The Coronavirus and international trade fairs
Some international trade fair events have already been canceled due to the coronavirus and there will probably be more cancellations. However, if you have already applied for the Exhibition Explorer funding for an event that has been canceled due to a coronavirus, the costs incurred prior to the cancellation will still be eligible. For more information on how to proceed, contact the Exhibition Explorer team (contact information at the bottom of this page). The contact person for your project can be found in the funding decision.
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 domestic SMEs apply for Exhibition Explorer funding for the same international trade fair.
What do we fund?
We only fund 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, which:
- Improve the companies' internationalization capacity by entering the export markets.
- Promote the launch of a new export business or open a new market area.
- Increase exports to old market areas.
- Diversify the structure of exports.
- Promote the market entry of enterprises and new innovations, or otherwise foster the internationalization and 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.
Amount of funding
You can receive a Exhibition Explorer grant covering up to 50% 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 registered in Finland.
- Your company is seeking to grow and internationalize.
- Your Asiakastieto rating Alfa is at least A.
- Your company already has established business operations, i.e. turnover for at least one full financial year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How to apply
When applying for funding, submit in your application the official name of the fair.
Apply for Exhibition Explorer via Business Finland's online services.
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
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 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.