16 Jan 2019
Small UK firms can currently apply for grants of up to £2,500 to attend international trade shows.
The money is available through the Department for International Trade’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), which has just opened for applications.
TAP provides financial support for SMEs to participate in overseas exhibitions and conferences covering 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.
More than 50 events are on the list of exhibitions and conferences which grants can be sought for, ranging from the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, to Cannes Lions Festival, to Summer Fancy Food in New York and the Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
Attending international conferences and events is said to be an effective way for those new to exporting, or exploring new territories, to meet potential customers face-to-face and start the exporting process.
Minister for Investment Graham Stuart 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."
One UK business which has seen its export sales grow as a result of TAP funding is popcorn manufacturer Joe and Seph’s.
It secured a major contract with Hong Kong Airlines after attending confectionery trade show ANUGA in Germany using a TAP grant to help fund the visit.
The business now predicts a 60% year-on-year increase in export sales over the next 12 months.
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 £348billion.
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 the US (19.9%), Australia (7.9%) and Switzerland (7.3%).
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