Exhibition Designer Careers

How to become exhibition designer

What does an exhibition designer do?

Exhibition designers design exhibitions and display stands for events ranging from large public exhibitions such as the Ideal Home Show to conferences and exhibitions for trade and industry or temporary displays for businesses, museums, libraries and galleries.

Designers present their ideas in sketches, scale plans, computer-generated visuals and models for discussion with the client. Once these are agreed they produce final specifications.

In large companies designers may have a purely design role; in smaller companies they are also likely to oversee the construction of the components (usually in workshops) and their assembly and installation at the exhibition venue.

Designers may also handle orders for supplies and liaise with technical specialists such as lighting staff.

What's the working environment like for exhibition designers?

Exhibition designers in larger companies may work basic hours of 9am to 5pm, but overtime may be required. In smaller companies they may work longer hours including weekends.

The work is studio or office based, but will usually also involve visiting clients or exhibition sites. Designers may be required to travel extensively, in this country and abroad, depending on the job. A driving licence is useful, and often essential.

What does it take to become an exhibition designer?

To work as a designer you need:

  • design and artistic skills

  • the ability to think creatively and laterally

  • technical drawing skills and computer aided design experience

  • knowledge of safety and licensing regulations

  • the ability to work to tight deadlines

  • model making skills

  • good communication skills

  • the ability to use computer aided design packages

  • numerical skills

  • awareness of health and safety issues

  • teamworking ability.


Exhibition designer career opportunities

As an exhibition designer you might be employed as part of a team by an independent studio. Other employers include national and local government, and large organisations such as museums with their own design departments. There is a steady demand for the services of talented and experienced professionals.

Promotion to team leader or partner may be possible with a successful record of work. Many designers work freelance and need to build up contacts and reputation in order to be successful.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about exhibition designers that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

British Display Society
146 Welling Way
DA16 2RS
Tel: 020 8856 2030

Association of Exhibition Organisers
119 High Street
Tel: 01442 873331

The Design Council
34 Bow Street
Tel: 020 7420 5200

The Chartered Society of Designers
Bermondsey Exchange
179-181 Bermondsey Street
Tel: 020 7357 8088

Directory of Design Consultants

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St

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