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How to Plan and Design an Exhibition

Exhibition planning is an engaging process. Exhibitions are experiences; they provide communication of ideas, information, feelings and values.   Although there is no set method for planning an exhibit, there are general guidelines that professionals follow.

Whether you are planning a small or large scale exhibit for a community organization, museum, archive or library, designing a virtual exhibit, or generally want to learn the exhibition planning process, this article will take you the exhibition development guidelines to help you transition your concepts to realities.

Before you begin:

Consider your target audience: who will visit and interact with it? Step into your visitor’s shoes and consider their perspective:

People visit exhibitions for several reasons: for information, for personal identity and reinforcement of personal values, for social interaction, and for entertainment and relaxation.

An excellent resource on exhibition development is by Kathleen McLean, Planning for People in Museum Exhibitions.

Want to know more?  See: Resources

Exhibition Development Process

Remember that these phases of exhibition development are only guidelines that professionals use.  Based on your institution or community group’s resources, alter the process as required for your own exhibition project.