By Capt. Brad Tweedy, Army Contracting Command - QatarMarch 9, 2011
Members of the Army Contracting Command - Qatar and the U.S. Air Force's 379th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron conducted a Joint Industry Day at the Ramada Conference Center, Doha, Qatar, in February.
ACC - Qatar is located in the region on Camp As Saliyah and the 379th is at Al Udeid Air Base.
According to officials, there were many reasons for conducting the day-long event.
"First, the military contracting community hoped to broaden its collective vendor base by reaching out to identify new providers for required supplies and services," said Lt. Col. Paul Davidson, ACC-Qatar commander. "Secondly was to bring the vendors together for an overview of contracting procedures and orientation to our Web listings to explain in detail and encourage them in pursuing future opportunities. We also wanted to reinforce the fair and open practices of conducting business with the U.S. government operating in Qatar. Finally, we wanted to bring the Air Force and Army contracting professionals together to facilitate future collaboration and maximize our collective efforts here."
Extensive planning for the event began in July, including collaboration meetings with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Embassy economic developers, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Advertising was identified early as critical to the event. Joint coordination with the Doha Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy provided for access to the widest audience, resulting in more than 300 local business professionals attending the event, a significant increase from the 50 who attended the previous industry day.
Contracting experts from both ACC-QA and the 379th briefed topics critical to conducting business with the U.S. government and answered questions in an open forum to ensure everyone in attendance understood the requirements.
Feedback indicated the event was a huge success.
"New vendors were identified and are eager to compete for requirements," Davidson said. "The joint contracting community is closer and better postured for future collaboration and success."