What’s a Meet & Greet?
At many local and national events, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch to corporate and government representatives and learn about their procurement processes. Meet & Greets are a “speed-dating” style of networking where the business owner has the power to choose who they would like to meet. WBEs join a table along with a small group of other business owners, take turns pitching their business, and ask procurement questions of the representative. When the bell rings, go find a new table!
- Make a plan in advance
There often may not be enough time for you to meet all of the representatives in attendance. Take a good look at the list of those attending ahead of time to plan who you most want to meet. Seats at each table are first come, first served, so having a plan will help you meet your targeted corporations.
- Prepare a 30 second pitch
Expect an additional 7-9 business owners to join you at each Meet & Greet table. Each cycle is usually only 15 minutes. Practice your pitch in advance so everyone gets a chance to go around the table and introduce their business, plus leave time for the representative to tell you about their procurement processes.
- Don’t Forget About the Other WBEs
Many events have a large turnout from certified WBE business owners… and many of these business owners could be your potential clients too. Don’t get so hung up on meeting corporate and government representatives that you miss out on this huge potential network.
- Read Up on Supplier Diversity Programs
Some representatives will be in procurement. Others will be supplier diversity professionals who promote equal competition for women-owned businesses in their company. Read up on the supplier diversity programs of your targeted corporations and government agencies and come prepared to ask how these individuals can help you navigate the procurement process.
- Realize This is About Relationship Building
Being a certified WBE doesn’t guarantee business, but opens up doors to meet these representatives and have an equal opportunity to compete. It takes time to build up to a business relationship and for the right opportunity to come along. Share your business cards, follow up to build your network, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t get business right away.
Meet & Greet’s happen throughout the year at our Annual Meeting, Women’s History Month Luncheon, and Business Connections Days. Keep an eye on our calendar of events.