The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Trade Show Displays

While it may seem easy enough to take indoor trade show displays and move them outside, there are a few things to consider. Indoor and outdoor trade show displays are not created equal. Indoor trade show booths are made to stand in a well-controlled indoor exhibit. Outdoor displays are made to withstand wind, rain, and bright sunlight. Taking an indoor trade show display outside could damage the display.

3 Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Trade Show Displays

Outdoor Trade Show Displays - Tent


When traveling, many exhibitors want to have the lightest trade show booth possible to decrease the cost of shipping. However, if an exhibitor plans to use the display outdoors, weight is a very important feature to have. Wind speeds can be unpredictable, and a light-weight trade show booth can end up flying away when pushed by a strong wind. Indoor trade show displays are significantly lighter than outdoor trade show booths. Even the lightest outdoor trade show displays have weight bearing options. Exhibitors can add plastic water weights, sandbags or even staking kits to outdoor trade show displays. Many of these options will not work with indoor trade show booths. See what weight options are available on


As I said before, outdoor displays are made to withstand wind, rain, and the sun. Frequently, this means using vinyl graphics. These graphics are better suited for outdoor used for their durability and water resistance. The vinyl material will not let the printed graphic design fade in sun or rain. It is also more durable against possible tears. Similarly, the hardware is made of a stronger material that can hold a flag or tent canopy down again strong wind and rain without becoming damaged. Some indoor displays are made of lightweight plastics that will break under these conditions. Read more information about trade show materials on the APG website.


The durability of outdoor display makes them a great choice for any outdoor event. However, exhibitors that might want to save money by taking an indoor trade show booth outdoors may find an unwelcome surprise. Many of the indoor trade show displays have warranties against hardware damages for more than a year. However, if any damages occur to an indoor trade show booth that has been used outdoors the warranty may be voided. Manufacturers know that indoor displays cannot stand out to outdoor elements and limit warranties to indoor use only. An exhibitor looking to save money by using an indoor display outdoors may end up spending more by needing to purchase an entirely new trade show display when damages are made to the indoor display. Here are more details about warranties on APG’s Tips and Advice page.

Keep these things in mind when thinking about using the same display indoors and outdoors. If you need one display to fit both environment, it’s best to purchase an outdoor display and use it indoors.