Many companies have a casual work environment and dress code, but when an employee is on the road attending meetings, training or trade shows the rules change. It is important to look and act professionally when in a professional setting. When an employee is representing the company they should at least be dressed business casual, where slacks for men and skirts for women are acceptable. This being just a minimal standard in order to really represent the company in the right capacity, formal dress attire is appropriate. Always act the part at a trade show.
How the employee looks and acts at a trade show can impact the company in a positive or negative way. What you wear in a professional setting says a lot about the company you represent and clothing can project a good or bad image. The best motto to go by is to “dress to impress.” Trade show booth staff are there to impress the attendees and bring in new business. It is better to guarantee a great first impression then to have the attendee leaving the booth with a bitter taste in their mouth.
There are ways to dress professionally yet still stay comfortable. There is a lot of business attire that is designed specifically for business meetings but allow you to stay comfortable. Being too relaxed in how you dress can leave people feeling like you do not pay attention to the details. Women should stick to slacks, pantsuits, skirts with pantyhose and heels and men should wear suits, ties, nice pressed shirts with clean polished shoes. Each person should be clean cut and groomed. It is all in the details. Being clean cut and groomed shows people that you care about your appearance and about the company you are representing.
It is not only important to look professional but to act professional as well. When people walk by they already have impression forming in their minds about you and that first impression is important. It all boils down to how you are dressed and how you are acting. So it is critical that you act like you are ready to do business. The way the booth staff presents itself can have a huge impact on the success-fulness of the event. The booth staff needs to be engaging customers not talking amongst themselves. You are there to work not socialize with friends and employees. It is considered rude to eat, drink, sit, read and talk on your cell phone because that conveys to the attendees that you don’t want to be there and have better things to do. Also remember that your body language says a lot about how you are feeling and having arms crossed over the chest isn’t an inviting image to convey. There are also many small things that can be done such as using the Breeze table top display at an event of presentation. This is an item under $40 that can make you look like a million bucks when pitching a product or traveling on the road.
It is best to engage the attendees and ask questions and follow the 80/20 rule. Listen 80% of the time and talk only 20% of the time. Attendees will convey their wants within the first 10 minutes of talking to you. This is a great way to profile attendees into categories that allow you to measure that amount of serious potential clients against those who are just looking. Being able to listen and pay attention is a critical part of how you are acting at the trade show. Having a professional demeanor encompasses both on how you look as well as how you act. A professional demeanor means to have a professional look where others who see you know that you are working. It also means not just looking the part but acting the part on how you conduct yourself. There may be things that are bothering you, for example your feet hurt, but the ability to push past that and still convey the right attitude shows people that you are a professional person and care about what you are doing.
Looking and acting the part will bring in new customers and rising profits. People expect a certain amount of professionalism and decorum when they attend trade shows. Every person attending is either a professional employee or owner of a company and these are the people that need to be wow’d. As they walk by they expect the booth staff to look great and be engaging in conversation with potential clients because this shows them that you mean business. It is best to get the right foot forward by dressing professionally and acting the part.