https://digitalmarketplace.blog.gov.uk/2015/09/16/buyer-and-supplier-events-an-overview/

Buyer and supplier events: an overview

The Digital Marketplace makes it simpler, clearer and faster for the public sector to buy what they need to build world-class services. To do this well, it’s really important for us to engage with, and gather feedback from, our users regularly.

Speaking to users

One type of engagement comes in the form of educating users. During August and September Government Digital Service (GDS) and  Crown Commercial Service (CCS) joined up with techUK to host 14 events in 7 cities. The aim was to show buyers how to commission what they need, simply and quickly via the Digital Marketplace, and educate suppliers on how to sell to government.

What we did

We held separate buyer and supplier sessions in London, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester.

Each event included:

  • information about the Digital Marketplace
  • a presentation on delivering digital services in an agile way for the buyer events (presented by Caroline Mulligan, Digital Marketplace’s Service Manager)
  • advice on how to buy or sell (presented by Lucy Belsey, CCS G-Cloud Category Manager and Christopher Short, Digital Marketplace’s Commissioning Manager)
  • a speaker to share their experience of buying or supplying
  • a question and answer session

One supplier said: “The presenters were excellent. They were professional, knowledgeable and informative.”

Feedback

355 suppliers and 165 buyers attended the sessions. 42% of them responded to our request for feedback.

Here are our top level findings:

Buyers

  • 88% said the event has encouraged them to buy via the Digital Marketplace in the future.
  • 56% found the event either excellent or very good.
  • 34% found it fairly good. However, 91% of them said the event has encouraged them to use the Digital Marketplace.

Here are the resources we directed buyers to:

Evaluating your Digital Marketplace shortlist
How to buy from Digital Services 2
How Bristol City Council used the Digital Marketplace
How the National Audit Office used the Digital Marketplace
Digital Marketplace buyers’ guide

Suppliers

  • 79% found the event either excellent or very good.
  • 84% said they were likely to apply to the next iterations of frameworks.
  • Of the 355 suppliers who attended, 54% represented SMEs.
  • 66% are already on G-Cloud and/or the Digital Services framework. This means that 33% were new suppliers interested in learning how to supply to government.

Here are the resources we directed suppliers to:

Information on the G6 and G7 iterations of the G-Cloud framework
How to sell cloud services on the Digital Marketplace
Digital Services 2 is now live on the Digital Marketplace
G-Cloud suppliers’ guide

Further information

We'll be sharing the themes that came up at the events, as well as the most commonly asked buyer and supplier questions, in a post soon.

Upcoming events

Please keep up to date with future events and free training by visiting our events page.