16 July 2014

Businesses and organisers have hailed the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2014 a huge success likely to generate millions of pounds of business.

The event – now in its 13th year - held at the Arora Hotel Gatwick/Crawley, saw some 35 blue chip names on hand meeting and explaining their procurement needs to over 120 local SMEs.

Buyers included such household names as Gatwick Airport, Nestle, Canon, Ministry of Defence, Sony, Balfour Beatty and Carillion.

SMEs attended armed with up to 12 scheduled face-to-face meetings with buyers – pre-arranged on the basis of the buyers’ stated procurement requirements for the next 6 to 18 months - to discuss business opportunities.

It is expected that the event will result in millions of pounds worth of business for local companies.

Rosemary French OBE, Executive Director of Gatwick Diamond said: “This looks like being the most successful Meet the Buyer yet. There was a real buzz and sense of excitement and, talking to several buyers and suppliers, I know that many important contacts have already been made.

“Over the last 12 years £91m of sales have been generated for local suppliers in contracts ranging from £500 to £1.4m and one local supplier was invited to tender for a £17m contract with BA. We are confident that this year’s event will result in more sales than ever before.’’

The attendees certainly seemed to agree, with 100% of suppliers planning to return next year. Maurice Hickman from JB Corrie described the day as“ a great opportunity to meet with main contractors and present to them in an informal atmosphere”and Maurice Adrian Munn from Monochrome added “as a door opener this has been fantastic and I can't recommend it highly enough”.

The lead up to the event also saw a number of workshops, held at various venues in the area, to help attendees make the most of the opportunities presented by the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2014. These included:

  • Essential tendering, covering public and private tendering;
  • Sales, networking and presentational skills, to provide attendees with the understanding and confidence to deal with different face-to-face sales situations;
  • Understanding airport procurement, giving the opportunity to hear the heads of procurement at Gatwick Airport and a range of their suppliers discuss forthcoming projects;

Sponsors of Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2014 were: Crawley Borough Council; Horsham District Council; West Sussex County Council; Gatwick Airport; Arora Hotel and The Gatwick Diamond Initiative.

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