Want to promote your Minnesota food, beverage, or ingredient at a business-to-business (B2B) tradeshow? Do you market your products using in-store demos? Are you new to the tradeshow world and want to learn from mentors at a Minnesota Pavilion event? Our Tradeshow and Demo Support Program (TSP) can help!

Industry Tradeshows

This program reimburses up to 50% of many business-to-business (B2B) tradeshow costs. These are shows commonly attended by wholesalers, grocers, retailers, distributors, brokers, etc.

Eligible expenses

  • Booth rental (not available if you are buying discounted space in a Minnesota Pavilion).
  • Booth development/improvement costs: booth shipping, drayage (on-site handling), cleaning service, equipment rental, educational sessions, event-sanctioned buyer meeting costs, product showcases, badge scanner rental, and organizational membership fees (if required to exhibit).

Ineligible expenses

In-Store Retail Product Sampling and Demonstrations

To qualify for reimbursement, sampling must be done in a retail location that sells your product(s). This can include grocery stores, gift boutiques, or other retailers. It may not include your own retail store or sampling at farmers markets, festivals, or other public events.

Eligible expenses

  • Labor for an employee, owner, or contracted help, at a flat rate of $10/hour
  • Mileage at $0.50/mile, with a per-demo maximum of $200

Ineligible expenses

  • Lodging
  • Booth supplies such as plates, napkins, and toothpicks
  • Your own product for sampling
  • Sales sheets, business cards, and other printed literature

Walk the Floor Mentorship

This new program provides a one-time $500 travel match for leaders of companies founded in Minnesota to attend a national tradeshow and learn from current exhibitors. Mentees will be matched with a host company in the Minnesota Pavilion to learn about tradeshow preparation and execution. There will also be time to walk around the tradeshow, assess competitive products, and attend education sessions and other tradeshow-related events.

NOTE: You must have a signed mentorship agreement prior to the show. Contact Brian Erickson for more information.

Eligible Expenses

  • Airfare and lodging
  • Show badge
  • Business education sessions or other tradeshow-related events

Eligible Events

Reimbursement Amounts

If the product you’re promoting is made in Minnesota, you’re eligible to claim up to $4,000 per state fiscal year for any combination of tradeshows, demos, and mentorships. If your product is manufactured outside of Minnesota, the limit is $2,000/year. Awards at MDA-sponsored events do not apply to annual limits.

We reimburse claims on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. We reserve the right to deny claims from entities not in good standing with the State, or who do not comply with the program requirements.

Application Deadlines

You must apply for reimbursement within six months of the tradeshow or in-store sampling/demo date. June 12, 2019 is the final deadline to submit Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019) expenses for reimbursement.

How to Apply

Complete and sign the TSP application (PDF) and email it to Ariel Kagan. For tradeshow expenses, include copies of receipts or invoices that show a zero balance. If you don’t have receipts, you can send a copy of the invoice and proof of payment (cancelled check or credit card statement).


Other Requirements

  • You agree to promptly return post-event and follow-up surveys that ask for information including the number of leads generated and sales projections.
  • You agree to retain receipts and records for three years and make them available for audit or inspection by the MDA or state auditor on request.

Source of Funds

Funds for this program come from the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation Program (AGRI) established by the State Legislature to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries.