Continuing development of the exhibition industry, current trends and processes indicate the formation of a new sector of the global and national economies, with turnover exceeding 25 billion US dollars in 2016. Increasing intrasectoral competition, globalization, players tapping new markets, and intensive mergers and acquisitions, as well as the importance of exhibition mechanisms in implementing state priorities all predetermine the need for sectoral strategy. Developing a system of sectoral standards based on international standards is becoming very urgent. The participants of the exhibition and trade-fair sector require uniform rules in the field of organizing exhibition events, ensuring their security, developing human resources, expanding the infrastructure of exhibition facilities. The existing state regulatory mechanisms for the exhibition and trade-fair sector vary greatly from country to country, depending on the exhibition process maturity and on the issues that the state aims to resolve by means of exhibitions. The key sector participants, their professional associations, and the exhibitors choosing exhibitions to demonstrate their products and technologies now discuss the issues of boundaries of the sector’s self-regulation. How much does the sector need state regulation? What kind of legislative, information and financial support for exhibition and trade-fair activities should be provided by the state, professional and sectoral unions and associations? The answers to these questions are directly linked to the task of developing strategies for both the regulatory system and the development of the exhibition industry. The issues of intellectual property protection, special modes of import and export of exhibits, tax regimes for exhibition complexes, compensation of expenses to the participants of international exhibitions, holding state tenders for organizers of national expositions, and many others are in the focus of attention. The strategic value of the exhibition and trade-fair activities is determined by its function of an economy powerhouse. Long-term action plans are not enough to use this mechanism effectively. The sectoral strategy should be formed on the basis of national interests and those state priorities that can and should be implemented by means of the exhibition and trade-fair activities. These priorities include, among others, the development of the country's technological potential, the digitalization of its economy, and the protection of interests in the field of international cooperation.