Creating Successful Exhibits

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From Concept through Completion!

November 16-21, 2015
Crowne Plaza Clayton
St. Louis, MO


Please note, payment is now due at the time of registration. Please do not submit a registration form without payment, as it will not be processed.

To pay by check or purchase order:
Download the CSE COURSE REGISTRATION FORM and return by mail with check or purchase order

To pay by credit card:
You can now register and pay online with a credit card! Just log in to our new website. Non-members can log in too after creating an account. After logging in, choose "Upcoming Events" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form.

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

Course Description

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.

Tuition & Expenses

Early Bird Rates:
$1000 for AZA Individual Members
1100 for Non-members
Regular Rates:
$1100 for AZA Individual Members 
$1200 for Non-members   

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

Please note, these rates are higher than past offerings of this course because they include course registration, as well as breakfasts, lunches, break service, and two dinners during the course. For courses hosted at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, this cost is included in the lodging fee instead. 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 past offerings.
Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.


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

Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices.  Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or wait list email once acceptance decisions are made.

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.

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
Construction Phase
    Practical Considerations
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.

David McGuire, AIA, Vice President Architecture and Planning - Saint Louis Zoo
Doug Piekarz,  President & CEO - Akron Zoological Park
Emily Routman, Prinicipal - Informal Science Planning
Jenny Sayre Ramberg - National Aquarium in Baltimore
Alan Varsik, Assistant Director - Northwest Trek


For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department or call (301) 562-0777 x251