Expand your market potential at ‘Meet the Buyer 2021’
21 Jul 21

The Region 6 Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) on Aug. 12 will host “Meet the Buyer” for businesses looking to expand their customer base through government contracting opportunities.

This year’s event – which will be held virtually from 9 a.m. to noon – will feature buyers from local, regional, state and federal agencies that are looking to hire private-sector vendors for a range of needs and services. There is no cost to attend.

The format resembles “speed dating” and provides a fast-paced way for businesses to connect with buyers from across the region. Attendees will rotate among different agency tables, learning how the organization buys, what they are buying and other valuable procurement information.

Each buyer has five minutes to share information about its organization and what it buys, followed by 15 minutes for attendees to briefly present their companies and ask questions.

“This is one of the key procurement matchmaking and government contracting events in the state,” said PTAC Program Manager Jasmine McKenney. “For the prospective governmental agency, it’s an opportunity to meet with business representatives and to familiarize themselves with businesses in the region that could satisfy their purchasing needs. It is also a chance for business owners to connect with buyers from the city, state and federal government. Small businesses looking for diversification opportunities should attend.”

A partial of list of this year’s buyers:

  • Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
  • Consumers Energy
  • TACOM—U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command Detroit Arsenal
  • State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB)
  • Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Saginaw Public Schools
  • Amtrak
  • Great Lakes Water Authority

Resource partners will also be in attendance and available for discussion on how to start, grow and expand businesses, including: the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center and VetBiz Central/Veterans Business Outreach Center.

Mckenney said the event is being held virtually because it wasn’t clear whether restrictions on the size of indoor gatherings would still be in place by the time of this year’s event.

“Looking back at last year’s event, which was held virtually, the format allowed many clients to attend that wouldn’t have been able to participate previously,” she added.

Jared Ambrosier, chief procurement officer for the State of Michigan, will be the keynote speaker. Ambrosier took over as head of Central Procurement Services for Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) after serving the past three years as the office’s enterprise sourcing director. He was integral in leading the efforts to purchase personal protective equipment for frontline workers during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is also responsible for leading efforts to improve customer satisfaction scores by 27 percentage points since 2018.

To help businesses prepare, PTAC will hold a free coaching seminar virtually on July 22, from 1-2:30 p.m. Register now for the Meet the Buyer Prep

PTAC counselors will be on hand to help craft and critique “elevator pitches”; review marketing proposals; and discuss some of the “Dos and Donts” of networking. PTAC can also assist sellers with research on what the purchasers are buying or have bought in the past. Businesses that have participated in previous Meet the Buyer events will also be present to provide some perspective.

“Businesses unable to attend the coaching seminar can contact our office and we can schedule a one-on-one session to help them prepare,” McKenney said.

For more information, contact Jasmine McKenney at jmckenney@flintandgenesee.org. To register for Meet the Buyer, visit flintandgenesee.org/buyer.