Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airpoirt and DIT Launch International Trade Fair Competition

Competition to win £2000 towards flights, hotel and entry to an international trade fair

Gatwick contributes £5.3bn to the economy and - like the airport - local businesses and SMEs are vital engines that help to drive the region’s economy.

To help support local businesses, they spend around £135 million directly with local and regional suppliers each year because the airport actively focuses on supporting and improving opportunities for local business to supply the airport.

A large proportion of Gatwick’s goods and services are procured through long term framework contracts, so they can form strong partnerships and many of these partners are locally based. They work closely with all of their partners to encourage and develop a strong and sustainable local supply chain.

To provide further support to local businesses, Gatwick has embarked on a partnership with the Department of International Trade (DiT). The mark the start of this partnership they have launched a competition to offer three local SMEs the chance to apply to visit an international trade fair relevant to their sector.

An SME is a company with fewer than 250 employees and which has either (a) an annual turnover not exceeding £40m or (b) an annual balance-sheet total not exceeding £34m.

If you are an SME in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Croydon then now's your chance to enter the competition to win flights and a hotel for two people to attend a trade show of your choice*, including the cost of airfares and contributions towards accommodation and/or exhibition fees.

You simply need to choose from the list of trade shows and tell us why your company would benefit from attending the trade fair in 150 words or less. What have you got to lose?

Trade fairs

Below are just a few of the upcoming international trade fairs.

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair

Where: Hong Kong, 27-30 April 2019

The Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair's mission is to explore opportunities for Hong Kong companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and connect them with business partners around the world.

International Defence Industry Fair

Where: Istanbul 30 April - 3 May 2019

The International Defence Industry Fair provides the opportunity to follow up on technological developments in industry as well as build international collaboration in supply programs.


Where: Hong Kong 7-10 May 2019

HOFEX is Asia’s Leading Food & Hospitality Tradeshow brings the most comprehensive selection of Food & Drinks, Hospitality Equipment & Supplies products to Asia.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Where: New York, 19-22 May 2019

ICFF offers an unparalleled opportunity to view innovative furniture design trends as well as interactive, educational programming led by some of industry's top leading designers and icons.


Where: Lyon, 20-22 May 2019

EVS is the leading international electric mobility show, exploring vehicle battery technology, modes of transport, charging facilities and public policy.


Where: Los Angeles, 31 May-1 June 2019

Cine Gear Expo is the premier event for the technology, entertainment and media industry with dedicated specialists from all major department in media attending.


Where: Amsterdam, 10-16 June 2019

GreenTech Amsterdam is the place to be if you're a professional in the horticulture industry, where you can make profitable business relationships, exchange ideas and learn all about the latest in horticulture technology.

Pitti Imagine Uomo Summer

Where: Florence 12-15 June 2019

Pitti Immagine Uomo Summer aims to create clear and stimulating relationships in the worldwide fashion industry involving the exhibitors, their collections and the buyers and public, by offering information, and knowledge.

Paris Airshow

Where: Paris 17-23 June

The Paris Airshow will bring together all the players in this global industry around the latest technological innovations.

Cannes Lions

Where: Cannes, 17-21 June 2019

Cannes Lions explores the value of creativity in branded communications: from product and service development to the creative strategy, execution and impact.


Where: Barcelona, 20-27 June 2019

ITMA is the trendsetting textile and garment technology platform where the industry converges every four years to explore fresh ideas, effective solutions and collaborative partnerships for business growth.

Summer Fancy Food

Where: New York, 23-25 June 2019

The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food industry event in North America, and the premier showcase for industry innovation.

Laserworld of Photonics

Where: Munich, 24-27 June 2019

The world's leading Trade Fair with Congress for Photonics Components, Systems and Applications.

ChemSpec Europe

Where: Basel, 26-27 June 2019

Chemspec Europe brings together experts, scientists, managers and thought-leaders to discuss the latest market trends in technology, business opportunities and reglutory issues.

Pitti Imagine Bimbo Summer

Where: Florence 28 June - 2 July 2019

Pitti Immagine Bimbo is the key international fashion industry fair for the kids’ hemisphere. It has become an unmissable event for buyers from the top department stores, boutiques, concept stores and the e-commerce sites.

Gatwick announce competition to help SME exports

Gatwick Airport has launched a competition with the Department for International Trade to give local businesses the chance to attend international trade exhibitions – helping them grow internationally and support local job creation.

SMEs headquartered in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Croydon can take part by explaining in 150 words how their business will develop by attending trade exhibitions through the Gatwick Trade Fairs webpage (

Thanks to a new Gatwick partnership, the Department of International Trade will also be offering support to the winners to help them maximise the opportunities at the show they choose to attend.

International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Businesses of all sizes should remember that there is a world beyond Europe and there will be a time beyond Brexit. This competition, which we have launched with Gatwick Airport, will help SMEs who may not have the time or resources to realise the opportunities of international expansion and exporting.

“The DIT stands ready to help companies export. I encourage local businesses to get in touch with us to learn more about what we can do to help you make the transition from local to global.”

Oxford Economics found that Gatwick was an important enabler of trade with £7.5 billion of international goods passing through Gatwick in 2017 in business that supported 113,800 UK jobs. Such trade is enabled directly by the transport of cargo within the belly holds of flights – particularly through the airports 66-strong long haul route network.

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport said; “SMEs are an important cog in the economic ecosystem of the South East and we recognise the many challenges they face. By supporting local enterprises to attend international trade shows we hope to provide them with an important step up that will help them to develop and grow their business for the future.

“We hope to keep working closely with the Department for International Trade to see how else we might support local business going forward.”

To enter, click here.