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What To Wear To A Trade Show

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💡 In this guide, you will learn what to wear to a trade show.

Visiting a trade show is a great experience to have. It does not only expand new horizons for a person professionally, but also gives him a perspective of things. It is basically a formal event, which is held to make the members of an industry assemble at a particular venue. 

The event includes displaying, discussing, and demonstrating the products and services launched by the companies in recent times. Most of the time, they are hosted at convention centers in metropolitan cities where these trade events take place. Hence, being high profile, these events are of great importance and should be visited by following the proper trade show dress code. 

In case you want to showcase a new product or service to the participants, you need to ensure to be presentable enough to attract them. Proper attire will alter your perception to others and it will have the capacity to make you look like an industry professional. 

❗ Don’t miss our trade show booth design tips.

Why is dressing up important? 

Dressing up well while attending a trade show is of utmost importance. Being an exhibitor in the event, your first impression of others counts a lot. This is because you will be the representative of your company, and you should present it in the best possible manner. Your outlook would be a reflection of your business ideas, values, and culture that the entire business team follows. Rather than putting way too much effort into the outlook of a flashy stand, you need to give significance to how you look. 

If you have no idea what to wear to a trade show and are looking for some tips and tricks, this article will let you know a few ideas you should follow to make an impressive impact on the attendees. 

❗ Check our guide on how to sell at a trade show and our tips on selling at a trade show.  

  • Represent your industry 

A trade show is a cumulative event, in which people from different industries represent their individual industries. Your attire and outlook should be a walking display of the industry that you belong to. Overdoing or undergoing your attire would affect the way you portray your industry in front of those who don’t really have an idea about it. Now, do you think wearing rugged jeans would present the banking sector in an appropriate manner?  

Definitely not!  

A casual outfit may put you across as a lazy person with an I don’t care attitude, which you should not portray. Hence, the clue is: you need to dress according to the niche you are catering to. While presenting your new product or service to the audience, you need to look convincing enough for them to believe in what you are selling.  

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  • Know the nature of the event 

Trade shows are of two different types: Business to business and business to customer. Where the former is highly formal and requires you to be extremely cautious of the way you dress, the latter is not THAT strict. As you will be meeting the potential customers in the second one, you can wear something that would help you connect to them. A very strict outfit may make the customers find you overpowering them. Hence, you need to select something that won’t intimidate the participants of the event to discuss something with you. 

On the other hand, a business-to-business event needs you to wear a smart, yet professional outfit. You may have to end up giving a presentation, for which a three-piece suit would be the right way to go! However, no matter what you wear, just try to look distinctive and people will get attracted to what you are presenting, automatically!  

❗ Don’t miss our trade show booth design tips

  • Keep the cleanliness top-notch 

The business event needs you to wear a smart, yet professional outfit. No matter what you wear, it should be spotless and highly unsoiled. Even a single spot can ruin the entire look, making the members of the event find you not serious. Alongside this, one thing that you need to keep in mind is that the event may occur somewhere in a building that is closed from all sides. There may not be proper ventilation, and lack of air may make you sweaty. Hence, keeping a good quality deodorant with you would reduce the chances of you getting sweaty and spreading out the bad odor.  

However, make sure not to go over the top by taking a shower with your favorite perfume. Always remember: less is more! 

❗ Check our article on reasons why you should attend trade shows

  • Keep the hair ready 

In case you are super busy, you may not be really thinking of your hair. Ruffled hair shows untidiness, making the onlookers uncomfortable. This is why keeping a set of hair care essentials with you at all times is necessary. This would let you change your hairstyle or settle the hair whenever you see your reflection in the mirror. Freshening up after every two to three hours is a good idea. Get some deodorant sprayed on you and brush your hair whenever you get time! 

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  • Consider coordination 

Members of the same company should consider coordinating their outfits while attending the trade shows together. Though the most popular choice of outfit in recent times for the trade events is a polo shirt, or the khaki at times, all the members should try to sync with each other. Rather than choosing one color and wearing it, the members of the company should choose a common style to go with. It could be a polo shirt, or even a complete dress, making you appear a solid team even for a stranger. This would also make things easier for the visitors, as the visual of a team would be obvious. 

❗ Here is our guide on how to build a trade show booth.

  • Avoid flashy shoes 

No matter how much of a shoe lover you are, you should hold yourself back from wearing the brand-new shoes you have just received in your mail. Flashy and way too vibrant shoes may put the customer off. A trade show is definitely not the time to tell the world how much of a colorful personality you have! Alongside this, if they show that your wear is even slightly uncomfortable, you should remove and replace it immediately. You may have to stand for a very long period of time. Wearing unbearable shoes for a whole day would make things extremely agonizing for you. You may end up developing blisters, making it impossible for you to continue with your task for the day. 

❗ Here are our trade show attendee tips.

  • Be approachable 

Wearing something way too formal may intimidate others and they may find it tough to approach you! The whole purpose of a trade show is to make connections and meet people that would turn into future consumers. If a person doesn’t even come close to you thinking you are extremely inaccessible, there would be no point in being a part of such a show. Many cities are quite friendly, and you should appear the same in your outlook at the trade show. 

  • Don’t over-accessories 

One main rule that you need to follow while dressing up for the trade show is to avoid going over the board when it comes to accessorizing. Chunky earrings, flashy rings, and huge necklaces are some items that are a big NO! Rather, opt for small and delicate items, only if wearing them is unavoidable. The less you accessorize yourself, the smarter you would look according to the event.  

This goes for men as well. A belt that is too huge or a tie that shines from afar is a NO! Even the cufflinks that you select for the day must be extremely delicate and good-looking. 

❗ Don’t miss our trade show booth design tips

  • Remove the piecing 

If you are a fan of piercings and have them all across your face and body, you need to make sure to remove them before entering the trade event. This is because the piercing, no matter how cool it may appear to you, gives off a very casual vibe to the onlookers. In order to maintain the professional look, a clean face, devoid of any piercing, is the perfect way to go for! 

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  • Avoid a drastic makeover 

Chopping off your hair or going for a new hairstyle right before the trade show may be a bad idea! This is because a new look is unpredictable and you may eventually feel uncomfortable in it. If you are super self-conscious, there is a great chance you won’t perform well in the show. Hence, your comfort level really matters, which comes from your regular way of looking.  

Why exhibit at a trade show? Check our guide to learn the reasons why. 


Attending a trade show comes with great significance as it opens new opportunities to expand the business and make new relations. It gives the right exposure, ensuring that each and every participant gets something that is beneficial for him. For many businesses, it is about showcasing and displaying the new products and services, managing to turn potential customers into loyal consumers. Hence, wearing the right attire and putting across the right personality is something that decides the benefits obtained by a participant.  

Learn more about trade show best practices:

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