Wendy Davies, Stansted Airport's Head of Supply Chain, kicked off proceedings at the highly successful business workshop, and outlined the company's new supply chain strategy for 2010 and set out a clear agenda of work priorities to support local business.
"This region is a great place to do business," said Mrs Davies. "There is little doubt that Stansted Airport plays a vital role in the regional economy, and we are determined that local suppliers should have more opportunities to share in the benefits which the airport brings to the area. By working together we can all help to each other to achieve this aim."
Danny Doyle, General Manager of the Pearse Hotel in Bishop's Stortford, said the event provided a real opportunity for local businesses to work with the airport: "This year's Meet the Buyers reinforced the wind of change that's swept across Stansted Airport. There's now a real willingness to interact and work with local based companies which indicates to me we can clearly work towards cementing a true partnership."
Now in its ninth year, Stansted Airport Meet the Buyers is one of the largest procurement seminars in the South East. Organised for the airport by the Essex Chambers of Commerce, it focuses on pre-arranged appointments for buyers from local, national and international companies.
Speaking at the event's international trade seminar, Robert Cobley, Senior Market Adviser at the British Embassy in Copenhagen, said: "Companies in the East of England have a fantastic opportunity to win new business and export goods and services to Denmark thanks to their proximity to Stansted Airport.
"Recognising cities like Copenhagen can be reached easily and quickly will open up new markets and drive growth. Stansted's excellent facilities and route network enable buyers and suppliers to meet face-to-face to 'do the deal' - still the best and most trusted way to do business.
"In this region, the only limits to a company's ambition are those they place upon themselves, so I would urge businesses, big and small, to broaden their horizons, take advantage of the numerous opportunities that Stansted Airport can help provide and maximise the huge benefits that trade internationally can bring."
As a curtain raiser, more than 160 of the region’s top business and community representatives attended a gala dinner on Monday.
Guest speaker for the evening was former prime minister's daughter and TV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here winner, Carol Thatcher.