Exhibition display designers design and produce exhibitions for museums, galleries, libraries, private businesses, specialist trade events and conferences, and large commercial public events.
Key responsibilities of the job include:
- consulting clients about design requirements
- collecting appropriate background and product information
- producing realistic but competitive quotes
- clarifying design issues
- negotiating and agreeing budgets and time-scales
- producing sketches and three-dimensional computer generated images
- ensuring that projects meet specifications, keep within budget and run to schedule
- liaising with suppliers, contractors and specialists, such as lighting technicians
- organising and attending meetings
- using a variety of media (especially IT and computer-aided design) to generate solutions
- delivering final work to clients for review
- maintaining awareness of current creative trends and influences
- replying to queries from clients
- transporting display stands to exhibition venues
- erecting and dismantling display stands at locations.
The work can require long hours and having to meet tight deadlines. Travel to exhibition venues within the UK and sometimes abroad, and nights spent away from home, are often necessary.
Employment opportunities mostly arise within exhibition display design divisions of general design companies, although there are some specialist companies. Vacancies are advertised by recruitment agencies, online and in local, regional and national newspapers. Freelance work or self-employment are alternative options, although they necessitate having substantial experience and a good network of contacts.
There are routes into exhibition display designing for both university graduates and school leavers.
Employers may favour those possessing exhibition design, art, design technology, architecture or interior design degrees.
Gaining experience via job shadowing, placements or vacation work is helpful. Candidates could also volunteer, helping with exhibitions in local museums and libraries, and should put together a portfolio of work to show employers.
- Technical drawing skills and IT skills, particularly computer-aided design
- Creativity and imagination
- Commercial awareness and marketing skills
- Excellent organisation and project/time management skills
- Communication and teamworking skills.