I already know I’m going to bid. Why should I attend the Bidder’s Conference?

A bidder’s conference aims to provide potential bidders or proposers with additional information and/or clarify the project’s requirements, scope, terms, and conditions.

Sometimes, when an RFP is released, potential respondents are invited to attend a bidders’ conference. A Bidders Conference (also called a pre-bid meeting or pre-proposal meeting) is a meeting organized by the contracting organization or agency soliciting proposals or bids for a specific contract or project.

During this conference (held online or in person), representatives from the contracting organization or agency will typically present detailed information about the project, including technical specifications, evaluation criteria, timelines, budget constraints, and limitations, as well as other relevant information that may impact the bidding process. Attendees at the conference may have the opportunity to as questions and seek clarifications about the project requirements, perceived discrepancies in the RFP, or any other concerns they may have.  

Participation in a bidders’ conference is typically not mandatory, but it is recommended for prospective bidders who are serious about submitting a bid or a proposal. (Note: in most instances of mandatory bidders’ conferences, proposal submissions from organizations that did not attend the bidders’ conference will not be reviewed at all). 

Attending a bidders’ conference, despite already knowing your intention to bid, can still provide several valuable benefits. Here are some reasons why you should always consider attending a bidders’ conference: 

  • Risk assessment and mitigation. Bidders’ conferences provide an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the project’s risks, challenges, limitations, and potential obstacles. By identifying and addressing these risks early on, you can develop a more robust bid demonstrating your ability to mitigate and overcome challenges, making your proposal more compelling. 


  • Competitive Intelligence: You can gauge the competition by attending the bidder’s conference. It’s an opportunity to gain insights into the other companies interested in the project, their expertise, and their approach. This information can help you assess the competition and adjust your bid strategy accordingly. 


  • Clarify requirements: Bidders’ conferences offer an opportunity to gain a clear understanding of the project requirements, specifications, and expectations directly from the organizations. Often the history and background of the project will also be presented, giving valuable insight into various aspects. You can ask questions and seek clarification on any ambiguities or uncertainties. This information can help you fine-tune your proposal, ensuring you address all necessary project elements. 


  • Networking opportunities: Bidders’ conferences are often attended by other potential bidders, industry experts, and key stakeholders. Engaging with these individuals can provide valuable networking opportunities. Building relationships and connections within the industry can lead to partnerships, collaborations, or future business opportunities. 


  • Relationship building: Bidders’ conferences provide a chance to establish rapport with the contracting organization. You can demonstrate your interest, commitment, and professionalism by attending and actively participating. Building a positive relationship with the contracting entity can enhance your chances of winning the bid and potentially lead to future collaborations. 


  • Access to additional information: Bidders’ conferences often offer additional information or materials related to the project that may not be available in the RFP. This can include technical drawings, site visits, or access to SMEs who can provide further insights. Obtaining such information can give you a competitive edge and allow you to refine your proposal more effectively. 


Attending a bidders’ conference is an opportunity to glean valuable information, engage with key stakeholders, understand the project’s history and requirements better, assess the competition, and increase your chances of submitting a strong and competitive bed. It allows you to gather insights that may not be available through other channels and helps you refine your bid strategy for a better chance of success. 

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