First ever ‘Meet the Buyers’ event at EMA hailed a success

The inaugural ‘Meet the Buyers’ event hosted by East Midlands Airport (EMA) saw more than 100 firms networking and having initial meetings which are set to generate millions of pounds worth of business.

The event held on the airport site brought 180 attendees representing more than 100 small and medium sized local businesses together with 18 major buyers, including EMA’s parent company Manchester Airport Group. More than 600 meetings were held across the day, proving the opportunity to create new business partnerships and open the door for local firms to enter the significant supply chain surrounding airport operations as well with as non-airport-related clients.

EMA’s Managing Director Steve Griffiths, who opened the event, said: “I was delighted to welcome many local businesses to our inaugural Meet the Buyers event.

“The buyers who attended have a combined purchasing power worth millions of pounds in potential new sales and contracts and business opportunities for local and regional companies. We have recently embarked on a five-year, £120m investment programme so the event presented a great opportunity for local businesses to be a part of that.

“East Midlands Airport and our unrivalled cargo operations contribute significantly to the local economy and create a vital supply chain. We are therefore geographically and strategically in a good position to host an event of this kind to help local and regional companies win new business, and I hope it will become the region’s leading procurement event.”

Suzanne McCreedy, Chief Commercial Officer at UMi – who organised the event on EMA’s behalf - said: “The first ever Meet the Buyer event at East Midlands Airport was a real catalyst for making it easier for local SMEs to connect with major buyers in the region. More than 600 pre-matched appointments were held, generating millions of pounds worth of opportunities which will go to directly support local businesses and the economy.

“The event couldn't have been at a better time, as the airport announced a £120m investment programme over the next five years, with an extensive range of improvements to passenger facilities, security arrangements, airfield equipment and other aspects of airport operation underway or in the pipeline.

"It was an exciting day full of energy and positivity, an indication of what is to come for the area's businesses and people."