Government offers funds for firms to attend trade shows

trade shows
Graham Stuart

Businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,500 to attend international trade shows through the Department for International Trade’s Tradeshow Access Programme, Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has announced.

The scheme, which is launched today, provides financial support for UK SMEs to participate in overseas exhibitions and conferences that cover a range of sectors, from education to aerospace and creative to maritime. Successful businesses can use the grants to fund direct exhibiting costs, including stand costs and conference fees.

55 events are on the list, ranging from the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, to Cannes Lions Festival, to Summer Fancy Food in New York, and Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

Attending international conferences and events are an effective way for those new to exporting, or exploring new territories, to meet potential customers face-to-face and start the exporting process.

Mr Stuart, who is also Minister for Investment, said: “Attending trade shows helps businesses gain market knowledge, forge relationships and raise brand awareness among industry professionals. That is why I’m delighted to be announcing the next raft of TAP-supported events.

“TAP grants accompany a wide range of support businesses can access through the Department for International Trade. This includes dedicated teams of International Trade Advisers, sector specialists, and a network of staff across the world that are available to help businesses embark on, or develop, their exporting journey.”

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the year to October 2018, goods exports from the UK increased by 3.5% to £348 billion.

The number of businesses exporting to non-EU countries over the same period rose to 49,000. The most popular non-EU destinations for exporters include USA (19.9%), Australia (7.9%) and Switzerland (7.3%).