- What is the Tennessee Business Matchmaking Program?
- Who is Tennessee Business Matchmaking for?
- How many appointments can a participant expect?
- What is the agenda for the Tennessee Business Matchmaking Events?
- What is the format for the Business Matchmaking meetings?
- How does the Business Matchmaking process work?
- How do you match buyers and sellers?
- Will participating companies get government or corporate contracts during the regional events?
- How is a small business defined?
- What does participation cost?
- How do small businesses pay the registration fee?
- How and when do small businesses and small manufacturers register?
- Can a business register in person at events?
- How many representatives from each company may attend?
- Which buyers (government agencies and large corporations) participate in Business Matchmaking?
What is the Tennessee Business Matchmaking program?
Tennessee Business Matchmaking presents business-to-business matchmaking conferences offered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Its purpose is to match small and diversity businesses with federal, state, and local government agencies and large corporations that have actual contract opportunities. The goal is to stimulate jobs and growth for Tennessee’s small business. In addition to matchmaking opportunities, business owners will have access to expert small business advisors in training sessions and the exhibitor hall.
Who is Tennessee Business Matchmaking for?
The program is specifically tailored to existing small businesses and small manufacturers that are prepared for the challenges of doing business with government agencies and large corporations.
How many appointments can a participant expect?
On average, each participating small business will have 3-5 appointments. There are opportunities to obtain more appointments on-site with special last minute availability and many businesses get upwards of 10 appointments by pursuing these opportunities the day of the event.
What is the typical agenda for the Tennessee Business Matchmaking Events?
||Coffee & Registration
||Business Matchmaking Orientation
||One-on-One Appointments between Buyers & Sellers
||Lunch and Procurement Training
||One-on-One Appointments between Buyers & Sellers
||Networking Reception/Closing Remarks
||Appointment Scheduling Computer Kiosk
|* Note: Times will vary somewhat from event to event.
What is the format for the Business Matchmaking meetings?
Scheduled meetings are ten (10) minutes in length with a three-minute break in between to allow buyers and sellers to move to their next appointment. Here is a suggested way to break down each twelve minute meeting:
- 2 minutes – Introduce your company and give a brief company overview
- 3 minutes – Describe your products or services
- 2 minutes – Describe your past performance and successes achieved
- 3 minutes – Interact with the buyer and learn more about opportunities and next steps
How does the Business Matchmaking process work?
The Department of Economic and Community Development has developed an online matchmaking program that allows a small business, or “seller,” to create a business profile for each matchmaking event. The business profile provides company information, including the products and services a company offers. The system “matches” the sellers by their products and services with the “buyers”. Once a “match” is made, the seller has the option of requesting an appointment with that particular buyer. All appointment setting for each regional event occurs in the weeks before each event.
How do you match buyers and sellers?
The matchmaking system matches “buyers” and “sellers” primarily by their NAICS codes, or North American Industry Classification System codes. In addition, the system reviews supplemental information, including previous customers, capabilities and other information provided during registration. To maximize your matchmaking opportunity, be sure and list all appropriate NAICS codes and provide descriptions of your business when asked during the registration process. It is the responsibility of each seller and buyer to correctly enter their product and service codes prior to each event.
Will participating companies get government or corporate contracts during the regional events?
The Tennessee Business Matchmaking Program does not guarantee contracts because of the nature of the formal bidding process between buyers and suppliers. These events create opportunities for small businesses to hold personal, one-on-one meetings with potential clients that would have taken weeks or months to schedule on their own
How is a small business defined?
Business Matchmaking follows the SBA’s standards of a small business. Size standards have been established for all for-profit economic activities, or industries, in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For complete details, visit http://www.sba.gov/size.
What does participation cost?
There is a $35 registration fee for each small business representative. Up to two (2) representatives may attend per company. This fee has been subsidized by sponsorships, including the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services, among others.
There is no cost for the buyers to participate.
Companies that wish to exhibit, but not participate in the one-on-one appointments may participate in the exhibit hall for $100.00.
How do small businesses pay the registration fee?
Payment will be made on a secure website by using a debit or credit card. No other forms of payment will be accepted. Once you register at Tennessee Business Matchmaking Site you will be directed to a secure online payment site.
How and when do small businesses and small manufacturers register?
The first step to register is to create an online business profile at http://www.tn.gov/ecd/matchmaking. The deadline to create a profile will vary with each event. The online profile will register you for the event. Within 1-2 weeks of the event, you will be notified via email to schedule your appointments with buyers. Your next, final step will be to visit the event website, see which “buyers” you have matched with and to schedule your appointments.
Can a business register in person at events?
Extremely limited on-site registration will be available IF there are open appointments remaining the day of the event. It is highly recommended to pre-register for the event, because you will be able to schedule your appointments in advance and have access to more appointment opportunities. If you wait to register on-site, you will have fewer options to schedule appointments with buyers, because appointment scheduling is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buyers’ schedules vary with each event and with the number of sellers. If you register on-site, be prepared to arrive early and stay all day. The on-site registration fee is $55.
How many representatives from each company may attend?
Two (2) representatives from each participating small business may attend the conference. Each representative must pay the registration fee. Appointments will be made per company NOT per representative. It is against Business Matchmaking policies for a company to send two representatives and try to meet with two different buyers at the same time. We do not allow this to occur, because it limits all other participants’ access to the buyers. If a company is caught in violation of this policy, its representatives may be asked to leave the conference immediately.
Which buyers (government agencies and large corporations) participate in Business Matchmaking?
The list of buyers – agencies and corporations – who have either confirmed participation or expressed strong interest in participating in Business Matchmaking can be found at http://www.tnecd.gov/matchmaking. This list is updated on a regular basis, as the event date(s) near.