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5 Tips for Navigating the NYC Procurement Fair

  1. 5 Tips for Navigating the NYC Procurement FairGoal: Your attendance at the NYC Procurement Fair should be tied to a specific and measurable goal.  Don’t make the mistake of wandering around aimlessly collecting information.  Instead, do some research before the fair to identify agencies that you have the greatest possibility of doing business with.  Come to the fair prepared with a list.  In addition, another goal could be to familiarize yourself with the numerous services and programs available to small businesses — including training grants, contract financing, technical assistance, bonding assistance, and mentoring programs.
  2. Register and Update Online Business Profiles: Doing business with NYC requires you have accurate profiles in the NYC Payee Information Portal and Passport.  If you are MWBE certified, it’s also recommended you have an accurate profile in the NYC MWBE Directory.  Buyers will often review your profiles in the various databases before choosing to do business with you.
  3. The Right Tools:
    1. Elevator Pitch: An elevator pitch is used as part of a conversation that is focused on telling people what you do in a clear concise manner and scheduling a follow-up.
    2. Capability Statement: Buyers often use the capability statement as a tool to determine whether your company is a good fit for their agency. Make sure the capability statement meets generally accepted standards for format, and it is targeted to NYC agency buyers.  The capability statement should be branded and printed on high quality paper.
    3. Business Cards: Having business cards sounds basic, but I can’t tell you how many times I run into folks at these fairs who ran out of cards. Since business cards are relatively inexpensive these days, I recommend creating a business card specifically for government marketing that includes certifications and NIGP codes.
  4. Attributes and Attitudes: This may seem basic, but your attitude generally reflects your outcomes. Before you attend the procurement fair, think about what kind of impression you would like people to have about you and how you might accomplish that.  Something as simple as a smile, saying thank you, and asking open ended questions goes a long way towards making a good impression.
  5. Strategy for Following Up: All too often I see people attend these fairs and then fizzle out when it comes to follow-up.  The best way to avoid this is to create a plan for follow-up before you attend the procurement fair.  How will you follow-up and when?  What materials will you send? How will you track and measure results?

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