The Dos and Don'ts of Trade Show Style
Suppliers have more leeway in the sport apparel department, especially those who sell it. From what I saw, wearing jeans was the most casual attire for distributors. Sport apparel is certainly comfortable, but it can be limiting. Sometimes you have to go directly from the showroom floor to a dinner or an event at a club. Sneakers and track shorts will inhibit your club-hopping abilities. For the sport apparel wearers, I'd suggest bringing a change of clothes so you are prepared for any post-showroom activities.
Every woman needs a dress that shows off her best asset. However, the show floor might not be the ideal venue for such attire. The biggest downfall of these skimpy ensembles was not the obvious over-exposure element: It was the frigid temperature on the show floor. It warmed up on day two when thousands of people swarmed the exhibits, but the temperatures dropped as the show's visitors departed. The asset-bearing outfits definitely stood out on the showroom floor, but perhaps that was the point. Everyone has their own way of getting attention and if it means landing that sale, then flaunt your stuff.
Ultimately, attire at conventions depends on the message you want to convey to onlookers, whether they are your partners, customers or employees. Know your clients. Know your coworkers. And always know what looks good on you.