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Exhibition Explorer

For international trade fair projects by SMEs and MIDCAPs

Who can apply?

Exhibition Explorer funding is intended for small and medium-sized companies participating in international trade fairs outside Finland. A company can participate in a joint department or in its own separate department. Companies that have not applied for the Exhibition Explorer funding can also participate in the stand.

The requirement for funding is that at least four eligible SMEs and MIDCAPs apply for Exhibition Explorer funding for the same international trade fair and 50% of the participating campanies are SMEs.

What do we fund?

We only fund participation to international b-to-b fairs outside Finland. Exhibition Explorer funding is subject to the terms and conditions of de minimis aid.


Exhibition Explorer grants are intended for international trade fair projects by SMEs and MIDCAPs, which:

  • Improve the companies' international growth by entering the export markets.
  • Promote the launch of a new export business or open a new market area.
  • Increase growth in existing markets.
  • Expand the export offering.
  • Promote the market entry.
  • Promote the international competitiveness of companies.

The company may submit an application to the Business Finland online service as soon as the decision to participate has been made, but no later than the day before the fair. Applying and project follow-up is easy and quick.

Funding levels

Amount of funding

You can receive a Exhibition Explorer grant covering up to 50% (SMEs) and 40% (MIDCAPs) of the eligible costs of the project. A grant of up to €30,000 per trade fair can be approved for individual companies. Payment in advance is not possible. The summed up grant for the same fair must be at least EUR 5,000.

Terms and conditions of the funding

  • Your company is an SME or a MIDCAP registered in Finland.
  • Your company is seeking to grow and internationalize.
  • Your Asiakastieto rating Alfa is at least A.
  • The company does not have an ongoing Business Finland NIY funding project (extensive internationalization funding, which may also include trade fair costs).
  • Your company has not received any other public funding for the event.
  • Your company has sufficient funding to cover the project and other operating costs. When planning self-financing, you should note that our grants are paid in arrears on the basis of actual and paid costs, unless otherwise indicated in the decision.
  • There are enough resources and a wide range of skills available for development. 
  • Before your company applies for a Trade Fair grant, you should review the total amount of funding your company or corporation have received that is subject to the de minimis rule (not more than EUR 200.000).
  • One-person businesses are ineligible for trade fair grants, as are companies based in Åland.
  • The applicant is not a non-profit organization, big company, foundation or association.
  • The applicant's main sector should not be retail.
  • The company's product must be at least in the prototype phase.

 When Exhibition Explorer is not applicable

  • Your company is a non profit organization.
  • Your company is larger than MIDCAP, One-person businesses or registered at Åland.
  • Your company has a credible basis to run a profitable, long-term export business.
  • Your company has no tax liabilities.
  • Your company has no payment default entries and is in the prepayment register.

Application process

When applying for funding, submit in your application the official name of the fair.
Apply for Exhibition Explorer via Business Finland's online services. Please also note de minimis aid criterias.

No application period is set, which means that you can submit applications at any time.

Include in the cost estimate of the project only the services to be purchased and the calculated flat rate for other costs, 20% of the purchasing services.
For applications in the creative industries (eg music and audio-visual) where the company does not have a department, the other costs field is left blank.

Leave the salaries and personal expenses expenses blank, as these are not funded by this grant. The financing applied for from Business Finland is 50% of the cost of purchasing services.

The application shall record the specific objectives of the exhibition project, which may include:

  • X new customer meetings.
  • X found potential dealers.
  • The company has acquired x potential new pilot customers at the fair.
  • The company has identified x new R&D partners at the fair.

Eligible costs

We use a simple cost estimate in Exhibition Explorer funding. Costs that are eligible as direct costs in the funding include substantial audit costs associated with services purchased in connection with the fair stand and project:

  • Registration costs
  • Floor area rent costs
  • Design and decoration costs
  • Technical orders
  • Rented structures
  • Building of the stand, i.e. construction costs

The funding requested by Business Finland is 50% of the cost of purchased services.

The beneficiary must arrange its accounting so as to facilitate the itemization of costs incurred from the project for outsourced services, and the verification of their connection with accounting and the cost statement.

Other costs incurred by your company from trade fair participation can be approved based on a flat rate, which is up to 20% of the sum of the above purchasing costs. Other costs can include travel, freight and interpretation costs, possible costs related to a consultant/administrator, and marketing costs associated with the trade fair. These other costs do not need to be itemized in the accounts.

As an exeption, creative industry projects (e.g. the music industry, the audio-visual sector), that have mainly participation and travel costs but no significant costs associated with the fair stand, may be eligible for funding.

In general, the minimum government grant approved for joint projects is €5,000. (Calculated by aggregating all grants awarded for parallel applications.)

As a rule, we can approve only the costs that are incurred by your company after your project application has been made. The exceptions are trade fair reservation and registration costs, which may be accepted even if they were incurred before the project application was submitted.

A cost related to a trade fair project will be viewed as incurred when your company receives the service you have purchased (i.e. the service is performed). For example, costs associated with hiring floor space are viewed as incurred when you gain the use of the floor area, i.e. in practice on the first day of building the stand. Since the deliverable must occur during the project, you must mark the time, for example, from the application to the end of the trade fair as the project period.

Online services

You can apply for funding, report on the progress of your project and create a cost statement through the Online Service. As a new feature, changes to projects are now applied for through the Online Service. All documents related to your project are also available via the Online Service.

Go to the Online Service