What to Wear to a Conference: Corporate conferences and other similar events serve an important purpose. Namely, they offer an opportunity for us to expand our business and show other attendees what we are about. In addition, it’s a great chance to network and meet people who we will cooperate with in the future.
According to promotional product experts GoPromotional, there’s always a risk of something going wrong at these conferences. As attendees, we have to dress for the event, and picking an outfit out is definitely not as easy as it might sound. Some business people under dress and come off as sloppy to other attendants, which hinders any chance of cooperation and influence. On the other hand, other people overdress, greatly intimidating other attendants. And let’s not forget that comfort, industry standards, and other factors also contribute to these issues.
So, how can one pick a good outfit for a trade show? Well, here are 5 tips that can help our readers figure that out.
Tips on Dressing for a Conference
- Tip #1: Dress Weather-Appropriately
Lots of conferences tend to take place outdoors, in a vast garden or a spacious car park. And even if the event is held indoors, we still have to arrive at it. Furthermore, we can’t always expect a good parking space near the venue, so we might be expected to do some walking to where the event is taking place.
Now, none of the conditions we’ve listed above should matter when it’s nice and sunny outside. However, if the weather turns sour, even the best-dressed people can end up at the event freezing, wet, splattered with mud, or worse.
Naturally, we can’t control the elements themselves — the weather will shift according to the climate conditions, and sometimes even experts won’t be able to predict how. Nevertheless, it pays to be careful. Before going to an event, we should check reliable weather reporting sources and match our outfits to the forecast.
There are also excellent business opportunities that bad weather can result in. For example, if we’re expecting rain, we can bring branded merch for the occasion, such as umbrellas, raincoats, hats, or towels. And if there’s a heatwave, we can bring water bottles and beach-friendly tote bags, also with our company logo printed on them. It’s called taking advantage of the moment and thinking creatively at every opportunity.
- Tip #2: Coordinate With Your Staff
There’s a very good reason why so many businesses in a large number of industries insist on uniforms. Sure, there are good arguments against wearing them, such as the individuality of workers and feeling comfortable (thus optimizing your work output). But uniforms signal to the shopper that the company they’re dealing with is cohesive and works like a well-oiled machine.
There’s no better opportunity to elicit such emotions than a conference. If we match our own outfit with that of our staff, we will stand out among the crowd. Furthermore, it will give possible investors an impression that our company is trustworthy and eager to connect with everyone, even at a level as small as work attire.
- Tip #3: Dress Appropriate to Your Industry and Status
We’ll address these two points separately.
Let’s start with the industry angle. For instance, how would a renowned economist or manager look if they appeared on stage wearing sweatpants and a Hawaiian shirt? What about a famous sports gear retailer — should they really wear a suit and tie when talking about their line of sneakers or rowing oars?
Depending on what industry we belong to, we should dress for the occasion. Obviously, someone handling professional or financial services will be wearing a suit and slacks or a dress. Other industries might include attire that will help them demonstrate why they are the best in the business. It’s also a good way of pulling future customers in.
Regarding status, it relates to what position we have in the company and what we’re expected to do. Let’s take sports apparel as an example again. If we’re merely booth attendants, we can wear outfits and accessories related to a particular sport. We may even wear outfits that are less formal. However, if we’re the CEO of the company and need to give a speech, we should choose something formal and professional, like a tux.
- Tip #4: Wear Comfortable Footwear
Shoes that are comfortable, safe, durable, and good for our feet’s health are difficult to find. Furthermore, the right pair may cost quite a bit. However, it’s an investment we highly recommend people make.
Attendees can be on their feet at conferences for up to 12 hours on average. That’s a lot of time to be walking, standing, and maybe even running. Without that comfort, we risk giving off a negative impression to a visitor. But more importantly, we risk our health and wellbeing.
- Tip #5: Layering Helps
Layering an outfit is both practical and stylish. In terms of practicality, it’s a great way to mix and match different outfits while using the same base. Moreover, if someone accidentally spills something on our jacket, we can simply remove it and spend the rest of the conference in the outfit underneath. Naturally, we have to do a bit of research and see which colours match and which combos we should avoid while at a conference.
Dressed for Success: Conclusion
Wearing the right clothes is merely one big part of attending a conference. And while it’s not the most important part, it can sometimes be the difference between an agreement and a bust on a deal. Hopefully, these five tips can help any prospective entrepreneur in finding that outfit that will always land a homerun in the world of business.