Bidder Conferences

Posted on July 28, 2009 by


A Bidder Conference is a project management technique used for procurements. It is a technique of the fourth edition PMBOK®’s Conduct Procurements process.

They may also be called contractor conferences, vendor conferences, and pre-bid conferences. A Bidder Conferences is a meeting for potential bidders to all fairly understand the buyer’s requirements. If the buyer were to meet individually with bidders or answer a particular bidder’s question privately, they would not all receive the same information—placing some bidders at a disadvantage.

Imagine that Emma wants to pay one of her children to bake a dessert. She meets with all three of her children at the same time to inform them that she’ll pay one of them to bake a dessert that serves ten people by six o’clock this evening. Her oldest daughter wants to know if she’ll give preference to chocolate desserts, and Emma says “yes.” Her youngest daughter wants to know if the dessert can be a chilled dessert. Emma tells them all that the dessert should not be a chilled dessert. Her son wants to know if Emma will go to the grocery store if they need an ingredient not in the house, and Emma says that she will go to the grocery store, but won’t spend more than ten dollars on ingredients they don’t already have. After the Bidder Conference, the children are dismissed and each of them writes a simple proposal. The oldest daughter will make a German Chocolate cake if she is paid ten dollars. The youngest daughter proposes to make brownies for three dollars, and the son proposes to make s’mores for two dollars. At this point, Emma decides which proposal to accept. Of course as the buyer she reserves the right to keep and sample each and every desert!

Also see the earlier posting of Proposal Evaluation Techniques (posted July 20, 2009).