Trade show logistics are complicated. Between getting your products ready, designing a pitch, and making sure your booth looks great, your trade show outfit may be the last thing on your mind.
However, personal style can be crucial to a trade show exhibitor. At these shows, you are the mouthpiece of your brand. The way you look affects the way potential buyers see your product.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare a great outfit for your next trade show.
Instead, keep reading and follow our tips for how to dress as a trade show exhibitor. We know you’re busy, so we’ve put all the essential information in one place.
Why the Trade Show Industry Is Important
Trade shows are an invaluable resource for new companies. A trade show can be a great way to showcase and test your products.
Trade shows generally don’t expose your products to the general public; rather, your products will be seen by retailers who could carry them in your stores.
Honest feedback from retailers can help you nip it in the bud if something is wrong with one of your products. You can also get suggestions that will help you improve your products, even if there is nothing wrong with them.
Plus, the connections you can make at a trade show are invaluable.
You could easily meet a life-long business partner at one of these shows. That’s why it is so important to make a good first impression; you don’t want a potential buyer to pass you up for superficial reasons.
Make a Great First Impression
Trade show coordination should come with a personal style guide. Style is much more vital to making a first impression than you might think.
Sure, in an ideal world, your products would speak for themselves. Unfortunately, the human brain cannot help but judge based on superficial details, like an outfit.
Think of a trade show as a job interview.
Your skills and resume are the most important thing you have to offer, but we all know how important your style and confidence are as well.
Dressing well at your trade show exhibition is a great way to instill the confidence you will need to sell your products.
(Almost) Never Go Below Business Casual
Every trade show is different, and your style should depend on the product you are selling. However, there are some rules of thumb that everyone should follow.
One easy rule is: never dress down past business casual. Some trade shows may require fancier garb, but almost none will necessitate casual clothes.
When in doubt, stick to a dress shirt and slacks; or a nice blouse and slacks for the ladies.
Depending on the atmosphere of the trade show, you may want to add a blazer and/or a tie to your ensemble.
Best Trade Show Exhibitor Outfits
Let’s break down some examples of great trade show exhibitor outfits. We’ll give you some ideas for both men and women.
If the environment is on the more casual side, men should stick to a dress shirt and slacks or dark wash jeans in good condition.
If the environment is slightly more formal, men should avoid the jeans and switch to a suit and tie.
The ladies have a few more options. In a more casual environment, you can wear nice dark wash jeans and a blouse. You can also add a blazer to this ensemble without making it too formal.
In more formal settings, you can wear a pantsuit or a minimalistic, sleek dress. In either case, heels always help you look more in charge.
Show Off Your Personality
When you’re dressing for a trade show exhibition, remember that your product might contain a bit of your personality. Don’t be afraid to wear something that tells people who you are!
That can mean a dress shirt with an eye-catching print, a piece of tasteful statement jewelry, or a daring pair of shoes.
This tip is essential if you work in the fashion or decor industry. Your buyers want to know that they can trust the person behind their products.
If that product is related to aesthetics and design, you can easily demonstrate your competence by dressing with a unique flare!
Keep Your Customer in Mind
You should demonstrate your own personality in your trade show outfit. However, you should also reflect the personality of the kind of customer you want to attract.
Buyers will instinctively trust you more if they see themselves in you.
If you are trying to attract small boutique owners, dress with some extra flair and quirks. If you are trying to attract high-powered owners of multiple stores, make sure your outfit is all business.
Don’t Just Dress Yourself
Your outfit isn’t the only thing you need to design with care. According to the folks at Rockwayexhibits.com, trade booth design is equally important.
Even if your product is great, no one will give it a chance if you show it off in a disorganized booth.
Make sure your trade booth stands out but looks professional and easy to navigate.
Dress Your Best at Your Next Trade Show
Make a great first impression at your next trade show. A successful trade show exhibitor dresses the part and sells their products with confidence.
You might be surprised by how much your clothing can help your sales.
For more tips for business owners, check out the rest of our blog!