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5 Career Paths in the Exhibition Industry

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” A friend jokingly asked me this question recently and it got me thinking about the time when we all have to make that decision. When you’re a kid, it’s hard to understand the ramifications of deciding on a particular career. You just think, “I want to be a pilot when I grow up.” You may not consider the hours of training, years of service to get a good route, or nights spent away from your family. On the flipside, you may only think about the positive—a good salary and fulfilling a childhood dream.

There are so many jobs you can do, but for some, it is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to make. It can also be one of the most rewarding and personally fulfilling. Have you thought about working in the global exhibitions industry? It’s one of the most dynamic, interesting and ever-changing spaces for employment around. Here are some of positions to consider:

Show Manager

If taking the lead and managing multiple things at once is your thing, this is the job for you. It takes a highly organized person to be a trade show manager. They oversee all aspects of trade show operations. From concept and planning to facilitating the set-up and executing show activities, being a trade show manager puts a completely new meaning to a “full time” job.

Show Exhibit Designer

Do you have an eye for design and architecture? Exhibit designers are responsible for the design and layout of exhibits. Working with small spaces, it takes a keen eye to create a booth that is eye-catching but not overdone. Many designers work directly with clients to bring concept to creation.

show exhibit designer 3d draft

Show Sales

Trade show sales are similar to other sales careers in building and maintaining client relationships. It’s a big investment in relationship building, as the sales process often takes months to complete. With large inventories, salespeople have to know the inventory well from pipe and drape to trashcans, carpet and more.

Show Warehouse Supervisor

Safety is key in this position. Handling heavy machinery and stacking inventory for what can seem like miles takes someone who’s willing to get their hands dirty. There’s also a lot of logistical responsibilities including: paperwork, routing account orders, pulling and pack samples for shows, recommending organizational improvements and more.

Show Warehouse Supervisor

Marketing Director

As Marketing Director, either for the venues that host events, the company that produces the event or the event itself, this position is responsible for making sure the company’s brand is represented and promoted appropriately. They work with internal and external stakeholders on strategy and vision, content, production and budget management, promotions, press relations and more.

This is just a small sample of the jobs available within the Exhibitions industry. Do your research, find what speaks to you and take action! It’s never too late to start a career in the global exhibitions industry, where no two shows are ever the same. We promise you won’t get bored! 

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