If you’ve worn at least one trade show uniform in your life, you can probably relate to one or more of these scenarios:
- Secretly plotting revenge against the sadist who chose trade show uniforms based solely on matching the company logo, which is lime green
- Fearing that the polybagged uniform you just received is not going to fit because no one asked your size
- Resenting this event’s trade show uniform buyer, a 25-year-old, size 2 yoga instructor who forgot that others don’t wear spandex and half-shirts as well as she does
- Wishing that comfort and style were the key drivers of trade show uniform choice at your company, instead of cost
If you are responsible for choosing event uniforms or you influence this choice, listen up. We’re going to give you the straight talk your team won’t. Especially if you’re the owner of the company, there are powerful truths your team’s afraid to tell you about your trade show uniforms that could save you money and boost your team’s impact at your next event.
What they said: “Wow, this sure will….(pause)…stand out.”
What they’re afraid to say: “No one looks good in this color, not even you.”
Sure, your company logo and your booth décor is lime green. You want to get noticed. And there’s nothing wrong with lime green! But clothing is a personal thing that greatly affects the way you’re ready to greet the world. You want your team to look their best and know it. Select fabric colors that flatter most skin tones, and styles that flatter most body types. Your team will thank you, and they’ll feel more confident at the event, which translates to better first impressions with show attendees.
What They Said: “What size is this again?”
What They’re Afraid To Say: “This is never going to fit, and I’m going to feel self-conscious the entire show.” The last thing you want is your trade show staff feeling self-conscious about how they look because it will come across in how they convey your company’s pitch. Ill-fitting clothing kills confidence. Too small, and they feel uncovered or overweight. Too big and they feel sloppy. You want them feeling just right. Take the time to collect size information from each attendee so you’re not guessing. And lean into your trade show uniform partner to guide you. Threadfellows customer care people have fit guides for each of our brands at their fingertips and you can also find them on our website. The right partner will understand how critical fit is in showcasing your brand well.
What They Said: “What color polos are we wearing this year?”
What They’re Afraid to Say: “Could we wear something, ANYTHING, but yet one more polo?”
The right trade show partner can show you myriad options for trade show uniforms that pack a punch. From Brooks Brothers sweaters and dress shirts with panache, or Patagonia pullovers that stand out, to Columbia fishing shirts that will help you catch the big one, you can get creative these days with trade show uniforms. Put men and women in complementary ensembles versus having everyone match precisely to add interest. Use a range of styles all in the same color to allow each person to express themselves while looking like a unified team. At Threadfellows, there’s nothing we love more than consulting with customers on ideas that are the ”next big thing” you’re looking for. Look for a partner you can trust to provide ideas in addition to products.
What She Said: “It’s too bad women’s sizes weren’t available in these uniforms”
What She’s Afraid To Say: “A women’s medium and a men’s small are NOT the same thing.”
When it comes to trade show uniform product options, we’ve come a long way. It used to be that women had to settle for a small, boxy men’s polo that came down to her thighs and made her look and feel sloppy. Now the best partners offer many options in men’s and women’s companion styles that fit and flatter, so everyone looks and feels their best. Choosing a partner who offers men’s and women’s companions, and taking the time to choose options that will fit and flatter both men and women on your team will help them put their best foot forward, and guarantee you a hearty thank you from your team.
What They Said: NOTHING.
What They Were Afraid to Say: “This shirt won’t make the trip home. I’m leaving it in my hotel room garbage can.”
When they ditch it after one year because you skimped on style, everyone loses. Make an investment in something that will get worn so often it will get worn out. One of our customers who “gets it” lately said, “I could definitely spend less on trade show uniforms. But when I do the math on a per-user basis, it makes a ton of sense to buy a brand my team loves and would even buy for themselves, like Patagonia” When you combine the right brand with logo work done subtly and sophisticatedly so that your team will wear it enthusiastically to work or even on the weekend-long after the trade show, you’ve got a winning solution.
When you’re mindful of these unspoken truths your team already knows, you won’t have to be afraid of what your team’s not telling you about your trade show uniforms. Because what they’ll be saying out loud and meaning is, “We love our trade show uniforms!”
Let us know how we can spark some ideas on what to wear for your next event. Shop threadfellows.com.