A Plethora of Pre-Bid Meetings

Business PresentationLarry has been very busy! Several sets of drawings are scattered across the conference table, covered in red lines and notes. We have a healthy number of projects on the books at the moment, and I have been getting more and more involved in the process. This week we have two pre-bid meetings, and I am attending both! I like to be prepared, and since I have never been to or even heard of a pre-bid meeting, I headed straight to Google and started my research.

Pre-bid meetings are usually held during the bid/proposal preparation period. Typically an ad is placed in the newspaper to announce the meeting to local contractors. The purpose of a pre-bid meeting is to clarify any concerns bidders may have with the solicitation documents, scope of work and other details of the requirement. Pre-bid meetings are conducted by the client requesting the project, at an agreed upon venue. They prepare the agenda for the meeting, sometimes with help from the architect. Attendance is not always mandatory, but it is a good idea for prospective bidders to attend. Pre-bid meetings are held to interpret the technical and procurement aspects of the solicitation documents. This gives potential bidders a chance to voice their concerns. It is very important that the provided solicitation documents are clear, comprehensive, and non-restrictive. During a pre-bid meeting, these concerns are taken in consideration to help improve the solicitation documents. Pre-bid meetings are held with the hope to give bidders all the proper information needed to assist them with submitting a bid or proposal that responds to the requirements. Pre-bid meetings are typically held one week or more after the announcement of the invitation for bids or request for proposals. This allows prospective bidders to have plenty of time to prepare. They are able to read and study the solicitation documents, and produce a request for clarification, if they have one. The venue of the pre-bid meeting should be easily accessible to the target market.

I attended my first pre-bid meeting on Tuesday. I learned that government and school projects typically need at least three contractors in attendance to proceed. This particular meeting was for the City, and was not mandatory. A woman from the City office conducted the meeting, reading through the solicitation documents carefully. Once she finished reading, she answered questions from potential bidders. It was a quick, but informative meeting. At the conclusion, everyone walked out to the project site to take photos and get a better idea of the scope of work. My second pre-bid meeting is this afternoon. It is a mandatory meeting. Pretty soon, I will be a pro at these meetings!