Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)

Find out how the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) can help promote your business overseas, and how to apply for financial support.


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.

The Tradeshow Access Programme calendar of supported events for 2017 to 2019 are:

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 the business’s 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

View the Tradeshow Access Programme exhibitor terms and conditions from 1 October 2017 (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 from:

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.

Further information

Contact your local DIT International Trade Advisor for further information about the programme.

Case studies

Find out how DIT’s Tradeshow Access Programme helped UK companies export successfully:

Published 11 April 2014
Last updated 8 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added Tradeshow Access Programme calendar of supported events: April 2018 to March 2019.
  2. New terms and conditions effective from October 1 2017 added
  3. Added events for October 2017 to April 2018.
  4. TAP events programme 2017 to 2018 and terms and conditions updated.
  5. TAP events programme updated 6 February 2017.
  6. TAP events programme updated 31 October 2016.
  7. TAP events programme updated
  8. Revised version of TAP calendar added.
  9. Updated Terms and Conditions.
  10. Revised version of TAP calendar added.
  11. Full 2016 to 2017 year update of TAP programme of supported events.
  12. Updated with 2016-17 events
  13. T&C Updated
  14. Updated calendar of events.
  15. Updated events list.
  16. Updated calendar of events.
  17. Updates to current events list
  18. Updated TAP events list
  19. Updated events list
  20. Updated with 2015-16 programme
  21. Updated events list. SEO improvements.
  22. First published.