An evaluation of the Tradeshow Access Programme

Practice area: Competition & Antitrust | Productivity, Innovation and New Economy | Public Policy
Client: UK Trade & Investment
Published: September, 2008
Keywords: quantitative analysis stakeholder surveys and consultations

The key objectives of the evaluation were to 1) clarify the economic rationale for government support for trade fairs, and use this to determine the appropriate intervention model for TAP;  2) assess how and whether TAP meets its programme targets, for different groups (i.e. sponsors and participants) and in different markets; 3) separately determine the strength of the evidence for government support for both a) group delegations to trade fairs and b) independent trips to trade fairs (“SOLO” support), in the context of the overall aims of raising aggregate productivity, innovation and prosperity; 4) Undertake cost-benefit analysis of TAP to determine the value-for-money of TAP as a whole, considering the economy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the programme; and 5) suggest potential improvements in UKTI’s trade fair support and identify (and prioritise) any gaps in the evidence base developed during the evaluation. As the starting point of the analysis, London Economics linked UKTI databases to the Amadeus company database, to obtain financial information on the companies that have received TAP support. This was then used to construct a control group of firms that had not received TAP support, through a propensity score matching exercise. A company survey was carried out, and the results used to develop an econometric model of the characteristics influencing firms’ decisions to attend trade fairs, and hence to estimate the impact of receiving TAP support. In addition, impact on firm turnover was estimated using difference-in-difference techniques.