At trade shows and conferences your booth and collateral aren’t the only things representing your company to attendees.
For the duration of the trade show you are a walking representation of the brand.
You only have seconds to make a first impression at trade shows, so naturally your style and appearance will matter greatly.
Follow this list of Do’s and Don’ts to have the right effect on your ROI.
Do Dress For your Industry
Every trade show will be different depending on the industry.
If it’s a corporate and business focused conference, attendees will want to see you as professional and knowledgeable so dress like you would for an important meeting or presentation.
If your industry involves you attending a trade show like the Vintage Clothing & Textile Show, the focus will be less on corporate style and more on personal style.
Attendees will want to see what style you offer, and what better way to show that off than on yourself.
Don’t Overdress or Underdress
This has less to do with the industry you’re in and more to do with the vibe of the trade show.
A full suit may be proper for some shows and not for others.
If you’re overdressed, potential customers may feel intimidated and avoid speaking with you.
However, if you’re underdressed attendees may not think you’re worth their time.
So how do you get it right?
Do your research beforehand.
Look at photos from past shows, or consult team members who have attended in the past to decide where you should be on the scale of casual to business.
Do Brief Your Team on Appearance
Don’t just assume your team and your staff will know the appropriate way to dress for a trade show, especially first timers.
Have a meeting before the show to discuss how you expect everyone to dress, field any questions and even show them examples of what team members have worn in the past.
The last thing you want is for an employee to show up in sweatpants thinking they are appropriate.
Don’t Roll Out of Bed
This one is simple.
If attendees notice that you put in zero effort in your appearance, they are going to assume you will put in zero effort in your work.
A put together appearance will make it clear you want to be there and you want to assist them.
Do Consider “Uniforms”
When attendees enter your booth, you don’t want them to end up playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?” to find you.
If this happens you could end up losing potential customers who give up and leave before they get to you.
Uniforms for your staff and team members could be something as simple as a bright colored polo shirt or sweater with your company logo on it.
The sooner visitors find you; the sooner you can close the deal.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Smile
Admittedly, this tip is a bit of cheating.
Though a smile is not part of your style it does play a major role in your appearance.
A smile makes you more approachable and gives off the kind of attitude potential customers want to see from a company.
The way you present yourself to booth visitors can have a huge effect on your trade show return on investment, but if you present yourself in the best way possible that effect will be a positive one.
Sarah Bridgewater has been writing about trade show design and tips for success at shows for more than 10 years. When not writing, you can find Sarah at the gym training or at home with her young children.