Do you plan to exhibit at international trade shows in 2018? Trade shows and other export expansion events provide an opportunity to grow your business in new markets and drive higher global revenues. They diversify your client base, and can serve as a launching point for sustained international success. The world’s leading businesses use trade shows as an opportunity to build brand awareness and drive sales in underdeveloped, high-potential markets.

Canadian businesses are fortunate when it comes to participating in export trade shows, since government funding is available to offset up to 50% of trade show expenses. Top export development grants include CanExport and Export Market Access (EMA). These programs are vital to being proactive with export market development, since they can strategically reduce the costs of booth rental, travel and accommodation, and even the translation of marketing materials.

To help you get started with government funding-assisted trade show participation, we’ve pooled together top export resources and trade shows within this article. Feel free to browse the resources included, or simply skip to your business’ sector to find the top trade shows to participate in during Q1 and Q2 2018.

How to Find and Evaluate Export Trade Shows

Businesses should begin the process of finding and evaluating trade shows by determining their ultimate objective of export expansion projects. Is brand exposure the main objective? Establishing contacts to support new sales? Understanding what outcome you’re wanting to achieve will shape the selection of events you wish to attend.

Once you’ve identified the main reason for driving your international expansion, it becomes easier to search for and identify top trade shows. We recommend using databases and trade show resources (such as the following) to guide your event discovery efforts:

Government of Canada or Ontario Trade Calendar

The trade calendars for Ontario and Canada can be a great place for new exporters and smaller businesses to start their exploration of trade shows and educational resources.

10times: Global Trade Shows and Conferences

As a leading directory for trade shows and conferences, 10times provides excellent insight into global growth opportunities your business. Users can search for top export marketing opportunities within a few seconds, providing excellent visibility into the full range of events you may wish to participate in.

Website visitors can search for trade shows and conferences by city, country, industry, or event name to gain greater insight into those events most important to their business’ success.

10times also maintains tailored lists of the 100 top trade shows in a particular country or industry segment. For example, businesses can easily search for the top 100 American trade shows, and the top 100 manufacturing and fabrication trade shows.

Events in America: The #1 Trade Show Site in the United States

Events in America is one of the most comprehensive databases of professional events and trade shows in the United States, and also lists many Canadian-based trade shows too.

Business leaders can use the site to quickly look up trade shows by name, industry, or keyword (such as technology). This reveals an extensive listing of trade shows and events that are targeted towards Canada’s top trading partner, and helps to remain focused on the events most likely to spur your success south of the border.

One of the greatest benefits of using Events in America is that it saves much of the time needed to evaluate the market potential for USA-based trade shows. Instead of having to search for past attendee and exhibitor counts, Events in America lists these (for most events) which helps to identify large, well-known events, and prioritize these over smaller, niche-based economic events.

Top Trade Shows for Canadian Businesses in 2018

Although we advise performing your own research into top exporting events, we’ve used the three resources listed above to curate a tailored selection of international trade shows worth participating in during the first and second quarter of 2018. Consider the following trade shows when developing your business’ 2018 exporting plans.

Don’t forget, Canadian businesses can offset up to 50% of trade show expenses through government funding for exporting. Consider applying for programs such as CanExport and Export Market Access for government grants to reduce project costs.

Explore Trade Shows by Industry: Use the following hyperlinks to jump to trade shows for your industry.

International Manufacturing Trade Shows in 2018

Manufacturing trade shows are an excellent way to boost competitiveness in foreign markets. Some of the largest and most important trade shows happening in 2018 include:

  • Eurasia Glass Fair: March 7-10, 2018
    (Istanbul, Turkey) 
    The Eurasia Glass Fair brings together leading manufacturers and decision makers of the industrial glass products, glass production technologies, tampered glass, glass production machinery, glass processing machinery, tempered glass, flat glass, and laminated glass industries.
    Attendees: 61,129 Exhibitors: 585   Ratio: 104.5 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Natural Products Expo West: March 9-11, 2018
    (Anaheim, CA, United States of America) 
    Natural Products Expo West is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It’s the preeminent show for spotting trends in the food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, attended by industry pioneers and a new generation of innovators shaping the future of healthy products.
    Attendees: 80,000 Exhibitors: 3,100   Ratio: 25.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • South by Southwest (SXSW): March 11-14, 2018
    (Austin, TX, United States of America) 
    South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual conglomerate of interactive media, technology, film, and music festivals and conferences. Its trade show component highlights the integrations and overlaps between SXSW’s converging industries, hosting a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors ranging from promising startups to established industry leaders.
    Attendees: 74,519 Exhibitors: 300   Ratio: 248.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • WIN Eurasia: March 15-18, 2018
    (Istanbul, Turkey) 
    WIN Eurasia will provide exhibitors and visitors the unique opportunity to showcase and experience the entire manufacturing industry. From sheet metal processing to metal forming technologies, automation services to electric and electronic equipment, and hydraulic & pneumatic services to intralogistics, WIN EURASIA 2018 will be bringing all the ecosystem needed for the future’s factories.
    Attendees: 100,899 Exhibitors: 1,716   Ratio: 58.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Cosmopack: March 15-18, 2018
    (Bologna, Italy) 
    Cosmopack is the leading international event focused on packaging design, contract manufacturing, raw materials, machinery and all services for the cosmetic industry. The creative content and innovative products exhibited make this fair a unique event.
    Attendees: 250,000 Exhibitors: 2,510   Ratio: 99.6 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Interzum Guangzhou: March 28-31, 2018
    (Guangzhou, China) 
    Interzum Guangzhou is Asia’s largest and most influential furniture production and woodworking trade fair. The event is a sourcing platform for the furniture production industry; if you wish to sell into the Asian market, then this is an excellent opportunity to make new contacts and develop and refine your expansion strategy.
    Attendees: 83,356 Exhibitors: 1,396   Ratio: 59.7 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Hannover Messe: April 23-27, 2018
    (Hannover, Germany) 
    Hannover Messe is the world’s leading industrial show. It combines five trade fairs to provide a comprehensive look at industrial innovation areas, including energy, research and technology, and industrial supply. Get to know groundbreaking technologies, benefit from valuable synergies, and launch new projects – all in one place.
    Attendees: 225,000 Exhibitors: 6,500   Ratio: 34.6 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Mecanica International Trade Fair for Mechanics and Manufacturing Systems: May 8-12, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    The International Trade Fair for Mechanics and Integrated Manufacturing Systems is one of the biggest global machinery and equipment trade fairs. It presents the entire spectrum of innovations in the machinery and tooling sector, and will be one of the year’s most important and crucial meeting place for industrial equipment buyers and sellers.
    Attendees: 76,500 Exhibitors: 2,100   Ratio: 36.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Aerospace Trade Shows in 2018

  • Abu Dhabi Air Expo: February 26-28, 2018
    (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
     The International Aviation Exhibition in the Middle East brings together major players in aviation, enabling a demanding clientele to discover the industry’s latest developments and innovations. This exhibition is designed for professionals and private owners, and offers visitors a wide and representative range of the ever-growing aviation industry.
    Attendees: 13,743   Exhibitors: 195   Ratio: 70.5 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Aerospace & Defense Supplier Summit Seattle: March 26-28, 2018
    (Seattle, WA, United States of America) 
    The fourth annual Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit Seattle is a supply chain conference and networking event that brings together aerospace and defense companies, tier suppliers and contract-manufacturers. Engineering, procurement, supply chain, fabrication, commodity teams, suppliers and service providers will meet through pre-arranged one-on-one meetings. Note: This event does not have a trade show component, however, elements of your involvement can still be funded through government grants.
    Attendees: 1,500   Exhibitors: 850   Ratio: 1.77 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • 2018 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit: April 25-27, 2018
    (Nashville, TN, United States of America) 
    The AAAA Annual Summit is an opportunity for the army and aviation community to gather and focus solely on army aviation. It provides access to key decision makers, like aviation project/product managers to reach new customers and strengthen existing relationships within the American aviation industry.
    Attendees: 8,500   Exhibitors: 300   Ratio: 28.3 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace: April 25-29, 2018
    (Berlin, Germany) 
    The Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace (ILA) Berlin conference is the most innovative trade event for international companies to attend. During the event, you will receive a unique opportunity to network with key stakeholders from around the world, find the perfect marketplace for the supplier industry, discuss the key issues of the future with experts, introduce your company to recruit aerospace professionals, and marvel at the impressive innovations on display.
    Attendees: 150,000   Exhibitors: 1,000   Ratio: 150 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Farnborough International Airshow: July 16-22, 2018
    (Farnborough, United Kingdom) The Farnborough International Airshow provides a platform to showcase aerospace technology with company exhibits, product briefings, conferences and demonstrations. This is an opportunity to showcase both military and commercial aircraft technologies.
    Attendees: 73,000   Exhibitors: 1,500   Ratio: 48.7 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Automotive Trade Shows in 2018

  • Tire Technology Expo: February 20-22, 2018
    (Hannover, Germany) The Tire Technology Expo exhibits equipment and materials covering the complete spectrum of tire manufacturing. This includes, but is not limited to tire component making systems, tire building machines, tire building machine tooling, synthetic rubber, self lubricating bearings, rubber testing equipment, and rubber mixing technology.
    Attendees: 5,000   Exhibitors: 260   Ratio: 19.2 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Auto Maintenance & Repair: April 1-4, 2018
    (Beijing, China) 
    The Auto Maintenance & Repair Expo is an annual trade show that focused on automotive maintenance and repair equipment, tools, car care products, and consumables. It is a top international trade event for companies looking to access the Chinese market, as it provides exceptional opportunities to meet with Chinese manufacturers and offers a platform to evaluate the Chinese market.
    Attendees: 60,000   Exhibitors: 1,200   Ratio: 50 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Automechanika Istanbul: April 5-8, 2018
    (Istanbul, Turkey) 
    Automechanika Istanbul is Eurasia’s number one OEM and aftermarket event. It brings together professionals from the automotive manufacturing, distribution and repair sectors and provides opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to step up in the market. This event showcases products like components and parts, electronic products and goods, electronic systems and services, accessories and tuning services, and repair services.
    Attendees: 43,874   Exhibitors: 1,217   Ratio: 36.1 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • World Congress Experience 2018: April 10-12, 2018
    (Detroit, MI, United States of America) The SAE World Congress Experience (WCX) is a full-sensory event experience that immerses you in the forefront of the automotive and mobility industries. By exhibiting at WCX, you’ll put your products, services, and innovations in front of the most curious, forward-thinking minds of the global mobility industry.
    Attendees: 12,000   Exhibitors: 200   Ratio: 60 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Automec: April 23-27, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    The International Trade Fair for Autoparts, Equipments and Services is the main event in Latin America focused on the Automotive Aftermarket industry. The trade show provides dealers, shopkeepers, wholesalers, and retailers direct contact with industry representatives to facilitate networking, product demonstrations, and new releases.
    Attendees: 68,830   Exhibitors: 1,200   Ratio: 57.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Automechanika Dubai: May 1-3, 2018
    (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Automechanika Dubai aims to raise the bar in the products and services available for the automotive aftermarket in the wider Middle East region by bringing in international manufacturers and suppliers together with regional distributors and buyers. The event will host a wide range of industry professionals, including spare parts & accessories wholesalers, garage equipment and tool distributors, car repair shop owners, and OEM
    Attendees: 30,322   Exhibitors: 1,955   Ratio: 15.1 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Clean Technology Trade Shows in 2018

  • Middle East Electricity: March 6-8, 2018
    (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 
    Middle East Electricity offers its exhibitors access to thousands of potential customers from across the Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world. As the region’s leading gathering of power industry professionals, electricity technology companies can expect to find new customers, strengthen relationships with existing clients and develop or expand their business in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
    Attendees: 21,214   Exhibitors: 1,615   Ratio: 13.1 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • SOLAREX Istanbul: April 5-7, 2018
    (Istanbul, Turkey) 
    The Solar Energy and Technologies Fair (SOLAREX Istanbul) is a meeting point for Europe’s leading minds in solar energy technology development. The world’s solar energy sector CEOs, senior managers, purchasing directors, manufacturers, consumers take part in this trade show, making it an excellent opportunity to fuel your European expansion.
    Attendees: 20,158   Exhibitors: 202   Ratio: 99.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Offshore Technology Conference: April 30 – May 3, 2018
    (Houston, TX, United States of America) 
    The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. Trade show exhibitors include innovative technology developers capable of driving change in oil and gas sectors.
    Attendees: 90,000   Exhibitors: 2,000   Ratio: 45 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • WINDPOWER 2018: May 7-10, 2018
    (Chicago, IL, United States of America) 
    Professionals from all over the world attend WINDPOWER to network, learn, advance their organizational mission and to participate in the largest wind energy exhibition in the Western Hemisphere. Trade show exhibitors will be able to access a network of innovators, thought leaders, and policy makers comprising America’s clean energy industry.
    Attendees: 9,000   Exhibitors: 600   Ratio: 15 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • EnerSolar + Brasil: May 22-24, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    The EnerSolar + Brasil – International Fair of Technologies for Solar Energy features the latest technologies, products, and services for the sector of sustainable, renewable and clean energy. It’s the ideal opportunity to launch products and services, as well as prospect and position your brand to the entire production chain of the segments of Solar and Wind Energy, Biomass, GTDC and the similar areas.
    Attendees: 12,000   Exhibitors: 80   Ratio: 150 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • PCIM Europe: June 5-7, 2018
    (Nuremberg, Germany) 
    Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe is the international leading exhibition for Power Electronics, Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management. It’s a technology forum for the whole value chain of the power electronics industry, from the components to the intelligent system.
    Attendees: 10,836   Exhibitors: 465   Ratio: 23.3 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Food and Beverage Processing Trade Shows in 2018

  • International Poultry Production & Processing Expo: January 30 – February 1, 2018
    (Atlanta, GA, United States of America) The International Poultry Production & Processing Expo focuses on bringing together buyers and sellers of the latest technology of products and services to make your business successful. It’s the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind. A wide range of international decision-makers attend this annual event to network and become informed on latest technological developments and issues facing the industry.
    Attendees: 30,000   Exhibitors: 1,200   Ratio: 25 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Gulfood: February 18-22, 2018
    (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 
    Gulfood is one of the world’s largest annual food events, serving one of the fastest growing sectors on the planet. Now in its 23rd year, Gulfood will once again welcome F&B professionals from all corners of the globe to meet for 5 days of business within this central hub for international trade and commerce. Global prices are set here, and it is from this foundation that your business can grow and access new international opportunities.
    Attendees: 95,000   Exhibitors: 5,000   Ratio: 19 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Paris International Agricultural Show: February 24 – March 4, 2018
    (Paris, France) 
    The Paris International Agricultural Show is one of the world’s leading agricultural events. The show is organized into four sections, including areas specifically for livestock production, crops and plants, gardening and vegetable gardens, agri-food products, and agricultural services/professions.
    Attendees: 618,958   Exhibitors: 906   Ratio: 683.2 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Natural Products Expo West: March 9-11, 2018
    (Anaheim, CA, United States of America) 
    Natural Products Expo West is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It’s the preeminent show for spotting trends in the food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, attended by industry pioneers and a new generation of innovators shaping the future of healthy products.
    Attendees: 80,000   Exhibitors: 3,100   Ratio: 25.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • ProWein: March 18-20, 2018
    (Düsseldorf, Germany) 
    ProWein is the world’s leading trade fair for wine and spirits, the largest industry meeting for professionals from viticulture, production, trade and gastronomy. Trade show visitors come from highly relevant market segments and are typically the decision makers of their firms. It’s this quality of the visitors that has given ProWein its reputation of being a unique business platform.
    Attendees: 58,500   Exhibitors: 6,600   Ratio: 8.9 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show: March 27-28, 2018
    (Las Vegas, NV, United States of America) 
    The Nightclub & Bar Show is the United States’ most influential gathering of bar and nightlife professionals. The event will provide your company an environment for connecting with the most influential buyers in the bar, nightlife and hospitality industry, seeking out new technology, products and services to make their businesses more productive and profitable.
    Attendees: 36,000   Exhibitors: 600   Ratio: 60 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • CIBUS Parma: May 7-10, 2018
    (Parma, Italy) 
    Since 1985, CIBUS has been the true reference event for Italy’s agri-food industry. It gives high international visibility to seminars and round tables focusing on current topics related to food and retail. Although the event is highly Italian-focused, international products and businesses are also accepted to participate and exhibit at CIBUS’ trade show.
    Attendees: 72,000   Exhibitors: 3,000   Ratio: 24 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • SIAL China: May 16-18, 2018
    (Shanghai, China) 
    SIAL China sets the benchmark for overseas companies stepping into Asia and China as well as providing valuable market insights, trends and innovations of the regional food industry. It is a preeminent event for major market players in retail, hotel/restaurant/catering, food services, and manufacturing industries.
    Attendees: 110,000   Exhibitors: 3,400   Ratio: 32.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Fispal Food Service: June 12-15, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    The Fispal Food Service Trade Show brings together thousands of food service professionals as well as sector distributors and store owners. It showcases products like sorting, cleaning and milling machines, food processing and packaging machines and technologies, dairy products and technologies, and processed agri-food products.
    : 51,387   Exhibitors: 1,500   Ratio: 34.3 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Medical and Pharmaceutical Trade Shows in 2018

  • Arab Health: January 29 – February 1, 2018
    (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 
    Arab Health is the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It provides updates and insights into cutting edge technologies, procedures, techniques and skills necessary to advance the healthcare industry.
    : 103,000   Exhibitors: 4,200   Ratio: 24.5 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Medical Design & Manufacturing West: February 6-8, 2018
    (Anaheim, CA, United States of America) 
    Medical Design & Manufacturing West helps take medical devices from concept to market by uniting cutting-edge technology with the industry’s foremost minds. The show sources the world’s largest collection of suppliers of medical technologies and innovators.
    Attendees: 20,000   Exhibitors: 2,200   Ratio: 9.1 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Dubai Pharmaceutical & Technologies Exhibition: February 27 – March 1, 2018
    (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 
    The Dubai Pharmaceutical & Technologies Exhibition serves as the convergence point for pharmacists, physicians, scientists, researchers, paramedical professionals, drug developers, manufacturers, distributors, and other key decision makers from across the medical profession.
    Attendees: 22,000   Exhibitors: 500   Ratio: 44 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Cosmofarma: April 20-22, 2018
    (Bologna, Italy) 
    Cosmofarma is the pharmacy world’s leading European event for the Health Care and Beauty Care sectors and all pharmacy-related services. Its 150 hours of conventions, conferences and ECM courses, represents an exceptional opportunity for up-to-the-minute professional training, interaction and discussion that cannot be missed in the current climate of constantly developing regulations and policies.
    Attendees: 32,000   Exhibitors: 400   Ratio: 80 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Hospitalar: May 22-25, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    The Hospitalar Fair and Forum is and international event for solutions, products, services, technology, and equipment for the healthcare sector. It brings together hospital leaders and health professionals, and health thinkers together to discuss directions and trends in business management of healthcare.
    Attendees: 90,000   Exhibitors: 1,200   Ratio: 75 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

International Software and Digital Media Trade Shows in 2018

  • Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018: January 9-12, 2018
    (Las Vegas, NV, United States of America) 
    CES is the launch pad for new innovations and technologies that have changed the world. It is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies and it’s where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. The trade show component includes manufacturers, developers, and suppliers of consumer technology hardware.
    Attendees: 18,000   Exhibitors: 1959   Ratio: 91.9 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Internet World Trade Fair: March 6-7, 2018
    (Munich, Germany) 
    The Internet World Trade Fair is a trade show and conference designated to promote the development of innovative internet technologies and services. It has a particular focus on e-commerce technologies, including logistics, e-payment, usability, online marketing, social media, and various software applications.
    Attendees: 16,480   Exhibitors: 400   Ratio: 41.2 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Convergence India: March 7-9, 2018
    (Pragati Maidan, India) 
    Convergence India showcases the latest trends and technologies related to telecoms, broadcasting, cable and satellite TV, cloud and big data technologies, IoT, digital homes, mobile devices, film and radio, and content creation. It provides engagement with digital innovators, international business leaders, telecom and broadcasting executives, and other professionals from the technology, Internet and IoT industries.
    Attendees: 20,000   Exhibitors: 800   Ratio: 25 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Ciab FEBRABAN: June 12-14, 2018
    (São Paulo, Brazil) 
    Ciab FEBRABANis the meeting point for professionals to discuss disruptive technologies, digital systems, and the future of the financial system. It also provides a unique opportunity for expanding networking and partnerships.
    Attendees: 18,000   Exhibitors: 130   Ratio: 138.5 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
  • Design Automation Conference: June 24-28, 2018
    (Austin, TX, United States of America) 
    The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is recognized as the premier conference for design and automation of electronic systems. DAC offers outstanding training, education, exhibits and superb networking opportunities for designers, researchers, tool developers and vendors.
    Attendees: 5,600   Exhibitors: 200   Ratio: 28 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)

Canadian Government Funding for Trade Shows in 2018

Accessing government funding for trade shows is essential to maximize your export marketing efforts. By applying for government grants, companies can reduce trade show costs such as travel, lodging, booth rental, and marketing material translation. When used strategically, these funds can greatly improve the impact of your next trade show.

CanExport: Canadian Government Grants for Exporting

One of the funding programs your business may be able to use is CanExport. CanExport is a Canadian government grant designed to support the export marketing and international expansion activities of up to 1,000 businesses per year.

  • Amount: Up to 50% of eligible expenses or $10,000-99,999 in cost matching funds per year.
  • Projects: Marketing activities in export markets not sold to in the last 24 months, including one trade show, translation costs, marketing, market research, & related costs.
  • Timeline: One project open at any one time. Can apply for funding year-round.
  • Eligibility: 1+ years incorporated, 1-250 people on payroll, $200k-50M in annual, taxed revenues, and not in the food industry.

Export Market Access (EMA): Ontario Government Grants for Exporting

Similar to CanExport, Export Market Access (EMA) provides government grants for trade show participation. However, only Ontario-based business can apply and there are other subtle differences, including a smaller potential contribution and higher number of trade shows that can be included per application.

  • Amount: Max of $30k non-repayable or 50% of project. Can include up to three trade shows per application.
  • Projects: Participating in foreign tradeshows, developing marketing materials for new markets, and receiving product certifications to sell goods in international countries.
  • Timeline: Must allow 30 business days for approval prior to first payment of booth rental or air fare expenses. Can apply year-round.
  • Eligibility: Ontario-based company with 5-500 people on payroll, >$500k in revenues and 2 years incorporated.

Apply for Trade Show Funding in Advance of Trade Shows

When applying for government funding, businesses must keep in mind that it can take up to a month or longer to prepare a detailed application that fully and accurately demonstrates your business’ strategic exporting opportunity.

Furthermore, review of these applications can take several weeks to several months. After this time, a business may be formally approved for funding, and can begin making project spends. To receive Canadian government funding for trade shows in early 2018, it’s recommended that businesses begin the research and application process as soon as possible.

To learn more about funding and get started with the application process, please contact Mentor Works.

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Canadian Government Grants for Exporting

This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.