Case study

TAP grant helps Elmeridge Cables win new export contract in China

UKTI’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) enables Elmeridge Cables attend an exhibition in China, securing an export deal and new local agent.

Elmeridge Cables
Elmeridge Cables

Specialist cable manufacturer Elmeridge Cables decided it needed a presence at China’s Oceanology exhibition after successfully promoting its business at Oceanology in London.

Oceanology draws major players from the marine science and ocean technology sector. Elmeridge supplies cables to all industries, but particularly to the subsea sector. It found Oceanology to be the perfect showcase for its products and services.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) provided assistance to Elmeridge in the form of a TAP grant to enable them to attend the exhibition. Attendance at this show resulted in a large contract and a new agent in China.

Darren Holmes, Director, Elmeridge Cables says,

When the time comes for us to explore other overseas markets we will certainly contact UKTI again for their assistance.

Arrange a face-to-face meeting with a UKTI trade adviser.

Overseas exhibitions

Taking part in an overseas exhibition is an effective way to:

  • test markets
  • attract customers
  • appoint agents or distributors
  • make sales

Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)

Elmeridge Cables is a member of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI). SMI is one of UKTI’s Accredited Trade Organisations (ATOs) which leads overseas trade missions.

SMI was organising a UK Pavilion for the first Oceanology exhibition in China in September 2013. It suggested that Elmeridge apply for a £3,000 TAP grant from UKTI to help it cover the expenses of exhibiting overseas. SMI helped with the application process.

TAP provides grant support for eligible Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) firms to attend trade shows overseas. Participation is usually as part of a group, a great advantage for inexperienced businesses.

Darren Holmes says,

Exhibiting overseas is an expensive business. Costs incurred are for flights, accommodation, and transportation of the stand and accessories.

The TAP grant took care of a large amount of these costs, making the investment more affordable.

Before the event, a UKTI International Trade Adviser (ITA) visited Elmeridge’s offices to talk about what other support UKTI could offer and how best to approach growing its exports.

New business

Elmeridge Cables generated a great deal of interest in its products at Oceanology China.

Darren Holmes says,

Being in the UK Pavilion at the show gave us a key position, which attracted a lot of attention from buyers.

The company has since received a significant order from a large Chinese research organisation for a 10,000 metre steel tow rope.

Elmeridge successfully fulfilled the contract and delivered 2 weeks early even though this was beyond its usual scope. Once the cable has been used and tested, the company hopes to receive 4 or 5 similar orders from this customer every year.

Elmeridge also secured an agent to represent it in China at the exhibition. This has since generated 12 new leads.

Darren Holmes says,

Having delivered this contract and appointed a Chinese agent, we are in a good position to secure more new business in this region.

Elmeridge Cables

Elmeridge Cables has a history going back almost 30 years in cable design and manufacture.

The company serves customers around the world from its facility near Brighton, 75% of them are in the subsea market. However, it also supplies a wide range of other industries with cables for use underwater, in high-temperatures and on railways, and provides a technical service.

Fast facts

Company Elmeridge Cables
Industry Marine
Target Market China
UKTI Service Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)
Published 4 September 2014