Creating Successful Exhibits

From Concept through Completion!

November 13-18, 2017
Crowne Plaza Clayton
St. Louis, MO

Creating Successful Exhibits provides an integrated overview of a team-based exhibit development process. The course follows the phases of an exhibit project from formation of the team, through concept planning, design and construction, to operation, in chronological order of the tasks. Full attention is given to techniques that improve an exhibit's impact on visitors. This program is a classroom-based workshop and does not include hands-on training in fabrication.

Course Topics & Instructors

  • Function of Exhibits
  • Developing Exhibits
  • Concept Development Phase
    • Feasibility Studies
    • Understanding the Institutional Review Process
  • Design Development Phase
    • Refining the Program
    • Utilizing External Consultants
    • Schematic Phase
    • Tools of Design
    • Developing Budgets and Timelines
    • Interpretive Techniques and Technology
    • Audience/Marketing Research/Evaluation
    • Fabrication, Horticulture, Green Design
    • Communication
  • Construction Phase
    • Practical Considerations
    • Communications
  • Post Opening & Review Phase

Course participants will work in small groups on a week-long project that incorporates all of these topics. At the end of the week, each group will make a formal presentation to the class.

Cheryl Braunstein, Manager, Exhbit Planning & Development - Smithsonian National Zoo
Harrison Edell
, Senior Director of Living Collections - Dallas Zoo
Monica Lake
, Director of Projects - Woodland Park Zoo
Randy Marker,  President - Thomas & Marker Construction Co.
Doug Piekarz
,  President & CEO - Akron Zoological Park 
Terry O'Connor, Prinicipal Consultant - Terry O'Connor Consulting LLC

Target Audience

This course is designed for zoo/aquarium staff involved in exhibit development, animal care, conservation education, design and graphics, research, facilities, marketing and operations.


None. Priority will be given to AZA members. International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis;  please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.

Course Registration & Travel

Tuition & Expenses*

Please note, these rates are higher than other course offerings because they include course registration, as well as breakfasts, lunches, break service, and two dinners during the course.  The hotel rate in St. Louis will be $110 plus taxes per room per night, with no surcharge for double occupancy. The overall resulting cost to participants will be similar compared to other less-inclusive courses. Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.

Early Bird Rates
$1000 for AZA Individual Members
$1100 for Non-members
Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date

Regular Rates
$1100 for AZA Individual Members
$1200 for Non-members
Final registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

*Prices are subject to change

Accepted forms of payment for registration are by: credit card, check or purchase order. Interested individuals will be able to view further details and register for the course from this page starting in late spring 2017. 

Travel & Accommodations

Lambert Saint Louis International Airport (STL) is the closest airport. The hotel provides free airport shuttle service and is also accessible via MetroLink.

Course participants stay at Crowne Plaza Clayton in St. Louis, Missouri and classes meet on-site.

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department 

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