Dress codes: The do’s and don’ts of exhibiting

Your vibe attracts your tribe. Nothing speaks louder than what you wear.

After all, in an exhibition environment you are your brand.

So what should you be wearing at exhibitions next to your new banner stands and pop up stands? See our funny video and top tips below.

Know your market

An exhibition with adventure activity providers will have a very different look and feel to it than a marketing convention.

It seems simple, but knowing your market is essential in every area of branding. Ensure your staff understand the vibe you are aiming for and are clear on how that translates into what they should wear on the day.

Equally, if you are attending an exhibition to make connections, dressing with an awareness of what is appropriate to your industry communicates that you are well prepared, and professional.

Never knowingly underdress

Nothing says unprofessional quicker than a scruffy appearance, so whether exhibiting or attending, whatever the dress code, ensure it is clean, smart and well presented.

So you never iron a shirt? Today’s the day. Polish those shoes and put your best foot forward. You never know who you might meet!

Uniformly brilliant

If your company has a uniform, especially one that is easily identifiable and works well with your stand, this can increase your presence at exhibitions.

Equally, wearing your company polo shirt when attending an exhibition can break the ice and facilitate introductions, making it easier for potential connections to approach you and start those all-important conversations.

Uniforms can look smart and snappy, but remember, too much of one logo can be a bad thing. If you don’t have an official uniform, decide on a basic dress code to follow. This can work just as well in creating a ‘together’ look and feel to your stand.

Stand out from the crowd

If you don’t go for the uniform approach, individuality can be used to good effect too.

Even if you have chosen to opt for a basic dress code, allowing staff to ‘personalise’ with a bright scarf or an eye-catching tie can be used to good effect to make people smile and start conversations.

Just keep in mind the above point about knowing your market – what might be appropriate in one setting, may not be in another, so don’t go too wild!

Comfort, but not at all costs

Once you’ve been to a few events you’ll know that exhibition halls can vary from extreme cold to swelteringly hot. Getting it wrong can be uncomfortable and distracting, whether you’re exhibiting or visiting.

It’s hard to engage with visitors or make those important connections when you’re so cold you can barely feel your toes, or so hot your shirt changes colour from sweating.

Our advice? Plan carefully by taking discreet layers and sensible footwear. Suffering all day wearing uncomfortable footwear is never a good look. Aim for professional but comfortable and you can’t go too far wrong.


Here’s our handy tips on what to wear at an exhibition summarised in the bullet points below:
  • Dress according to the market and environment you exhibit in
  • Never underdress, always put effort into your appearance
  • If you have a uniform, use it
  • Use personality and individual items to stand out from the crowd
  • Choose comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Take layers to adjust to the temperature you will work in

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