Rachel Chilton is the Deputy USAID Industry Liaison and Deputy Communications Director for USAID's Office of Acquisition and Assistance.
New to partnering with USAID? Then you’ll want to be on the lookout for Industry Days!
Industry Days are part- or full-day events hosted by USAID Missions or headquarters. They can take place in-person or virtually, and are typically structured as an open forum for USAID to have the opportunity to share information about a specific anticipated funding opportunity, to collect verbal feedback from interested prospective partners, and for prospective partners to participate in a question-and-answer session. Industry Days are used by USAID in both assistance and acquisition opportunities.
Industry Day events are announced publicly prior to a specific funding opportunity on SAM.gov (contracts) or Grants.gov (grants and cooperative agreements), as well as noted on the Agency’s Business Forecast under the co-creation section of a listing. These events will also be highlighted on WorkwithUSAID.org’s new events page.
Why, and How, Should I Participate in a USAID Industry Day?
Industry Days are great opportunities for interested offerors or applicants to learn about a particular funding opportunity. They can also be a useful chance to network and identify other organizations that your organization may potentially partner with in responding to a solicitation.
Below are some tips to keep in mind about participating in an Industry Day:
- Carefully read the Industry Day description and follow all instructions about RSVPing to the event.
- Do your homework. Research the anticipated activity objectives for meaningful engagement. Come prepared with questions about the anticipated opportunity.
- Be ready to engage, provide insightful feedback, and network with other organizations as well as USAID staff.
- Budget your funds for travel to and from the event, if in-person.
- Schedule enough time to be present during the full event.
Why Are Industry Days Important for USAID?
Industry Days at USAID serve as an invaluable part of the Agency’s partnership process.
Engaging with prospective partners throughout the whole lifecycle of the procurement process, from pre-solicitation to award, helps USAID to be better able to:
- Understand the existing marketplace and capabilities of industry;
- Define project and activity design, objectives, and implementation;
- Improve scopes of work, statement of objectives, or program descriptions;
- Communicate directly with industry by answering questions posed by prospective offerors or applicants;
- Encourage new partners to network with established organizations to stimulate innovative thinking with new fresh ideas; and
- Provide potential partners with insights into how USAID plans to achieve the intended outcomes of an activity.
It’s important to note that participating in an Industry Day will not give any advantage to an interested prospective partner when it comes time to respond to a solicitation. If you are unable to attend an Industry Day, you will not be prevented from responding to an opportunity and will be able to review the notes and resources from the event online.
Keep an eye out for USAID Industry Days for your chance to learn more about upcoming opportunities!