I have never exhibited in a stamp show. It is something that never really piqued my interest and due to a lack of time with a full time job, the stamp business, and three young children, it is not something I am likely to undertake any time soon.
I have walked through exhibits at the local stamp shows as well as the Washington 2006 international show which I was privileged to attend. There is a lot of interesting material out there and a lot of things to learn.
Most collectors work from printed album pages. They diligently buy material and fill the empty spaces in their album(s).
Did you ever notice that exhibits are never made up of printed album pages? It seems ironic that most collectors collect on printed album pages, but they are not allowed in exhibits.
Exhibits are supposed to take work and include research in the subject. Printed album pages offer none of that.