Department for International Trade - Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) events programme

December 12, 2018 - 1:00pm

Department for International Trade - Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) events programme

What is the TAP and how does it help businesses?

The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) provides grant based financial support to eligible small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in overseas exhibitions and conferences.

Companies can apply for up to six TAP grants to attend tradeshows/conferences. We want to target our funding at UK businesses that benefit the most from TAP support.

See link for further information:

TAP events are a central part of how the Department for International Trade supports UK SME businesses to explore exporting and achieve export sales. It is also a platform for DIT key messages, promoting the UK as the best place to invest and supports the GREAT, Northern Power House and Midlands Engine campaigns. The grant helps businesses gain market knowledge, experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows and conferences, and advice and support from trade experts

What are TAP TCPs and how do we work with them?

Currently, DIT works with 81 TAP Trade Challenge Partners (TCPs). These Partners are DIT accredited Trade Associations and other membership organisations focused on overseas trade and represent virtually all sectors and industries of the UK economy. TAP TCPs recruit, select and manage UK businesses for the TAP. DIT colleagues have very strong working relationships with TAP TCPs and tap into the sector knowledge and expertise they provide to SMEs attending trade shows.

Who can apply for funding and how?

To be eligible for a grant businesses 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 a new/sustaining exporter:

(a) new, not exported in the last twelve months

 (b) those whose export activity is confined to reactive exports   

     only, or

(c) sustaining exporters at risk of stopping exporting. Businesses

     that have less than 30% of their turnover represented by


Be a growing exporter: high growth, scale up or experienced exporters, seeking to grow their exports beyond the EU.

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 they are applying for.

Not have been fully committed to attend the event prior to seeking the grant.

The business must also be able to demonstrate that they are either:

selling products or services which originate from the UK

adding significant value to a product or service of non-UK origin

Applications for TAP must be made 8 weeks before the start of the event. To apply businesses should contact the TAP TCP leading the trade show. The list of TAP supported events can be found at:

A DIT spokesperson said:

“The Tradeshow Access Progamme is the UK Government’s scheme to help UK SMEs exhibit overseas. Participation in TAP helps businesses gain market knowledge, experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows and advice and support from trade experts.”

“We are committed to helping more businesses take advantage of the global demand for British goods and services and the opportunities open to us as we look towards leaving the EU. We are offering SMEs the opportunity to explore new markets such as Latin America and Africa.”

“We want to make sure businesses have the tailored advice, practical tools and financial support to make the right business contacts and help them win contracts.”

Export Strategy

Working with business, Baroness Rona Fairhead has lead the creation of a new Export Strategy, convening expertise from across Government and the private sector, which will establish a new culture of exporting. This strategy will ensure that Government has the right financial, practical and promotional support in place to allow businesses to benefit from growth opportunities, generating wealth and wellbeing for the whole of the UK. 

As lead Minister for UK Export Finance, her work will put finance strongly at the heart of trade promotion; and improve the support we provide to businesses in taking advantage of the opportunities of Brexit as part of Government’s Industrial Strategy.

DIT is working on strategic initiatives that identify, and effectively mitigate, barriers to trade. As, and when, results from this work-stream become available all DIT products and services must be evaluated in light of these.