What to wear as an exhibitor at a trade show? First impressions count, so consider these tips when planning your wardrobe:
1. Artists can get away with non-business dress because of the industry, and it may even be expected. Dressing creatively can be fun and mark you as the artist, but make sure your clothing does not pull attention away from your art or craft work that is being displayed – after all, they are the real “stars” of your show!
2. If you’re unsure what to wear, considering dressing like your buyers, who will most likely be wearing business casual at a trade show. This simple tactic ensures that you will pretty much fit in with everyone else at the show.
3. Ripped jeans, t-shirts or studio clothes don’t belong at a trade show. Show more respect for yourself and your customers by taking the time to plan your wardrobe. Clean professional clothing and good grooming are essential basics. Don’t turn off your customers before they even speak with you or view your line.
4. If you make wearable art or jewelry, you may want to wear pieces of your line while you are exhibiting. This helps show your collection whether you are in or out of your booth, and displays how your handmade work looks on the body.
5. Ladies may want to make sure pants or dresses have pockets, which can be very handy for keeping business cards, pens, and other small items.
6. Comfort is very important at trade shows, and long hours standing mean that comfortable shoes are a must. High heels are a poor choice and a tripping hazard; leave them at home or save them for the after-hours party. Many exhibitors use cushioned or flexible flooring in their booth for maximum comfort underfoot.
7. During the show, you will most likely be speaking with many buyers and key prospects who can help build your creative business. Wear what you feel would be appropriate to make the best possible impression on these important customers. It will also help build your confidence.