What you wear at a trade show can add to or adversely affect your success at the show. How you look and how comfortable you are can make a world of difference. With all the effort that organizations put into displays, booth placement, personal training, and follow-up it might seem as if apparel is your last priority, but that would be a mistake. Your trade show dress is important.

Brand it

You and your staff want to look like your brand. It starts with Branded Apparel, but doesn’t end there. Nancy Jarial, TKO Graphix VP of Marketing, coordinates trade show dress before a show to prepare staff. She’ll help the staff choose which logoed clothing to wear on what day, which ensures all staffers pack the appropriate clothing. Another way to approach this is to choose colors for the entire team to wear while also wearing at least one piece of branded gear.

Get Comfortable

One of the keys to working a trade show is to be enthusiastic, smile, and present a positive demeanor. That’s hard to do if you’re wearing brand new shoes that are killing your feet. Remember, you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time so wear comfortable shoes that are professional looking and polished. If the show is more than one day, bring more than one pair. Same goes with pants, shirts, and skirts. If it’s not comfortable, leave it home. Trade show dress not only needs to look professional but be comfortable as well.

Don’t Over or Under Dress

Wearing a suit and tie to a construction trade show might be overkill. You might look professional but also unapproachable, not a good look for booth staff. At the same time don’t underwhelm attendees with sloppy clothes such as untucked shirts, beltless pants, or sandals with socks.

Bring Backup

Pack a sweater or a jacket. Some halls are cold and drafty so prepare for a chill. Keep an extra shirt or top at the booth. I can be a slob. I’ve been known to squirt chili from a chili dog all over the front of my shirt. It’s not a good look.

Wear Name Tags

Be sure to bring professionally branded name tags for every employee working at the booth. They should all be the same and reflect your corporate brand. The tag should include the individual’s name and company logo. You might also consider adding the staffer’s position as well.

Dress for Success

That old adage, dress for success, is critical to trade show success. It’s hard to smile when you’re uncomfortable. Teams that wear different colors and styles don’t look like a team or a brand. How you look and how you feel are as important as any aspect of a show. Both can make or break your show. To dress for show success takes forethought and group coordination. What are you wearing to your next show?