The new UK Tradeshow Programme (UKTP) from the department for international trade (DIT) aims to help companies visit an overseas tradeshow with a view to exhibiting in future, as well as helping companies exhibit at selected events, said the non-profit organisation UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT). It is a pilot programme and has many restrictions.
Applications will be sent out by DIT to its database and handled online by DIT who will select the events and choose the companies which are accepted for a grant. UKFT will also publicise the links. The application will ask for a lot of detail about the company, its export strategy, whether it is already committed to show (in which case it will be automatically ineligible) and DIT will decide whether the company is eligible to take part in the event and whether a grant should be given, UKFT said in a press release.
UKFT will be informed of DIT’s decision but may not necessarily be consulted on either the selection and number of the events/sectors/subsectors to be covered or, indeed, the companies’ suitability for the show or market. UKFT has a very strong working relationship with DIT Sector group so we expect to inform some of these decisions but our industry traditionally works best with a large number of smaller niche events covering multiple markets and subsectors.
UKFT sees strong UK groups at key international tradeshows with a wider and holistic export strategy to get companies to market as a key pivot in the campaign to rebuild the economy after COVID and make a success of Brexit.
“Our industry and our association have a good understanding of trade shows, key markets and the importance of exports and believe we can demonstrate that it is the constant changes of government schemes and low budgets which hold our exporters back, compared with our competitors from other countries,” the release added.
UKFT believes that tradeshows and sectoral missions when used together are a powerful tool to help smaller companies to start out in exports and larger companies to enter new markets. The government and industry should be working together to get the best joined-up deal for exporters and are committed to working with the government to make this happen.