Stansted: New venue for airport’s Meet the Buyers event is hailed as a success

From left, Janet Conboy of itvet, Pat Smit of UKT, Robert Lee of Business Kinetics, Andrew Harrison

From left, Janet Conboy of itvet, Pat Smit of UKT, Robert Lee of Business Kinetics, Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport managing director, and Penny Channer, Essex County Council deputy cabinet member for economic growth, at the Meet the Buyers event. - Credit: Archant

An aircraft hangar at Stansted was transformed into a City-style trading hall for the airport’s annnual Meet the Buyers procurement event.

Companies based at Stansted Airport have an estimated annual buying power for goods and services of around £500million, and last year’s Meet the Buyers generated £1.8m in new business opportunities for local and regional suppliers.

This year, the event was relocated to Inflite’s VIP business aviation hangar to accommodate the growing interest of the day, with the companies attending include Carillion, Galiford Try, UK Power Networks, Essex & Suffolk Water, Uttlesford and East Herts district councils and Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk county councils.

Hosting a business breakfast to kick-off proceedings, Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s managing director, said: “We know that an airport can create significant economic benefits for many people and businesses close to it, both directly and indirectly.

“We also recognise that Stansted Airport is part of a vibrant local community and it is only right that the community shares in the economic benefits of having an international airport on its doorstep. That is why we’re committed to working with local businesses wherever possible and we want everyone to share in the airport’s success and benefit from this new and exciting chapter in Stansted’s history.“

Also speaking at the breakfast was Penny Channer, deputy cabinet member for economic growth at Essex County Council, who said: “Essex is a gateway to the UK and a great place to do business.

“Events like Meet the Buyers give local businesses from Essex and the wider region a fantastic opportunity to gain new business and grow.”

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Dave Pearse from Essex & Suffolk Water said the day was a great success: “It’s one of the best Meet the Buyers I’ve been too. The venue has a real wow factor and the quality of the contacts made were absolutely outstanding.”

Also attending was Perrie Dunnett from Signus Communications, who said: “Our favourite part of the event was the networking. We met people we can both work with and work alongside. I called a company on the networking board; we had a 20 minute chat and now have a follow up meeting in the pipeline to discuss future work.”

First time visitor Paul Ballard from Mitsubishi Electric said: “As first time suppliers we’ve really enjoyed the day. We had nine meetings booked but managed to see 12 on the day. The contacts we’ve made have the potential to lead to six figure contracts.”

Rob Stefanovic from Omniserv added: “The venue is fantastic and we met a number of suppliers we’re working with as a result of last year’s event, and a lot of new suppliers that we are interested in working with in the future.”

Stansted Airport is the biggest single site employer in the eastern region with more than 10,000 people working for nearly 200 on-airport companies.

Meet the Buyers is organised by Stansted Airport and run by the Business and Enterprise Group and Marketing Kinetics.