As a teacher and edtech founder, the vendor areas can be miserable experiences for all. An exception and a model to replicate is the startup pavilion at ISTE. My startup was in it last year and it was a great experience for both sides. Some educators told me they only came into the massive exhibitor hall for the startup pavilion. They only wanted to see the really new stuff and have a chance to talk with the creators, not sales people.
As for the “teacher look”, I think it’s because we dress more comfortably and sensibly along with useful backpacks. I always enjoy trying to pick out the teachers and from the city workers as I walk to a large education conference. We also smile and say hi more 😀