10 April 2014

The Gatwick Diamond Initiative has reiterated its support for the area’s biggest annual sales event while sending out a very clear message to small and medium sized business leaders: “This is your chance to put yourself in front of some of the most important buyers in the region – you need to be there.”

Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2014 will help local SMEs develop their skills in securing new business and provide them with a platform to put these skills into practice.  Buyers already confirmed for this year’s event include Nestle, Morgan Sindall, Honeywell Control Systems and the Ministry of Defence.

Delivered in conjunction with Gatwick Airport, West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council and Crawley Borough Council, the 13th Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event and workshop programme is now open for bookings.

Rosemary French, executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, said: “A key benefit of attending is being able to book guaranteed private face-to-face meetings with buyers who need your products or services.  Attendees will save time and money because it is all in one place, on one day, and designed specifically to benefit local businesses.

“They will also be able to avoid cold calling because they will be speaking straight to the decision maker, gaining advance information on contract sizes and procurement requirements.”

Rosemary said the event is known as a “sales utopia” by suppliers and procurement professionals and that it has also led to more than £3m of confirmed sales in the first six months post event and £18.5m of tenders have been up for grabs since 2011.

“The Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event consistently provides something for every size of SME with contracts won ranging from £500 to £1.4m,” she explained. “Success stories are just as varied; in 2011 a local supplier was invited to tender for a £17m contract with BA, whilst another won business with a buyer in 2013 - to host his wedding.” 

David Threader, business development manager at Crawley-based Document Options, said the company had attended Meet the Buyers events for the past decade.  “We have appreciated the opportunity the events create to enable us to make introductions to top ranking, prospective clients that we wouldn’t otherwise have had such easy access to,” he said.

Also full of praise for the event was Clive Williams, works manager at Polybuild in Horsham, who said the firm attended last year’s event to compare the cost to the time saved and contacts gained. He added: “The event gave us the opportunity to access a lot of large organisations that would have taken us two to three months of work to meet individually. It gave us the chance to sit down in front of large companies and say ‘here we are, here’s what we do’ and ask them if they had any contacts in their organisation that could help us. It got us a name, a number and a place to start.”

Gatwick Diamond Meet The Buyers 2014 is being held at the Arora Hotel Crawley on Thursday July 10th. Full details

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