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Exhibition organisers are responsible for every aspect of exhibition planning, marketing, organisation and administration.
Exhibitions provide the opportunity for potential buyers to meet a wide range of sellers within a single venue and range from general consumer shows to specialist trade events. The work is very similar to conference organisation and typically involves:
locating suitable venues
financial and managerial administration
marketing and selling exhibition space/stands
advertising and publicising events
liaising with caterers, suppliers and contractors
writing promotional material/press releases
overseeing the production of tickets and advertisement material
undertaking market research
ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation.
The working day is normally 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday but it can require long hours to meet tight deadlines. You will also be expected to work when the exhibition is on, which is often during weekends or evenings. Travel to exhibition venues and nights spent away from home are often necessary.
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into exhibition organising for both university graduates and school leavers.
Although any degree discipline is technically acceptable, there is strong competition for vacancies and employers may favour those possessing a management, marketing, events management or hospitality degree.
It is also possible to start as an exhibition assistant and work up to being an exhibition organiser.
Key skills for exhibition organisers
IT, sales, financial, marketing and PR skills and experience are usually beneficial. Would-be exhibition organisers should have plenty of energy, the ability to cope with pressure and meet deadlines, excellent interpersonal skills, meticulous attention to detail, effective time management and organisational abilities.
Typical employers of exhibition organisers
Employers include exhibition centres, specialist exhibition organising companies and major private companies. Self-employment is an alternative option, although this necessitates a good network of contacts.