Whether you’re attending a job interview, out in public, at work or especially at work events such as conferences and trade shows, first impressions definitely matter. And, since technology has made meeting face to face with your clients and customers less and less necessary and frequent, it’s easier to lose points on presentation if a face-to-face meeting does occur. Dressing sharp and stylishly is crucial for any kind of business event and can be the difference between attracting some or a lot of interest. If you have a trade show lined up and want to give off a good impression whilst being comfortable, read on for our top tips.
#1. Consider the Industry and Type of Event:
The industry that you’re working in and the type of event that you’re attending will have a big impact on the type of clothing that you choose to wear. For example, if you’re working in the software industry where dress codes tend to be more casual and relaxed, you can probably get away with smart casual attire that leaves a good impression, without looking like you’re over-doing things. On the other hand, certain industries will expect you to put in much more of an effort at a trade event – the financial and law industries, for example, would certainly expect you to be wearing a suit and tie if you’re a guy, or a smart pant or dress suit for ladies. So, keep this in mind before you choose your outfit.
#2. Consider the Climate:
You should also consider the climate and any activities that you will be expected to take part in on the day when it comes to choosing your outfit. For example, if you expect the trade show to be outdoors in warm weather, a suit might not be the best attire. So, it’s definitely worth checking with the show organizers beforehand if you are unsure of what to expect. And it’s certainly worth keeping climate control in mind if you’re exhibiting at a conference center or hotel – even if the weather is cold outside it’s probably going to be heated indoors. If in doubt, wear layers that you can remove and put back on as needed.
#3. Your Professional Position:
Don’t forget to always consider your professional position and the goals that you wish to achieve from the trade show when it comes to what you are wearing. For example, if you are a sales representative or software developer, you won’t want to over-dress to a point where you could easily be mistaken for a director or manager. Bear in mind, too, that not every industry is the ‘suit-and-tie’ kind, so dressing too sharply could do more harm than good in certain circumstances.
#4. What You’re Trying to Achieve:
The impression that you make with your choice of clothing can have a big impact on how well you are able to achieve the goals that you have set out for the trade show or event. For example, if you are trying to gain new clients or customers, dressing in a more relaxed fashion can help you give off a more approachable vibe, and encourage people to come over and talk to you about your brand. On the other hand, if you’re at an event trying to hire new staff, a ‘power’ look can have a great effect.
#5. Your Comfort:
Last but not least, don’t forget about your own comfort. This is especially true if you expect to be on your feet all day, where chafing suits and pinching shoes can quickly make the experience unbearable. If you’re not in a ‘suit and tie’ kind of industry, a pair of comfortable yet smart sneakers are a great choice for a trade show, as they’ll keep your feet comfortable and supported, allowing you to get on with speaking to people, promoting your brand and networking with other professionals. Balenciaga sneakers are a great choice as they’re stylish, modern and practical – the perfect addition to a business casual outfit that will make a great impression at a trade show or other relaxed business event. Take a look at this Balenciaga collection at SSENSE if you want to check out the great range to choose from.
To conclude: your outfit for a trade show isn’t just something that people will form their personal impression of you from, but also of your brand. So, choosing something that is smart, industry-appropriate, and easy to wear for the current climate is important. And, don’t forget about your comfort – you can offer a better service, connection, and engagement with your potential clients, customers, and employees when you’re feeling comfortable!
What are your go-to trade show outfit ideas? Do you prefer to suit up or does a casual vibe work better for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.