About the GRO-Biz Conference
Federal, state, and local governments spend millions of dollars every year to purchase products and services from small businesses in Wyoming. Many entrepreneurs aren’t taking advantage of this potential market which is constantly on the lookout for food, clothing, construction services, and much more. The upcoming GRO-Biz Conference in Wyoming is the best chance of the year in our state to learn everything there is to know about government contracting.
This year’s annual GRO-Biz Conference takes place in virtually on March 8-10, 2022 and promises to deliver a robust offering of matchmaking, networking, and learning opportunities for Wyoming’s small businesses. Whether you are new to the idea of selling your goods or services to the government or you have been working in contracting for years, here’s a quick look at why you should attend:
Reason One: Meet your Reps
A vital part of selling to the government is getting to know the agencies in your area and the contracting staff who work for them. Federal, state, and local procurement representatives from all over our region will be on hand to speak with you face-to-face about government contracting opportunities for your small business. This is your BEST chance this year to make these connections and get all of your questions answered.
Reason Two: Learning Opportunities
There will be two tracks to choose from: beginner offerings in the mornings, and advanced topics in the afternoon. During each lunch hour we will offer 30 minute information sessions with contracting officers from around the region. You can mix-and-match a schedule that is the best fit for you.
Reason Three: Powerful Networking
The GRO-Biz Conference provides the opportunity to meet virtually with procurement representatives, but is also an opportunity to meet with other small business owners, experts from multiple business resource organizations, and dignitaries from local, state, and regional governments. Added bonus, you get to stay and run your business, dropping into the sessions that best fit your needs!
Now that you know WHY you should be there, here are some practical ways to prepare to get the most out of this year’s conference:
TIP: Do Your Homework
- Attend the upcoming Lunch and Learn on networking and connecting
- Do a little detective work into which agencies might be interested in your goods or services.
- Once you’ve identified some potential customers, get to know them. What is their mission? What are their goals?
- Explore the bids and past projects they have put out to get an idea of what their needs are — then prepare some solutions!
- Find any available forecasts that outline the agency’s procurement goals for the year.
TIP: Create Your Marketing Materials
- Present yourself as a professional by coming to the conference with quality business cards — if you have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, SAM Unique Entity Identity (UEI) and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code, include those items.
- Have a professional website ready.
- Bring a polished capability statement.
- We know the virtual space can seem strange, but it can also be a way to connect.
- Try typing into the zoom chat, add your contact information to the Jamboard, or share your short pitch during the happy hour and trivia session.
Help is Available
If this sounds a bit overwhelming, no sweat! Advisors from the Wyoming Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network are here to help you prepare. Here are some ways we can support you:
- Research assistance
- Review of marketing materials, website, and social media
- Assistance with creating a powerful capability statement
- Help getting a DUNS number and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM)
- And more!
To learn more or to register for this year’s GRO-Biz Conference, visit WyomingSBDC.org/grobiz. Unlike in the past, this year’s event will focus solely on government contracting. We hope you’ll join us!
About the Author: Katie Christensen was born and raised in Carbon County, Wyoming. After living in Oregon and Ohio, and traveling abroad, she now resides in Laramie with her family. Katie is excited to help small businesses across the state launch into and thrive in the realm of government contracting. She has worked with the Wyoming Arts Council, the University of Wyoming, and has experience with grants at local, state, and federal levels. Currently, Katie loves to be with her family outside as much as possible, enjoying everything Wyoming has to offer, except when she’s at home working in her studio.