The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) is a UK government scheme where certain businesses can receive financial support for exhibiting at selected overseas tradeshows and conferences.

How the Programme Works

The Department for International Trade draws up a list of approved shows each year which will be covered by the scheme, these are generally the most important events in each sector’s calendar.  Businesses can then apply for a grant to cover some of their costs associated with attending an approved show.  In addition to the grant businesses will be supported by a Trade Challenge Partner, an industry specialist, for each show.  Grants are available for a maximum of 6 shows.

What the Grant Covers

If your business is eligible for a grant, TAP will offer between £500 and £2,500 per show.  This can be used to cover:

  • The cost of booking the stand space
  • The cost of buying an exhibition stand, including design, construction and stand dressing
  • Conference attendance fees
  • The cost of producing promotional materials

Your TAP (Trade Challenge Partner) will also provide you with advice on how to maximise your presence at the show. The advice includes the following:

  • Advising staff on what to do at the show
  • Ensuring that your business is included in the show catalogue
  • Providing an onsite presence and management of UK participants
  • Using DIT/GREAT/HM Government branding, as appropriate


To be eligible for a grant you must be:

  • A small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with less than 250 employees, and an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million
  • A business or organisation with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of between £83,000 and £5 million
  • A UK university, UK government-funded centre of higher or further learning or UK government-funded research organisation
  • Be based in the UK (excluding Isle of Man or the Channel Islands unless UK registered)
  • Be actively investigating export opportunities or already exporting for your own business having not previously exported
  • Be within the State Aid limit of €200,000 over any rolling 3-year period
  • not receive any other contributions towards eligible costs which the grant you are applying for will offset in relation to participation at the TAP supported event.
  • Not have been fully committed to attend the event prior to seeking the grant
  • Be selling products that originate in the UK or provide economic benefits to the UK

These criteria may be subject to change so check the government website for the latest information.


Applications for the Tradeshow Access Programme must be made 8 weeks before the start of the event. To apply, contact the TAP Trade Challenge Partner Organisation leading the trade show. You can get this information from the calendar of supported events.

The TAP 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 (Department for International Trade.)

For help and advice on exhibition builders for your next show call us on 01202 723 500 or email