300 million – that’s the number of active users Instagram has each month! Impressive. Out of which, 41% are aged 16-24 and 35% aged 24-34, indicating a fairly young user base. If your event’s demographic lies within those age ranges, you will want to leverage Instagram to get the word out about your event. Furthermore, the average user spends 21 minutes a day on the platform! This is unsurprising considering the visual nature of Instagram which makes it a lot easier to consume and engage with as opposed to text.
All this bodes well for the savvy organiser that purposefully creates Instagram-worthy photo moments at their event to entice attendees to post about it and hence gain increased visibility amongst their social circles. Below are 6 ways you could experiment with for your next event.
1. Set the scene
The venue design, ambience, and good lighting are all your key ingredients for a space that will tempt your eventgoers whip out their phones and go filter-happy. This may involve leaving props around the venue and standing all over the site to consider if it is entirely photogenic enough. If you are short on time and still want an Instagram-worthy setting for your guests, just host your event at a quirky cafe with lots of natural light— more often than not, these spaces already have Instagram accounts that demonstrate how irresistibly photogenic they are.
2. Enable photo booth action
More fun than red-carpets, especially with the right handful of props, a glitzy backdrop, and permission for your guests to take multiple photos! Who wouldn’t want to post a well-lit fun photo of themselves with their friends? If you’re not confident that they’ll use the hashtags, find a way of incorporating it into signs and placards they could hold up.
3. Project an Instagram photo wall
Pull up all photos under your event’s hashtag on Instagram and project a live feed of it onto blank walls, preferably white so the photos do not discolour. This provides attendees with a snapshot of each person’s take on your event – be it that awesome wristband you gave out, the delectable cocktails served, an inspiring speaker with quotable quotes, them having a wild time with their friends and the list could go on. All you need is some extra wall space to harness and utilise Instagram live during events.
4. Offer to instantly print Instagram photos
If an instant Instagram printing service is available for hire in your city, like Instaprint or Social Playground, you could offer to print photos off your attendees’ Instagram accounts live at your event. One of Grey Goose’s events at Toronto’s Thompson Hotel saw some 365 images printed out on-site – but with the hashtag #cherrynoir, guests created over 131,000 social media impressions that evening. Alternatively, you could get a portable photo printer and print the photos off Instagram yourself. Oddly enough, sometimes an effective way to get more online engagement with your hashtag with Instagram-worthy photo moments is to go offline in printing photos.
5. Play photo bingo or a scavenger hunt
Turn attendees into inquisitive detectives with their mobile phone’s camera! Have them capture specific moments, objects, spaces, and quirky things present at your event. Make it a contest with a well-written well-printed bingo card (like in the example above), give event-goers a boost of adventure with a fun scavenger hunt, and showcase what those not in attendance are missing out on on Instagram.
6. Encourage self-expression
Does your event stand for a cause or passion? Create an inclusive space to allow for self-expression – provide a simple but thought provoking question or sentence for attendees to fill-in-the-blanks with with their personal opinions. People like it when their thoughts matter and are acknowledged.
You could provide post-its for attendees to write their thoughts on and stick it up on a dedicated wall at your event with someone on your organising team ready to take an Instagram shot for them. Or, you could have a phrase printed on a shirt with a blank space for attendees to fill their thoughts on with fabric markers (like in the USA Network’s #IWontStandFor campaign below) which doubles up as awesome swag of which when they wear helps to spread the word about your event.
And remember, attendees need enough battery juice!
If your attendees’ phones are running low throughout your event, they won’t feel comfortable enough to Instagram your event at all. Remember that Instagram-worthy moments are only as good as their phone’s current battery life. Set-up a recharging station or rent out powerbanks throughout your event, especially if you expect it to run long.