The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) regularly run an event called ‘Meet the Buyer’. Meet the Buyer is like speed dating for businesses with government agencies. It is designed to give small and medium-sized businesses a chance to get a foot in the door to working with the government. Selected business have 15 minutes to present their wares to potential buyers with meetings held back to back to help squeeze the most out of the day.
Managing the calendars for previous Meet the Buyer events had been a daunting task and had previously been conducted manually which had resulted in a significant administrative burden.
The challenge for PublicVoice was to improve upon the previous events’ manual process and offer a modernised, streamlined solution which made the process easier for participating government agencies, businesses and MBIE.
PublicVoice devised an online solution which enabled government agencies and participating businesses to control the process themselves. The ‘Speed Dating Solution’ allowed companies to apply for a meeting with a government agency relevant to their products and services. The agencies were then able to shortlist which businesses they felt would be most appropriate and likely to be future candidates for conducting business with.
Successful businesses’ were able to sign in and schedule meetings from a list of available times which suited them. The online solution allowed real-time timetabling, booking and cancellation of appointments. Government agencies could log in at any stage during the process and view how their day was filling up as well as details about who they would be meeting with and when.
The speed dating system allowed hundreds of appointments to be filled through an online registration process which could then be managed with different views of scheduling available for the various parties. The solution was built to strict privacy concerns while allowing the correct information to be readily available to the relevant parties.
In total 956 New Zealand businesses registered to pitch their products and services to government agencies. After the shortlisting process, many of the businesses had multiple meetings generating a wealth of business connections for all those involved. In total, 570 individual meetings were held.
The solution provided by PublicVoice removed the administrative burden associated with the scale of such an event and enabled an entirely automated process in bringing business and government together.
Feedback from the government agencies was that the whole process was “brilliant” and that the management of shortlisting and scheduling of meetings had been “excellent”.
PublicVoice has provided a now tried and tested solution allowing out of the box, customised software, and ready to be implemented into similar stakeholder engagement situations.
MBIE praised PublicVoice in saying that “it was an excellent product”, it “worked really well” and that the “customer service provided was excellent!”