While you can exhibit at Messe Dusseldorf shows across the world, the current economic climate is harsh on trade fair budgets and many companies have scaled back their usual show lineup. Before completely abandoning an important show, you may want to check with your state, as several of them offer assistance with trade show marketing.
One exhibitor of ours clued me in to a state program which covered a portion of his trade show expenses by means of a grant. After some research, I found eight states that have similar programs providing grants to help companies exhibit in international trade shows.
The table below lists the eight states that I have found that have such programs with links to their corresponding program websites.
|Colorado||Office of Economic Development and International Trade||Colorado Export Development Grant|
|Indiana||Indiana Economic Development Corporation||Trade Show Assistance Program|
|Iowa||Iowa Department of Economic Development
International Trade Office
|Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP)|
|Kansas||Kansas Dept. of Commerce
International Trade Division
|Kansas International Trade Show Assistance Program (KITSAP)|
|Maryland||Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development||ExportMD Program|
|Oregon||Oregon Economic & Community Development Department||Oregon Trade Promotion Program (PDF download)|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development||Go Global Grant Program (search under "Export")|
|Wisconsin||Wisconsin Department of Commerce||Wisconsin Trade Project|
And what of the remaining US states? Instead of providing grant money, several states instead organize official State Pavilions at trade shows in industries where the state shows particular strength. In addition to helping you stand out in the hustle-and-bustle of the busy fair, pavilions also provide an excellent opportunity to share costs. For more information, contact your corresponding State Department of Commerce or Department of Economic Development.
Money might be harder to come by these days but always keep in mind that your state & local governments can be a valuable and often untapped resource.