A bidder’s conference is a meeting that an agency will schedule upon releasing a new bid proposal. The bidder’s conference is designed to give interested and eligible vendors the chance to ask questions regarding the project. This will give vendors a better understanding if their business is interested in seeking out the project and also if their company is qualified to complete the work.
Often times a bidders conference will be scheduled soon after the proposal is released. How soon after the release date the bidder’s conference will take place all depends on the duration of the submission period. Contracts with very short turn around time will often schedule the conference within the first days of its release. Sometimes these contracts won’t have a bidder’s conference at all. It is very important for contractors to read through the specifications for each bid to determine if and when the bidder's conference will take place.
For bids that are open for a month or more, the bidder’s conference usually takes place within a week or two of the issued date. The bidder’s conference, also called a pre-proposal conference, is usually held at the site where the work for the project will take place. Along with answering questions for potential bidders, a pre-proposal conference will give bidders the chance to visit the work site. The bidder’s conference will sometimes include a tour of the site by the project manager as well.
When it comes to bidder’s conferences, each one will vary from contract to
contract. It is very important to note that some pre-proposal conference will be
mandatory, while some are optional. This will be immediately evident to bidder's
when reading through the bid specifications. If a bidder's conference is
required it will be noted within the documents as "mandatory". If the conference
is not mandatory, it will most often be specified as "optional" or
"non-mandatory." With that said, it is important to keep in mind that bidder's
conferences are a great way to establish report with government agencies and
also a great way to get your foot in the door.