Presenting the important components of a competitive stamp exhibit is relatively simple. Refining these components, to make your exhibit a contender for the top award in any competition is another matter. However, you have to start somewhere. You need to start by gaining an understanding of these components and how they work with each other. Once you reach this understanding you will be able to put together an exhibit that will look like it belongs with the other exhibits. If you really do well in your first competition, chalk it up to your research efforts. Some key areas to know are:
• Design and layout.
• General exhibit write-up.
• Title page.
• Other pages.
Although this list may seem rather redundant, there is a method behind its madness. In any competition you really need to show some creativity and uniqueness within a normally rigidly structured environment. A key concept to keep in mind is that, generally your personal collection is different from a competitive exhibit based upon it. Your own personal collection has no formal guidelines.
Before you actually begin to put together your stamp exhibit, learn what the physical characteristics of where you will be exhibiting are. You need to know things, like how many pages will fit into each exhibition frame, which is the device in which exhibit pages are placed so that they may be seen but not touched by the viewers. Other questions will concern what is the maximum number of frames permitted for a given exhibition.
Be sure to write or phone the organizers of the exhibition for an exhibit application. Applications are required for each show and each application is going to be different. The application should provide answers to the following questions:
• How many pages does each frame hold?
• What is the maximum number of frames allowed for each exhibit?
• What time should the exhibit be brought to the show? Or, should the exhibit be mailed in advance of the show? Are there any special packing or shipping considerations?
• When the show closes, where do you pick up your exhibit? Or, how will it be shipped back to you?
• What is the day and time of the judges critique?
If you have your exhibit shipped back to you, be certain to check out each page immediately upon its arrival to you. All stamp insurance plans should cover your exhibit while you are at home working on it, sending it to or from a show, or while the exhibit is at the show.