Jan 07, 2020 by Celeste Kaufman

10 Things That Make Your Event Instagram Bait

A smart Instagram strategy can transform the perception of your event.

Do you want to increase visibility and awareness of a sponsored or branded event? Inspire people to take out their phones and post about how much they’re enjoying your event.

Here are ten techniques to draw on when choosing your venue, design, and menu to ensure you get that coveted spot on your guests’ Instagram feeds.

1. Include an enticing backdrop for selfies

Think beyond the step-and-repeat. A subtle spot that encourages impromptu photoshoots is more engaging than your average photo booth.
 
Does the venue have a wall with interesting wallpaper? Keep it clear of tables and other distractions to make it easier to get a great group shot.
 
Also, consider creating a mural with fun, bright colors, or install a wall of succulents to create a natural backdrop for selfies.

2. Maximize your tablescape

Design a tablescape worthy of a magazine spread. Let it define the vibe of the event. A shot of the table is an instant cue that the guest is currently at a sophisticated, chic, or casual-cool party.
 
Choose unique tableware or mix and match. Include centerpieces, candles, or an interesting tablecloth to really make the photos pop.

3. Use eye-catching stationery

Yes, we’re focusing on the digital here, but good, old-fashioned paper is always a hit on Instagram. Nothing looks better than an artfully arranged letterpressed item on your newsfeed.

Display your escort cards in a unique way, or set up a charming place-setting with a name card and menu. Posted images of your seating cards hint that the event was exclusive enough to be invite-only.

4. Give them some #foodporn

Food pics may be a trending punchline, but people still can’t resist posting impressive works of culinary art. Whether it’s imaginative plating or novelties like sky-high milkshakes, there is no greater temptation for a photo op like some #foodporn.

5. Don’t neglect the drinks

View this post on Instagram

. . . . #thefoldlr #littlerock #cocktail

A post shared by Eric O'Connor (@eric_o.connor) on

Don’t let the food hog all the attention. Cocktail hour is a great chance to provide some Instagram eye-candy.
 
The Mason jar trend is proof that a drink with a unique presentation is guaranteed to wind up on Instagram.
 
Find interesting (or custom!) glassware, and serve up cocktails with unusual colors or eye-catching garnishes.

6. When in doubt, add some plants

Flora is a serious trend, and there are so many ways to take advantage of that when planning a party. Go big when decorating with plants! Have each guest find a mini succulent waiting for them at their table, splurge on masterful floral centerpieces, or even host your summer event at a garden.

7. Make your venue work for you

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a venue. If it works for your event, try finding a historic location or one with architectural appeal. Often, Instagram pictures are of what’s immediately around the user, selfies, or up-close shots with their friends.
 
From your point of view as an event planner, that might not help as much for your social media goals than a shot of your event as a whole. A good design team can inspire capturing the entire venue in a pic. But a gorgeous old mansion, traditional barn, or a modern marvel of a building can make your job a lot easier by providing an appealing backdrop.

8. Indulge in a picturesque view

The next step in choosing an Insta-worthy venue is to turn your attention toward what surrounds it.

A panoramic landscape, a sweeping view of the city below you, a lush forest, and a beachy paradise all cry out to have their picture taken. They also serve well as settings for group shots. 

9. Add art

View this post on Instagram

Manmade #arch in #freemantle a nice piece of #artwork

A post shared by The Werner (@wj.roberts) on

While any kind of art can add extra visual interest to an event, a sculpture is a frequent Instagram engagement winner. The 3D aspects of a sculpture allow for more creative and unique images than a flat painting on the wall.
 
Art also encourages guests and their followers to scroll through the event’s pictures to see what other ways people found to photograph it. Plenty of venues have public art, but you could also go all-out and commission a piece or work with a gallery to get something on loan.

10. Seal the deal with swag

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that people love to show off free stuff. So, if your event is going to include a gift bag, be sure to send everyone home with a haul worthy of an Instagram spread.
 
Don’t forget the bag itself either. Show off the event name, any sponsors or brands you’d like to get more eyes on, your company’s name, or any other info you might want to slip in right on the bag.
 

To make your Instagram bait even more successful, devise an intentional social media strategy to take advantage of the flood of pics from your event.

Creating a special hashtag for your event to keep track of everyone’s photos once they’re public, for example. Include it on things like your invitation or programs to spread the word and get everyone on the same page.

When should you post your own event images? According to SproutSocial, post to the social network between 10 a.m. and noon on Wednesdays and Fridays to reach the most people. But do take advantage of FOMO by posting during events as well!