Trade Show Access Programme


Trade Show Access Programme

The Tradeshow Access Programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. The funding helps your business gain:

  • Market knowledge
  • Experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows
  • Advice and support from trade experts

How the service works

The grants are based around the Tradeshow Access Programme calendar of supported events, with an accredited Trade Challenge Partner leading the UK’s involvement at each event. Businesses usually take part as a group, led by the trade challenge partner for that trade show. If the Trade Challenge Partner is a membership based organisation, there’s no need for participants to become a member to take part in the Tradeshow Access Programme.

Latest calendar of supported events

You can access the latest calendar of overseas trade shows here

What you’ll get

The Department for International Trade (DIT) can offer grants to eligible businesses taking part in the programme. The grants must be matched by your own expenditure on direct exhibiting costs, for example:

  • exhibition space costs
  • stand costs – including design, construction and stand dressing

In some cases grants may also be agreed to match against direct conference costs where the purpose of attending is to promote the business, for example:

  • conference fees
  • cost of preparing conference promotional material

Grant levels may be subject to change. The Trade Challenge Partner will confirm the level of grant available, which will be between £500 and £2500. The Trade Challenge Partner will inform you in writing about any service or management fee charges before you sign up.


From 1 October 2017, the maximum number of grants available to individual companies will be limited to 6. The grants can be taken in any market.

To be eligible for a grant you must:

  • be based in the UK (excluding Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)
  • be a small or medium-sized enterprise, UK university, UK government funded centre of higher or further learning or UK government funded research organisation
  • be either actively investigating export opportunities for your own business
  • be a new exporter (exports accounting for no more than 25% of your turnover) or have exported for no more than 10 years
  • be within the State Aid limit of €200,000 over any rolling 3 year period
  • not receive any other public funds towards eligible costs for the grant you are applying for
  • not have been fully committed to attend the event prior to seeking the grant

You must also be able to demonstrate that you are either:

  • selling products or services which originate from the UK
  • adding significant value to a product or service of non-UK origin

TAP Support Scheme for Overseas Exhibitions – Terms & Conditions (PDF, 240KB, 9 pages).

How to apply

Applications for the Tradeshow Access Programme must be made 8 weeks before the start of the event.

To apply, contact the Trade Challenge Partner organisation leading the trade show.

You can get this information here

The Trade Challenge Partner will send you more information about the trade show, level of grant available and an application form. They will then make the grant application on your behalf to DIT.

If you haven’t applied for a Tradeshow Access Programme grant before, the Trade Challenge Partner will contact a DIT International Trade Adviser (ITA) to help you with your application. The DIT adviser may contact you to discuss DIT services that might also help you with exporting.

More help with exporting?

To access or find out more contact Catherynn Dunstan at:


Tel: 0844 257 8450