How to create “Instagrammable” events
One of the most important things for event organizers to keep in mind is that these days, even the most intimate space is no longer self-contained. The story of your next event doesn’t end when the lights go off and the doors are locked — in many ways, it’s just beginning. It may start in the room, but it continues on the web — particularly through Instagram.
Never forget that creating a memorable experience for those in attendance is only part of what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re also trying to create an event worthy of living forever on the Internet — something that requires you to consider Instagram throughout all parts of the process. Luckily, this is a lot more straightforward than you might think. You just have to keep a few key things in mind.
Airy loft in Bushwick / It may start in the room, but it continues on the web… Plan for the beautiful and the unique.
You’re No Longer an Event Planner. You’re a Storyteller
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, you’re about to write a novel.
When picking the right venue for your next event, consider how the space itself relates back to the larger brand story you’re trying to represent — as well as the story that is about to unfold during the gathering itself. Now, consider the fact that, for the most part, you’re going to have to tell that story visually.
Therefore, if you really want to make Instagram a part of your venue selection process, you need to remember the “little details” of the space. They just may be the most important asset you have available to you.
Remember that when it comes to event planning and Instagram, you’re actually trying to capture two different things: the event taking place within a space, and the space itself. Your best photos will exist in the nexus between these two ideas.
Based on that, pick a space that A) complements your brand’s personality and that also features what you need logistically to pull off the event in mind, but that B) also has enough going on visually to be interesting on its own. That means event spaces with incredible natural lighting. Venues with interesting or odd architecture. Places that allow you to experiment with composition — symmetry in design is key, as is a space that allows you to lean into principles like the rule of thirds. A location that will allow you to create a mixture of highly strategic, planned-ahead-of-time “professional” shots and those that give a more intimate, backstage, “fly-on-the-wall” perspective. All of these are important considerations when choosing the right venue.
So yes, you should plan out your more “professional” shots ahead of time. You should come into the event with a plan knowing exactly where your camera needs to be to capture this speaker or that item on your schedule at exactly the right time. But if the event itself doesn’t have anything to offer between those ideas — meaning that there isn’t anything that A) visually fits in with your brand and your audience, B) is interesting enough to warrant being included in the story you’re telling, and C) doesn’t lend itself to also capturing the spontaneity of the event as it unfolds, you’re missing some very compelling aspects required to properly leverage Instagram in the way that you need.
Meaning, of course, that you’ll likely want to look elsewhere.
A Matter of Perspective
But perhaps most importantly, if you really want to guarantee that your event comes across in the way that you need on Instagram, you need to remember that you’re sharing, not promoting.
Millennials, for example, are the single largest generation on Instagram — and they value “experience over objects” above all else. As you photograph and document your event, it must not feel like a glorified commercial. It has to feel like you’re peeling back the curtain, capturing an unforgettable experience that people want to be a part of.
Because of that, you need to extend the photographic “narrative” of your event before and after the actual event itself. Include images and videos that give insight into what it takes to throw together an event like yours. Lean into the verité nature of it — document things in a way that gives insight into speakers or influencers who may be in attendance.
In other words, every decision you make should be designed to make people feel like they’re a part of something, even if they’re halfway around the world. If you’re looking at an event space that may be unique, but that really only lends itself to photographs that feel like advertisements… you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.