How the wrong dress code can be a deal breaker at your next trade show

posted Dec 13 2017

An eye-catching trade show booth does attract a lot of visitors – and once they are there, VR, giveaways, and demos do keep them engaged, but only for a while; sooner or later, they turn to you and your staff and take notice. And if you are not appropriately dressed for the event, bam! There goes your first impression.

Oddly enough, it’s not only about the visitors, rather it’s more about you – how comfortable you are, and what kind of a brand image are you trying to portray. Here’s what could wrong with your dress, and more importantly, how you can fix it:

Dress like a professional:

  • Take the business type, industry and event into consideration before zeroing in on a dress.
  •  A suit and tie seldom go wrong, but still, if the event requires you to wear something specific, go for it
  •  As long as your dress inspires confidence and makes you feel comfortable, it’s good enough. And if it sets you apart from your competitors, there’s nothing like it
  • Standing out is good but becoming everyone’s laughingstock is not. Choose wisely!

Start off with your shoes

  • Focus on comfort, but don’t go overboard. Wear comfortable shoes – avoid buying a new pair though, as they’ll give you a hard time at the show.
    – Ladies, you must let go of high heels – yes, they do look great, but you need to be on your toes the entire day, like literally
    – Don’t cross the line – sandals are a big no-no. They are not professional. No, wearing them with socks won’t work either.
    – Pick the right pair by taking a closer look at the flooring of the venue – Carpeted, concrete or wood? Choose accordingly
  • It’s also advisable to take an additional pair along, and switch or rotate, if the timings exceed the normal hours or if you have to be at the venue for a couple of days at stretch

Don’t be too pushy

  • Feel at home, but not in a literal sense. No sweatpants. Never ever. Pants with drawstrings are equally bad. If you appear way too casual, the visitors won’t take you seriously and many of them may even make a detour.
  • Shorts, of course, are out of the question; better stay at home
  • Remember, you are not at the golf course or out with friends at a bowling alley; act like it

Follow the protocol

  • As already discussed, it’s hard to go wrong with a conservative suit, especially a dark-colored one
    –    If you are not sure of what to wear, just go for it.

Don’t forget the basics

  • If your staff has visible tattoos and body piercings, find a way to conceal. Piercings are better left at home. You don’t want to polarize the visitors, right?
  • Get some branding done; nothing spreads the word like branded apparel; wherever your staffers go, they’ll bring in publicity
  • Play safe with the perfumes. Overdoing would cost you dearly. Period
  • Wear coats or tops that have at least a couple of pockets – would come in handy with all those business cards coming your way.
  • Avoid revealing too much and keep the skirt length business like – you don’t want any unnecessary attention

The visitors will build their first impression of you within 5-6 seconds of meeting you, and if you go wrong, they won’t give you a second chance. Tread carefully!

Trade Show Experts

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