a row of conference shirts to pick from

We Asked, You Answered: What’s Your Staff Conference Attire?

Logos or no logos? Buttoned up or easygoing? Associations approach staff conference attire in a variety of ways. Here's what a few readers told us about their meeting fashion sense.

We’ve been thinking about conference attire a lot lately, as the ASAE staff team packed their bags for the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago this week. We wondered: What do our  readers wear to their conferences? Matching shirts can be a little cheesy, but they do help members pick you out of the crowd. Staff attire ranges from brightly colored T-shirts to business suits, but one consistent theme prevails: Dress to match the tone of the event.

Jill Leimbach

Director of Meetings, National Association of Credit Management

Our staff has a simple yet comfortable and professional team “uniform.” We all wear black slacks and a logo shirt from Lands’ End. We prefer a brightly colored shirt, as that makes us easy to spot when a member has a question or needs assistance.

Cindy Sommerfeld

Marketing Manager, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

We wear suits or professional wear (jacket or blazer with pants/dress). We are working with physicians and need to present a polished, professional image. A previous organization I worked at tried branded staff polos, and it was a disaster. Sizing was hard, it didn’t look good on many body types, and everyone felt under-dressed compared to attendees (physicians again). Attire truly encourages respect and professionalism.

Taylor Fry

National Sales Manager, Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

Our team tends to dress in business casual, especially if we’re meeting face to face with clients at the show. It’s also a reflection of our destination, which has a higher-than-average level of sophistication. On the other hand, we can afford to dress more casually if we’re meeting with industry colleagues in a more educational setting. What I do not like is the idea of our team matching. To me, it seems so cheesy and goofy. A good rule of thumb is for your attire to match the tone of the show and the people you’ll be interacting with.

Steve Bahmer

President/CEO, LeadingAge Florida

Our team wears golf-style shirts with our logo, color-coordinated for each day so it’s always easy for members to identify someone on staff who can help them with a question or problem. Because we’re in Florida, we use beachy colors, like aqua and coral, and our members love it. This year they liked the staff shirts so much they’ve asked us to make them available for purchase online so our members can wear them too!

Alexis Redmond

Director of Career Management Resources, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

At ASHA, we wear “ASHA purple”! Staff is usually only required to wear it on the first day of our events, but many of us have built up a collection that makes it easy to pack for events. Members are accustomed to seeing the warm hue of purple in all formats, like T-shirts, blouses, oxford shirts, and cardigans. Even though we have other shirts in black and white that say “ASHA staff,” you will find that if you are wearing purple at one of our events, people will think you are staff.

(SuriyaDesatit/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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