Businesses that are looking to market their products or services to some of the region’s major corporations can meet face-to-face with prospective procurement personnel during the Southern California Minority Business Development Council’s (SCMBDC) 40th annual Minority Business Opportunity Day (MBOD), Feb. 17 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort in Industry Hills.

The cost of the event is $35 per person in advance and $50 at the door. The resort is located at One Industry Hills Parkway.

Entrepreneurs such as audio video production companies, marketing firms, janitorial service providers and others in the start-up or growth phase can talk with procurement personnel from companies such as Toyota Motor, the Walt Disney, Macy’s West, UPS and American Airlines.

The featured workshop will provide tips and techniques on how to do business with the high-tech industry, and will include executives from Apple, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Oracle. A number of other seminars are also planned.

Those business owners who have been trying to make connections with buyers within a company, but have not yet been successful, might consider setting up one-on-one interviews with procurement officers. To do this, just go to the SCMBDC Web site at www.scmbdc.org and fill out an application or call (213) 689-6960, and have one faxed to you. The forms are required in order to best match a minority business with the corporation most likely looking to purchase that particular product or service.

Finally, during the Business Opportunity Exhibit Fair, which happens from 11:50 a.m. to 4 p.m. participants will have one more opportunity to network with corporate and government procurement officials, who will have booths in the fair.

Some minority firms will also have booths, and this is a good way for other minority businesses to network with them with an eye toward developing partnering or joint venture opportunities
SCMBDC officials say business owners who come to the event expecting to walk away with a contract will probably be very disappointed. Instead the entrepreneurs should know that the corporations who attend this event are seeking to do business with minority companies because it makes good economic sense.

They should also view MBOD as a way to establish contacts, put names to faces and cultivate relationships that could lead to business in the future.