When the booth staffers look like a team, they act like a team. However, there is often great resistance to booth uniforms, especially between genders, generations and management levels. Women don’t want to wear what men wear and senior managers don’t want to wear what their lowly subordinates wear. Likewise, “old-dog” salesmen don’t want to wear what the young whipper-snapper marketing dude is wearing. This conflict is either resolved by compromise or it’s not resolved at all. However, looking like a team doesn’t mean you all have to wear a logo-polo shirt and khaki pants.
The key to looking like a team is to coordinate colors and styles and, if possible, embellish a little with branded elements. If your corporate color is red, for instance, men can wear red ties and women can wear red scarves. The wayward Gen Xer can wear a red polo shirt or whatever. The point is everyone coordinates and looks like they are part of the program.
Here is an excellent example that I came across at the Exhibitor Expo in Las Vegas. The company, Tridente, is a trade show exhibit company in Spain. Notice that while they aren’t wearing the same uniform, they both coordinate and look like a team. Many of the exhibitors at the expo had their act together which is the least I would expect from an event that was made up of people who specialized in trade shows. There were a few instances where the pitch was weak, but for the most part it was quite well done.
Tridente did a couple of other things well too. They were passing branded poker-chip key chains making your tchotchkes a souvenir of the trip rather than strictly a business promotion is a nice touch. This isn’t to say they couldn’t benefit from a little Trade Show Samurai training, but it was nice to see a company with such a thoughtful approach.