If it’s not on Instagram, did it really happen? It sure seems like it these days. With more than a billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with stellar engagement numbers. When you’re planning and hosting an event, it’s important to be thinking about how you can generate the all-important “buzz” leading up to the date of the event.
But it doesn’t just stop with the buzz: You want guests to be snapping photos, posting, and sharing during and afterward as well. This is especially important if you are a company or business hosting an event for outreach and marketing purposes, if your event is a recurring affair, or if you are hosting an event to generate a profit. The reason being, you want more people to not only attend your event, but you also want to raise awareness that it exists. Here’s how you can make your event more “Instagrammable”, so you can accomplish just that.
Create an event page
While this may be overkill for smaller events, for large ones (especially recurring ones) this strategy is almost necessary. For smaller events, simply posting through your company or personal Instagram page should suffice, especially if you don’t have the manpower or time to dedicate to building out an entirely new page. You should begin posting as early as six months to a year before the date of the actual event, depending on the nature of it. An event page is a great way to stay connected with your guests and update them through the process. This helps build excitement and that coveted “buzz.”
When the event is happening and after its over, guests can post their pictures and tag the event page. In the month following, you can post all the great pictures you and your guests took while at your event. This will leave your guests with fond memories and have them reminiscing over the event long after it has ended — it will also help get people hyped for the next one if it is a recurring affair!
Leverage influencer marketing
Recruit Instagram influencers to advertise and attend your event. You can choose which influencers to hire based on your budget: big influencers will likely want compensation and a free ticket to your event, while smaller ones might just be happy with free admission, so long as the draw to attend in the first place is enticing enough. You could also go the route of hiring multiple “micro-influencers” to extend your audience and reach a little more, or focus on a couple with hefty follower counts. Being able to tell your audience that there will be one or more VIP guests there is an excellent selling point. Even if they aren’t super familiar with the person or not too interested in actually meeting them, the idea that they could be attending the same event as someone with importance might just be enough of a draw.
On the day of the event, influencers will be updating their personal pages with content for all of their followers to see just how fun your event was! And if they enjoyed themselves enough, they might even consider coming to the next event (maybe even for free)!
Unique and memorable decor
People will naturally be drawn to snapping photos in front of anything special, grand, or unique. You want to have a few photo-op setups scattered around the room so guests can snap photos in front of them on rotation. The bigger and more interesting the display, the more likely people will be to take photos in front of it. You should also make sure to include the name of the event and the year in most if not every display so that people who see the photos know exactly when and where they were taken.
Fun food choices
It might not be the first thing you would think of, but considering the sheer amount of food pictures on the platform (385 million and counting!), it’s clear that images of food are wildly popular. However, due to the sheer volume of these kinds of images, you will want to create something that will really stand out. Remember the insane popularity of the unicorn and rainbow-themed food? People will go out of their way to try these tasty treats — not necessarily because they taste good, but because of how aesthetically pleasing (and thereby “Instagrammable”) they are! Feel free to get creative with your menu and presentation. You can even just have one specialty food item or drink that is out-of-this-world, or craft a display unlike any other.
Create opportunities for authenticity and engagement
The more immersed and involved your guests feel, the more likely they will be to develop fond memories and feelings towards their experience. In addition, they will feel more compelled to share their experience with others. Create interactive opportunities for guests to connect with their environment, as well as plenty of encouragement for socializing and meeting new people. Make attendees feel heard by asking about their experiences during or after.