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UK Tradeshow Programme

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UK Tradeshow Programme

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The UK Tradeshow Programme offers government support to help UK businesses successfully attend or exhibit at overseas trade shows.

UK businesses exporting, or thinking about exporting, can apply for support to:

  • exhibit at, or attend, approved overseas trade shows and conferences
  • potentially receive grants to offset some costs

Applications to exhibit at overseas trade shows open from 29 November 2021.

Applications to attend overseas trade shows (without exhibiting) open from January 2022.

Exhibiting at overseas trade shows can help you gain essential market knowledge and increase your:

  • company’s brand awareness amongst overseas buyers
  • business sales by securing new customers

This guidance is for the exhibition element of the programme. It will be updated with more information on attendance support in January 2022.

Support for exhibiting at overseas trade shows

The support available through the programme varies.

All successful applicants will receive training on successfully exhibiting at:

  • trade shows in general
  • the specific approved event(s) that they have applied for

Some businesses may also receive a grant of either £2,000 or £4,000 as financial support to cover:

  • exhibition space costs
  • stand costs (including design, construction and stand dressing)
  • conference fees, costs of preparing conference promotional material (where appropriate)


The maximum number of successful applications available to individual organisations is limited to one for the lifetime of the UK Tradeshow Programme.

General eligibility criteria

Eligible businesses must either:

  • a small to medium-sized enterprise ( SME) (less than 250 employees), based in the UK (excluding Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, and either:
  • sell products or services which substantially originate from the UK, or
  • add significant value to a product or service of non-UK origin
  • You may be required to evidence that you meet the criteria.

Programme eligibility criteria

To be eligible for support, you must be:

  • UK VAT registered
  • turning over annually between £250,000 to £5 million
  • exhibiting for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets

Also, you must:

  • be receiving assistance through the UK Tradeshow Programme for the first time
  • not have committed to attending the event before applying for support
  • be actively investigating export opportunities for your own business:having not previously exported, or
  • having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets

Financial support eligibility criteria

In addition to the above conditions, for financial support you must:

  • not receive any contributions, from another programme or body, towards the eligible costs covered by the UK Tradeshow Programme
  • not have received government aid in excess of the limits below:
  • if you are a business in Great Britain and state aid rules under the Northern Ireland Protocol do not apply: 325,000 SDR (approximately £332,000)
  • if you are a business within the scope of Northern Ireland Protocol State aid rules: €200,000, except for businesses in the sectors below
  • Some sectors have a lower limit for government aid. This is due to the Northern Ireland Protocol’s state aid rules.

    These limits and sectors are:

    • €20,000 if you are active in the fishery and aquaculture sector
    • €30,000 if you are active in the primary production of agriculture products

    UK Tradeshow Programme financial support is likely to constitute state aid or a subsidy to recipients.

    Ineligibility for support

    DIT will regard an SME as ineligible if:

    • there is evidence it is planning to close all operations or transfer its assets overseas or offshore jobs
    • the company or individual has a business record or business practices or products which is/are likely to cause offence in the overseas market and/or embarrass the UK government (for example, on corporate social responsibility grounds)
    • it is offering a product which is illegal to produce or sell in the UK or in the target market
    • the company’s product would breach export controls if sold abroad

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