Conferences, tradeshows and exhibits are a battleground for attention. The sea of competition is daunting. Your booth needs to incorporate the latest in technology and design, along with a dash of that little something extra, to win the lead war. Although being the talk of the exhibit hall can be difficult, this is the year you could own the tradeshow with a little planning, creativity and these seven expert tips.

1. Build up the Buzz

Create event buzz on your website and social media with details of dates, location, freebies and prizes. Event hashtags can seriously build up anticipation. Smart tip: Make your booth number clear and encourage visitors with a sneak peak of your special offerings.

2. Get Friendly

Make sure your staff brings their A-game. To attract potential clients to the booth, everyone absolutely needs to be mannerly and approachable. Smart tip: Have them wear t-shirts with your brand’s logo and approach people passing by. An enthusiastic attitude and friendly smile will warm up visitors instantly.

3. Go with the Flow

You want the layout of your booth to captivate passers-by. Create efficient flow, encouraging potential clients to visit and making it easy for them to move around. Not only should they be able to effortlessly navigate your booth, they should also feel at ease exiting. Smart tip: Accomplish this by keeping the structure open.

4. Transform Your Booth into a Destination

Turn your booth into a destination by treating potential prospects to a lounge area. Make it cozy by putting up string lights, and make it interactive by offering a photo booth. Smart tip: Locating the lounge at the back of the booth ensures that all traffic enjoys the full experience, while also maximizing brand exposure.

5. Turn-up the Swag

People love freebies, so it makes sense that this should factor into your planning. Offering coffee or candy is a nice touch. Make sure it stands out from the crowd by giving something a little extra. For instance, instead of putting out an open box of donuts, invest some time into making a fabulous donut wall. Smart tip: Why not generate leads by offering free Wi-Fi that requires prospects to create an account with their email address? Easy!

6. Be a Beacon of Marketing

Why not connect with customers via their smartphones? Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a beacon can pinpoint the location of customers who have downloaded your company’s app, sending them a timely invitation to visit your booth. This so-called proximity marketing is a great way of increasing brand affinity and creating a custom experience for customers. Smart tip: This is a great time to let people know about that donut wall.

7. Post-Event

So, your event generated a lot of buzz and was a great success. Now what? Post-event, it’s essential to follow up with all potential leads, personally thanking them for visiting, and opening the door to developing that all-important business connection. Smart tip: Keep monitoring your social media channels for feedback and be sure to interact there as well.