Most conventions that follow under the heading of trade show feature a much more relaxed atmosphere – blue collar industries usually allowing for a range of looks from polo shirts and jeans upward. Those gentlemen employed in the construction business would do well simple to wear a simple pair of dress jeans, suitable shoes and a collared shirt. There is no need to overdress in the construction trades unless one is representing management and administration.
The dinners that accompany such events are a different affair entirely, and it is always best to invest in a pair of casual pants or dress pants to wear with a collared shirt. A tie is not necessary, but jeans should never be worn to a convention dinner, no matter what the trade or industry being represented.
The atmosphere at academic or professional conferences generally varies along with the size and content of the convention. While smaller conferences may have more lax norms when it comes to dress code.
One thing to understand about conventions and conferences is that, beyond the dinners and the speeches, they are truly about one thing – networking. During the course of a conference, one will meet dozens of individuals. For this reason, standing out from the crowd in a very visual sense is of the utmost importance.
Think bright and differently. Conservative minded individuals would do well to choose a suit other than the typical black or navy – chocolate brown with bright blue or white pinstripes is an excellent choice for those who wish to put on a distinct and memorable look without sacrificing their own aesthetic. The best choice, however, for those more daring is to choose neon or carribbean colours for their shirts and ties.
Bright dress shirts will lend a memorable note to your interactions with other delegates that a business card may not convey.