When to Go Custom: Outdoor Exhibition Booth Design Options

outdoor exhibition booth design

When it comes to outdoor exhibition booth design, forget about using a traditional trade show booth. If your company or brand is sponsoring an outdoor event or presenting at an outdoor trade show, an exhibition booth designed for indoor use won’t be a viable option. Outdoor events and exhibits take place under vastly different circumstances from their indoor counterparts; failure to take those circumstances into consideration may result in an unsuitable or underwhelming presentation. An exhibit that seems impressive inside a convention center might not make much of a visual impact when viewed outside.

Instead, make the location work to your advantage. Think beyond the booth. Outdoor exhibitions generally fit into one of three categories: outdoor events, mobile exhibits, or exhibits at industry-specific outdoor trade shows. Whichever category your upcoming event or exhibit falls into, hiring the services of a company with years of professional experience in custom outdoor event design is by far the best way to ensure a positive brand impression.

outdoor exhibition booth design

Custom outdoor event design is necessary for special events, mobile exhibits, and outdoor trade shows.

Outdoor Events

Some experiences just work better outside. Sport- and fitness-themed events like sponsored three-on-three basketball tournaments are obvious examples of this, as are live music festivals. Outdoor events most likely take place in a wide open space; while individual sponsored displays and smaller activity areas may be set up, the main event is most often centered around a primary stage with monitors and a sound system. Anytime you want to expand your reach beyond conference attendees and attract passersby from the general public, outdoor events are a great option, allowing participants a chance to get active and boisterous under the open sky.

Due to all the aspects that must be taken into consideration, organizing an outdoor event is a complicated matter. A great deal of planning and careful coordination is involved, from finding a venue to designing exhibits, booking talent, and making travel arrangements. Hiring experienced event management professionals who can handle all the details and logistics is the single best way to ensure your custom outdoor event is a success.

Mobile Exhibiting

If you want to take your presentation on the road, consider mobile exhibiting. Mobile exhibits—trailers that can travel anywhere around the country, with your branding prominently displayed on the exterior walls and an entire exhibit contained within—bring an undeniable wow factor to your marketing efforts. Mobile trailers can pop out and unfold to instantly create an event venue in any location with a minimum of setup, or your exhibit can be contained entirely inside the trailer. The scale is up to you. If a 10×10 pop-up will suit your needs, your exhibit designer can help make it happen. If you want to do things on a grand scale and have an entire mobile exhibit mounted on a tractor-trailer, you can have that, too. Or you might want to contain your display within a hip, cute RV or van. The possibilities are endless.

With a mobile exhibit, you can bring a fully-realized marketing experience directly to any business or location you wish to target. The trailer walls of mobile exhibits offer a peerless opportunity to display tons of signage, making your exhibit serve double-duty as around-the-clock advertising for your brand, even while parked. Mobile exhibits tend to be a fully immersive experience, since visitors are stepping inside a contained structure wholly dedicated to your brand’s message. Mobile exhibits are a great way to present every part of your brand message in a controlled environment, designed to deliver on your market strategy from the time visitors see your vehicle pull up.

outdoor exhibition booth design

The exterior of this Fortinet mobile exhibit, located on a 53’ tractor-trailer, is emblazoned with the company’s logo and distinctive branding.

outdoor exhibition booth design

The Fortinet mobile exhibit’s interior is spacious yet contained, giving visitors an immersive brand experience.

Industry-Specific Outdoor Exhibits

Exhibiting outdoors works especially well for some industries and niche markets. An exhibit of heavy agricultural equipment, for example, would be far easier to set up outdoors. Similarly, a display of motor vehicles like ATVs would be best suited for the open air. Outdoor-themed industries, such as hunting or hiking, may find it more natural and intuitive to hold their trade shows in an open-air setting.

It may be tempting to assume the same exhibition booth your company uses indoors would be suited for an outdoor trade show. Resist that temptation: A professional trade show exhibit design company will be able to design a custom exhibit suited for outside use, taking into consideration such factors as location, terrain, and weather.

If your goal is to connect with the targeted audience available at a specific trade show, a custom exhibit will help you deliver the right branding message. With an industry-specific outdoor exhibit, you’ll have the advantage of vertical space and room to move.

outdoor exhibition booth design

This display for the Honda Indy Pit Stop Challenge takes full advantage of the outdoor setting. Image provided by Highmark Outdoor.

When to Go Custom

If you want a one-of-a-kind exhibit for your outdoor booth or event, custom outdoor event design is the way to go. If you’re hosting a series of outdoor events, a custom design is the preferred option, since you can leverage it repeatedly. The custom design can help set the theme and tell your brand’s story throughout the campaign. If your event is a one-off, consider using a custom rental to help make the impression you want.

Regardless of which type of event is coming up on your calendar, you’ll want to get started as early as possible. The only theoretical limit to custom designs for outdoor marketing is imagination—if you can dream it, it can be built. The more elaborate your dream, the sooner you’ll want to speak to a custom exhibit designer to begin making it a reality.

ProExhibits specializes in unique, award-winning trade show exhibit designs. We’ve helped some of the world’s biggest brands realize their exhibit dreams—indoors and out—for more than 30 years. We stay current on event and exhibit trends, technologies, and techniques. Tell us about your next event or campaign. We look forward to helping you create a one-of-a-kind experience and to helping your brand make the impression you want. Contact us today.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.