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My booth staffers hate wearing uniforms. How do I get them to accept this corporate mandate more willingly?


Employees often don't like to wear uniforms, and consequently, employers don't like to persuade unwilling employees to don them either. But uniforms can still be vital to a company's presence at a trade show. In fact, a study on employee uniforms by Kathy Nelson and John Bowen of the University of Nevada Las Vegas found that they significantly boost brand recognition and customer satisfaction, both of which are often common exhibiting goals.

The trick to getting your staff to accept uniforms is to employ a triedand- true tenet of psychology: People tend to support that which they help create. So try some simple steps to get their buy-in on booth attire.

First, meet with your employees and explain you are requiring a uniform for the booth to help establish and extend your brand's presence. Once that's settled, draft your staff's help in choosing the clothing they'll wear. You may be surprised at the cooperation you receive, because most staffers simply want to be sure the clothing is functional and comfortable - and doesn't make them look like a drum major. Encourage them to pick apparel from the available choices that will help them stand out stylishly from the crowd. Once they're invested in the process and have a say in the selection, you can be sure that your staff will represent you in a way that's anything but uniform.


Dan Lumpkin is an organizational psychologist and president of management-consulting company Lumpkin & Associates in Fairhope, AL. E-mail your career-related questions to askdan@exhibitormagazine.com
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