Tradeshow Access Programme


Attending trade shows presents a great opportunity to network and broadcast your brand to a larger audience, whether that is consumer based, industry specific or a combination between the two. Providing you have a good looking exhibition to mark your presence it can lead to new business opportunities or new ideas you hadn’t fully considered. According to a survey conducted by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, Europe hosts at least 48% of the world’s exhibitions, with the US and China following, each with around a 20% share. If you are a small business looking to attend trade shows in foreign countries the government can provide you with a grant as part of the Tradeshow Access Programme.

There are over 400 events all over the world that the government can provide grants for. These range from consumer electronics shows to heavy industry expos. The financial support can be used to cover exhibition space costs, stand and furnishing costings not to mention conference fees and generation of promotional material. A business can apply for a total of 12 grants but at least 6 must be placed in high growth markets, including Brazil, China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

There are four levels of grant money.

  • European Location – £1,500
  • long haul – £2,000
  • high growth market – £2,500
  • first time exhibitor at an event in a high growth market – £3,000

To be apply for a grant, you must do so at least 8 weeks before the event is due to take place. You must also be:

  • a company based in the UK, providing products and/or services that are primarily based in the UK.
  • an SME, a learning institution or a government funded research organisation.
  • be relatively new to the industry – less than 10 years old.
  • with the €200,00 limit of state aid for a 3 year period.
  • not receiving any other costs that contribute to grant you are applying.
  • not certain of event attendance prior to grant application.

If your business is successful in gaining funding, it will join a group of businesses all represented by the corresponding trade organisation for the particular show. You can find more information here, from the government’s tradeshow access programme website. Details are constantly being updated, with more events be added to the roster. It can provide a worthwhile opportunity to really make a presence in front of a larger audience.

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