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International Trade Show Exhibition

Attending wholesale trade shows is a great way for a company to introduce their products to a global audience as well as help maintain awareness of their products in the marketplace.  However, they are capital intensive.  To help mitigate risk and provide opportunity this program provides partial reimbursement for marketing expenses related to attending trade shows with international buyers.  

*Applications must be received at least 30 days before the proposed activity to ensure proper authorization.


  • 50% reimbursement up to a maximum of $10,000

**Travel Stipend: While travel costs are ineligible expenses as part of the reimbursement, one fixed travel stipend per company is provided (importers, in-country reps, and distributors are NOT eligible for the stipend). The travel stipend can be used to pay the way for only one person, not for multiple people.

  • International: $2,000
  • Domestic: $500

A stipulation to receiving a travel stipend is the requirement to use a U.S. air carrier for transportation to and from the event as stated in the "Fly America Act."

Make sure to keep all travel receipts (i.e. air flight and hotel receipts) in order to receive reimbursement.

Eligible Expenses*

  • Exhibit space fees and registration;
  • Booth rental;
  • Booth production (cannot exceed $5000);
  • Display elements (graphics, banners, signs, racks, decorations, lighting);
  • Booth furnishings (table, chairs);
  • Shipping and storage (drayage, freight, exhibit storage);
  • Show services (set-up and tear down, utilities, card reader, security) and;
  • Trade show promotional literature
  • Some domestic shows (click here for a list of approved shows)

 *If an anticipated cost is not listed above applicants should contact the program to determine eligibility.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Travel (transportation, accommodations, meals, etc) other than the travel stipend;
  • Creation of or supplementing a reserve or contingency fund or account;
  • Match or support for any other Federal projects;
  • Entertainment costs, including meals, alcohol, parties, receptions, mixers, or other social activities, or tickets to shows or sporting events;
  • Souvenirs, models, imprinted clothing, buttons, gifts, prizes, promotional items, mementos, scholarships, contributions, donations, or similar gratuitous transfers (whether in the form of cash, property, or services);
  • Advertising
  • Membership fees or dues in any business, technical, trade, professional, civic, community, country club, social or dining organization (whether in the name of the recipient organization or an individual);
  • Fund-raising (including, but not limited to, soliciting funding or contributions or raising investment capital from individuals, public/private organizations, or government entities);
  • Lobbying or "grassroots" advocacy activities (including the endorsement or opposition of political parties, candidates, initiatives, referenda, petitions, or the cost of protests or demonstrations) directed at any level or branch of government;
  • Employee or owner salaries or compensation;
  • Indirect costs or depreciation; bid and proposal costs; legal expenses; fines, penalties and mischarging costs;
  • Any cost not directly related to international trade development and preapproved by this program.


Listed below is the application form.  Please complete the application and mail it in to the Program.  We have done our best to keep the form as short and concise as we could while recognizing that we are dispersing public funds and must perform due diligence.

  • The form is fillable and can be saved to your computer while you are working on it using the "Save As" function. It cannot be saved online.
  • If you require more space to fully answer a question, complete your response on a separate sheet of paper and attach to the activity application. 
  • No area should be left blank. Any application received with missing/incomplete information will automatically be returned to the Applicant for completion.
  • A separate application must be filled out for each activity, if applying for more than one award.
  • All of the documents must be submitted by mail to the Program.

International Trade Show Application(due 30 days before the event)

Where to Send your Application

ExportMontana - Montana Department of Commerce
Attn: Angelyn DeYoung
PO Box 200505
Helena, MT 59620-0505

Procedures and Deadline

Applications will be accepted at any time until September 1, 2018 or until funds are exhausted. All proposed activities must be completed by September 29, 2018.

NOTE: Activities must occur between September 30, 2017 - September 29, 2018.  Activities occurring BEFORE an application is approved are ineligible.

Potential applicants may want to contact the Department before submitting an application for current funding availability and guidance. The Department may request additional information, including financial statements, at the time of application. the Department makes the final decision, at its sole discretion, whether to fund an application, request additional information, request SBA review comments, or to not approve an incomplete or otherwise unacceptable application.

A review panel, consisting of Department of Commerce staff will evaluate applications. To be eligible for reimbursement, written or electronic approval from the Montana Department of Commerce MUST BE received before starting an activity (an exception may be made for exhibit space rental). No applications will be considered after an activity has occurred.

Upon award, an agreement letter will be presented by the Department which will outline processes and procedures.

There is no limit on the number of activities a company may participate in per year. However, to be considered for additional awards the company must have met the program requirements for any previous awards. Awards are not intended for a company to use for a trade show at which it has previously or currently exhibits. An exception will be made if the trade show changes locations each year allowing the company to reach new markets.

If you have any questions on the forms contact Angelyn at (406) 841-2783.

To receive reimbursement for activity expenditures, the assisted businesses will be required to complete the following:

Post Activity Reimbursement Request and Survey Form - due within 45 days after the activity concludes

The business will submit eligible receipts and report the activities conducted, summarize costs being reimbursed, and describe any results (orders placed, leads gathered, distributors, signed, etc.) at that time. NOTE: Upon receipt and acceptance of the survey, the award amount will be reimbursed.

Mid-Year Survey Form - due April 30

Final Survey Form - due October 31

The business will provide information regarding any additional results from the activity (increase in export activity, new orders, leads followed, etc.) -- must be quantifiable and documentable if requested. For tourism activity awards, applicants will be required to report numbers of international visitors tied to their activity. NOTE: Only awardees current on reporting will be eligible for future rewards.

**The Department may request additional report updates if needed to monitor the project and satisfy SBA reporting requirements.**

Other Required Documentation

Tax Payer ID Verification Form (Substitute W9)

301 S. PARK AVE. | P.O. BOX 200533 | HELENA, MT 59620-0533 |  T: 406.841.2870 |  F: 406.841.2871 | TDD: 406.841.2702