods, services and works.

“During what has now become months of containment, working remotely can have its benefits in providing Scottish businesses the capacity to spend time on learning or brushing up on bidding skills.

“SDP is keen to support Scottish SMEs, Third Sector and supported businesses with how they can use this event to look to recovery and build a future business opportunity pipeline which could provide a source of stability for their business’s future, which is particularly illusive in the current economic climate.

“While this isn’t a replacement for a physical Meet the Buyer event, our planned virtual activity on Twitter and training by webinar on 2 June will hopefully stimulate conversation between buyers and suppliers and demonstrate that public sector procurement, worth £11bn in Scotland annually, remains both open and transparent despite the hardships lockdown presents for businesses.”

Scottish businesses are encouraged to register interest in on the official event page on the SDP website prior to 2 June.


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.

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