Heathrow press releases

26 November, 2008

Hundreds of local firms take opportunity to ‘Meet the Buyers’

Representatives from over 300 local businesses attended the 12th annual BAA Heathrow Meet the Buyers, held on the 26 and 27 November at the Sofitel Heathrow Hotel, Terminal 5.  The always-popular event gave local businesses the chance to introduce their products and services to buyers from 65 major organisations based in and around Heathrow.  The event was officially opened by Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough.

Since the event began in 1997, it is estimated that Heathrow Meet the Buyers has helped local businesses to win over £80 million in new contracts.

Meet the Buyers reverses the traditional exhibition concept by placing potential buyers on stands for relevant local suppliers to sell to in a series of pre-arranged appointments. Suppliers are matched to the buyers’ purchasing requirements in advance of the event which saves companies valuable time looking for suitable suppliers. Over 5,000 face to face meetings are estimated to have taken place during the two day event.

Local businesswoman, Carolle Thompson from Surrey-based Star Learning, a training and development provider said, “Our company turnover has increased six-fold in five years and that’s largely due to Heathrow Meet the Buyers.”

Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough, opened the event. She praised the event, saying “I’m a great fan of Heathrow Meet the Buyers, which presents a real opportunity for local businesses. If Heathrow-based companies can procure locally and develop business locally, it’s a win-win situation for all as it’s important to develop purchasing relationships as neighbours.”

Joe Hardman, Economic Development Manager, BAA Heathrow said: “We are delighted once again to be sponsoring Heathrow Meet the Buyers, alongside our partners.  Year after year, this event adds real value to the economy around Heathrow by helping local companies win new business.  In the current economic climate, we believe that this year’s event is more important than ever.  Last year, Heathrow Meet the Buyers generated an estimated £5 million in new business: an impressive figure that we nevertheless aim to beat this year.”

Heathrow Meet the Buyers is supported by BAA Heathrow, Supply London, the London Development Agency, the local authorities of Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne and Slough Business Community Partnership.

Notes to editors

Comments from businesses attending the 2007 event.

TFA Interior Projects

Uxbridge-based TFA Interior Projects generated sales of around £300,000 from the event and are absolutely delighted with the outcome.   Barry Foreman who represented TFA at the event commented that “my boss had received invitations for the event for a number of years but never believed that anything would have come from attending. I had to convince him to let me and a colleague attend, but I don’t think he’ll need convincing next time!”  

Galleou Training Consultancy

Based in Hillingdon, Graham from Galleou Training stated that the best part about the Heathrow 2007 event was “simply the chance to meet so many opportunities in such a short period of time”. Graham followed up four leads made at the event.

Paramount Pest Control

Based in Ealing it was Paramount Pest Control’s first time at a Meet the Buyers event. They pursued five leads and stated that they had an ‘excellent’ chance of doing £8,000 worth of business with buyers met.


Tom Appleton from Romac had a total of eight pre arranged appointments on the day of the event and  subsequently followed up two of these by email, telephone and mailed information. Based in Hounslow, Tom predicted future business of £25,000 following the event.

Hire Station

Chris Jones from Hire Station based in Slough had an incredibly successful event and placed £20,000 worth of business. Providing plant and tool hire equipment he predicted that Hire Station had an excellent chance of placing £45,000 worth of business.

Proactive Technical Recruitment

Based in Spelthorne Proactive Technical Recruitment sent two of their sales staff down to the event and as such placed £500 worth of business. They predicted £3,000 of business generated from the event.

Taylor & Goodman

Based in Berkshire Taylor & Goodman are a mechanical and electrical company. It was their first time attending a Meet the Buyers event and they generated £25,000, rated their chances of gaining new business as excellent and predicted future business worth £180,000.