With a little help from UKFT – Exports

It was a stockist of mine who recommended that I should exhibit at Playtime, the luxury children and maternity trade fair in Paris. As I delved into the world of trade fairs and the possible help there was in terms of funding, I discovered that there are thousands of recognised ones across all industries and that there is a government body doing its best to check the validity and success of each one.

It was with some scepticisms and reluctance that I filled in the grant application form to the UKFT Exports, a body distributing grants on behalf of UKTI, as it included writing a cheque for £240 plus VAT with my application. This charge is to go towards marketing, etc., but how does it make sense that I pay in order to get a government grant – I think my scepticism at this point was justified.


They carry out eligibility tests on candidates as they are interested in pushing UK businesses with only a limited percentage of their overall sales derived from exports, and contacted me to say that we had qualified. This is to say that I receive £1200 in the form of a government grant reimbursed 2 months post event, against all stand costs, which is a very nice (helpful) gesture.


More about the world of foreign trade fairs next week, but prior to the fair UKFT was extremely helpful in informing me in depth on other fairs which I had thought suitable, but transpired were not which saved me a lot of money and hassle. They provided guidance on contacting buyers and on getting the most out of the trade fair, printed marketing material about the event which they distributed on my (and the other UK grant receivers) behalf, and MOST surprisingly of all they attended the show to meet us and receive feedback on how happy we were with the success the fair had brought to our business.


In gratitude to UKFT I have to admit that they were very thorough, and even though it initially didn’t make sense to pay to receive the grant, the background work that goes on in checking and knowing each trade fair inside out has been invaluable. Added to that they are a great team, which is very approachable and very good on giving support and advice on the world of exporting!

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