MAY 4, 2006
AWIB Annual Conference: Procurement Opportunities for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises was a magnet for business owners from industries as varied as food products to technology to construction. Over 400 clamored to attend the event, including some from Massachusetts, Georgia and Alabama, all vying for the last few spots to attend a packed-to-capacity conference. The high demand conference, a leading event for M/WBEs, included something for all business owners.
Corporate & Government Procurement Panels: Three informative panels covered "Doing Business with the Federal Government", "Doing Business with New York-New Jersey/New York City and Public Authorities", and the always popular one on "Selling to Corporate America". Attendees got a comprehensive overview of the procurement process, tips to get a foot in the door and examples of winning M/WBE strategies. In addition, the opportunity to network with the speakers afterwards was mentioned as invaluable by several attendees.
Corporate Matchmaking: A&P Supermarket, Aramark, Bank of New York, CBS, Con Edison, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car, FedEx, HBO, IBM, Merck, New Line Cinema, Time Warner and Wal-Mart met one-on-one with nearly 100 pre-qualified M/WBEs offering products and services the companies were looking to source. Many M/WBEs reported excellent meetings with the corporations and we wish them luck on turning those to full fledged contracts.
Construction Opportunities: With so many huge construction projects slated in New York, we felt it only appropriate to hold a forum on potential it holds for M/WBEs. AWIB's special session on construction opportunities featured representatives from Bovis Lend Lease (New Mets Stadium), The Darman Group (Brooklyn Rail Yard/Nets Arena) and Phoenix Constructors (World Trade Center Transportation Hub) discuss how M/WBEs can be a part of these projects. Again, the opportunity to meet the key players and ask questions was cited as a valuable opportunity.
Conference Exhibitors: In addition to the panels, corporate matchmaking and construction opportunities sessions attendees met with over 20 government and local authorities who were exhibitors throughout the conference. Attendees picked up information on doing business with these agencies as well as on M/WBE certification. Agencies included Empire State Development Corporation, Internal Revenue Service, International Trade Administration, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NJ Transit, NY Dormitory Authority, NY Power Authority, NYC Board of Education, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Housing Authority, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Port Authority of NY/NJ, U.S. Department of Commerce-MBDA, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. General, Services Administration and U.S. Small Business Administration as well as ConEdison, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, IBM and Merck.
The conference was held at The Bank of New York in Lower Manhattan and a special thanks to them for hosting the event and providing breakfast and lunch for the well over-booked event. Despite having more people than the space could hold, we had to close registration days in advance and many M/WBEs couldn't attend. Please make sure you register early next year. Here's a look at the event flyer and pictures from the conference.
For more information on prior annual procurement conferences: