How to be eligible for the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)


The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) provides funding for some businesses to exhibit overseas.  It is a UK Government funded scheme which applies to certain trade shows and conferences.  To be eligible you have to apply and meet certain criteria.  Here we outline these criteria for you.


Exhibiting at an overseas trade show can enable you to:

  • acquire local market knowledge and make useful new contacts
  • gain new experience in attending and making the most of overseas events
  • get help and support from industry experts on maximising your presence

(TAP) provides grants for eligible businesses which contribute to the costs of exhibiting at overseas events.

How the programme works

Every year the Department for International Trade compiles a list of the key events that will be taking place that year.  These are listed as approved shows and businesses can apply for financial support to attend them.  Businesses are entitled to apply for funding for a maximum of 6 shows.  On top of the grant, businesses who submit a successful application will be supported by a Trade Challenge Partner for each show.  These are individuals who are experts in their field.  You and other businesses will take part as a group, led by the Trade Challenge Partner.



What the grant covers

If your application is successful you will receive between £500 and £2,500 per show.  You can use this money for:

  • Booking the floor space
  • Purchasing an exhibition stand
  • Any attendance charges
  • Promotional products

The Trade Challenge Partner will be there to guide you through the exhibiting process.  They will help you make the most of your attendance at the show.  Their advice will cover:

  • Helping prepare staff for the show
  • Assisting with your entry to the show catalogue
  • Supporting UK attendees at the show in person
  • Including the appropriate government branding
  • Processing grant applications


In order to be successful in applying for a grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a small or medium-sized company with fewer than 250 members of staff
  • Your annual turnover must be between £83,000 and £5 million
  • You can be a UK University, government-funded centre of higher education or research
  • You must be UK based (excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands unless UK registered)
  • You must be seeking to export goods or already doing so, having not done so before
  • You must fall within the State Aid limit of 200,000 euros over a rolling 3 year period
  • You may not be receiving any other form of funding towards the event
  • You must apply for the grant before committing to the event
  • The products you are selling must be from the UK or benefit the UK economy

These criteria are subject to change so please check the government website for the most up to date information.


You must apply for the Tradeshow Access Programme at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the event.  For an application form, contact the TAP Trade Challenge Partner Organisation assigned to the trade show. You can find this information on the calendar of supported events.

You will receive further information regarding the event from the Trade Challenge Partner, along with the permitted amount of funding and an application form.  They will apply to the Department of International Trade for the grant on behalf of you.

For assistance in sourcing and designing an exhibition stand, call us on 0800 019 2141 or email

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