What is the Arkansas Procurement Opportunities Conference & Expo?
The Arkansas Procurement Opportunities Conference & Expo is an event that is organized annually as a location where small and disadvantaged businesses can come to a common place and get actual face time with purchasing entities of large companies, government departments, and nonprofits. The purpose of the event is to match small businesses with large corporations and local, state, and federal government agencies that have contract opportunities. The concept is based on large organizations buying goods/services from small businesses, thus stimulating the local economy and community. This is a valuable tool, as many purchasing entities are required by governing bodies to purchase a certain amount of their supplies and services from small businesses.
Who is the Arkansas Procurement Opportunities Conference & Expo?
The event is planned and tailored to assist small businesses that are prepared to face the challenges and reap the benefits of doing business with government agencies and large corporations.
What is the format for the Arkansas Procurement Opportunities Conference & Expo meetings?
These meetings are scheduled at 12 minutes in length with 3 minutes in between to allow buyers and suppliers (sellers) to settle into their appointments. This is not long enough for anybody to secure a contract, but is only intended to be a sales pitch by the supplier (seller). Then the supplier (seller) is likely expected to follow up with the buyer at a later date.
How do you match buyers and suppliers (sellers?)
The scheduling is done according to the services and products that a buyer is looking to buy and the services/products a supplier (seller) can provide. For example, if a buyer is looking to buy oranges, that particular buyer will be matched with an orange supplier (seller). This means that both the buyer and the supplier (seller) will need to provide a very detailed buying/selling list when they register in order to be matched as accurately as possible.
How many appointments can a supplier (seller) expect?
On average, suppliers (sellers) can usually expect to be given at least three one-on-one appointments along with the opportunity to talk to all the buyers at their booths. In addition, suppliers (sellers) should be taking advantage of the networking opportunities that will be available on a business-to-business level at the event.
However, appointments are contingent upon available buyers and the products/services they are seeking to buy, therefore there is no guarantee of appointments.
Will participating small businesses get government or corporate contracts during the event?
The Arkansas Procurement Opportunities Conference & Expo does not guarantee contracts because of the nature of the bidding process between buyers and suppliers (sellers). This event serves as a common place where suppliers (sellers) can have meetings with potential clients that would have taken weeks or even months to schedule on their own.
How is a supplier (seller) defined?
Suppliers (sellers) are defined as the small businesses looking to sell their products or services to the buyers. Qualifications for supplier (seller) registration are simple. Businesses must be small businesses by SBA standards (www.sba.gov). Large organizations can only be registered as buyers, not suppliers (sellers).
What does participation in this event cost?
There is no cost for buyers or sellers to partake in the procurement opportunities event.
Small businesses that express a desire to have a booth of their own in which they could advertise their products or services on a business-to-business level may participate in the exhibit hall for $525.
*The last day to register for a booth in the exhibit hall is 04/13/2012 or until booths are filled. Booths are not guaranteed until payment is made and registration is complete. Please register early in order to secure your booth.
**Also, please be aware that there will be no selling of products or services at these booths.
How and when do businesses register?”
The registration deadline is April 6.
If you are a supplier (seller), you may find the online registration form at www.arkansasprocurement.org.
If you are a buyer, you may find the online registration form at www.arkansasprocurement.org.
If you are looking to have a booth in the exhibit hall, you may find the pdf registration form at www.arkansasprocurement.org.
Can a business register in person at the event?”
Businesses are allowed to register on-site, but are not guaranteed matching appointments.
Which buyers (government agencies and large corporations) will participate in this event?”
The list of buyers who have registered can be found at www.arkansasprocurement.org. This list will be updated regularly.