Businesses Connect at Matchmaking Events

Companies use CIRAS matchmaking events to help secure government contracting work, connect with subcontractors, and meet potential suppliers.

“Getting in front of a large manufacturer can be difficult for smaller companies, and sifting through thousands of company profiles for a subcontractor can be daunting for original equipment manufacturers,” said Melissa Burant, CIRAS project manager. “Our supplier matchmaking events help break down barriers so large manufacturers can meet their small business subcontracting goals and smaller ones can get in on some of these government jobs. It’s just one way CIRAS is creating real solutions across the supply chain.”

CIRAS has hosted seven matchmaking events in the last five years, drawing 270 attendees. The process begins with a company profile that’s completed prior to each event. Profiles allow participants to decide who they want to meet even before the event starts.

“We ask everybody, ‘What are you good at? What are your capabilities? What does another company need to know about you so they can decide whether to set up a meeting?’ It’s about making a connection and starting the conversation; and that’s what we facilitate through these matchmaking events,” said Burant.

Burant also provides pre-event coaching to help both large manufacturers and smaller suppliers present themselves in ways that will pique the interest of potential collaborators.

Participation in a supplier matchmaking event doesn’t guarantee a connection will be made, but it is a good first step.

“You have to show up and speak up—and you have to do it repeatedly because what you’re building is familiarity and trust; you’re working on building that relationship, and that takes time,” said Burant. “But without a matchmaking event, it could take even more time.”

For more information, contact Melissa Burant at or 563-726-9958.