The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) will host its Tennessee Business Matchmaking program in Knoxville, Nov. 3 at the Knoxville Convention Center. This event will be held in conjunction with the Greater Knoxville Business Journal Business & Technology Expo.
“The Tennessee Business Matchmaking program offers an innovative, time-efficient alternative to procurement conferences and trade shows, with effective results for small businesses and procurement representatives alike,” said ECD Commissioner Matthew Kisber. “This event stimulates economic growth and creates opportunities for small businesses to hold personal, one-on-one meetings with potential clients that might have taken some weeks or even months to schedule on their own.”
Tennessee Business Matchmaking is a series of business-to-business matchmaking conferences that matches small and diversity businesses with federal, state and local government agencies and large corporations that have actual contract opportunities. Fifteen minute, one-on-one business appointments are scheduled between “matching” small businesses and buyers.
The statewide sponsors of Tennessee Business Matchmaking are TVA, the UT Center for Industrial Services and the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC). The Knoxville Chamber is a regional partner of this matchmaking event. The small business registration fee is $35. There is no fee for procurement agents to participate. The deadline to register is Oct. 17.
“The matchmaking process allows buyers to select in advance the small businesses to meet with during the event, enabling the buyers to meet with a large number of qualified vendors in an efficient manner,” said Rick Meredith, ECD assistant commissioner of Business Services and Community Development. “In addition, the pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments create a structured environment for buyers to meet with potential vendors, maximizing everyone’s time.”
In April, May and June of this year, ECD hosted its first three Business Matchmaking events in the Tri-Cities, Nashville and Memphis. During these inaugural events, over 1,900 one-on-one business appointments were held between 347 small businesses and 136 procurement officials, generating over $300,000 of contracts awarded to sellers. These events produced new business leads and potential contracting opportunities for Tennessee small, minority and women-owned businesses, while also creating an efficient, effective mechanism for large entities, public and private, to identify qualified, new vendors.
Based on recommendations from past participating procurement officials and small business representatives, significant improvements have been made to the event. For example, there is now a more user-friendly, flexible system that allows sellers to schedule appointments up to three weeks before the event and a computer kiosk with online scheduling capabilities will be available at each event to schedule on-site appointments. The program has also replaced the United Nations codes with the NAICS codes as the basis of the matchmaking process.
For additional program information and to register, visit the Tennessee Business Matchmaking Web site, http://www.tnecd.gov/matchmaking, or call (615) 741-2626.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.