7 Instagram Tips for a Better Conference Experience

Image: DepositPhotos
Image: DepositPhotos

Instagram is an easy win for conferences and events. How do I know? I know because Forrester studied 2,500 brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They found that Instagram posts had 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. You don’t have to read more than that to know that the reason is the visuals… Instagram is visual. Just pictures and video snips. Nothing more.

If you take a minute and think about it, conferences and events are nothing but Kodak moments. To win, all you have to do is take a picture, write a couple of words, and post the image. Bam. Easy. Win.

On the philosophical side of the equation, pictures put us in a place and time, they tell us where we have been and where we are going. On the human side of the equation, pictures are easy, you don’t really have to think to become engaged. You look, you laugh, you are happy, you share, others look, others are now happy, and so repeats the cycle.

Your little light bulb just went off,  didn’t it. And now here we are, all wanting to help and stuff. How can we help? By tossing you 7 simple tips that will make the experience better for you, your attendees, and anyone that wants to follow along during your event or conference journey.

Encourage your attendees

Attendees are awesome and they use Instagram, make sure that you encourage them to participate at the event.

The calendar matters

Making your Instagram posts a part of your editorial calendar is a great way to keep your team on track especially during the off months. During your event, it is cool to throw out five or even ten posts a day. But don’t overdue it. The same is true on the flip side. Don’t let the off months kill your mojo. Make sure you are posting at least one image a day all year long.

Boring sucks, don’t be boring

Have a voice and don’t be afraid to let your team’s personality shine through. Not everything has to be all polished perfect, especially on Instagram. Show the team planning the event, show the set-up, show behind the scenes, show attendees laughing, show sponsors actually talking to attendees… If you are boring, no one will care enough to pay attention.

Use your event hashtags

Hashtags matter and your event has one whether you know it or not. Since I can assume that you know what a hashtag is, make sure that you are using it with all of your posts.

Take a decent photo

Nothing sucks more than a crappy photo. Don’t be that guy. Learn some photography basics so that your pictures are the best they can be (even from a smartphone). Check out this post from Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School for some pointers.

Don’t forget video

Video is an important and highly underused feature of Instagram. Don’t be silly, a 15 second video is plenty of time to get a fun and interesting message to your attendees.

Make your pictures better

Even professional photographers use editing software. Pretend like you are a pro and edit your photos to make them more appealing. We love to get away from the in-phone camera and the Instagram app to give our photos a better look and make them stand out from the crowd.

There you have it. That’s it. Now we have some cool stuff to help you on the way.

Here are a few photo editing apps that we like:

Camera Awesome (iOS, Android)


SnapSeed (iOS, Android)


VSCO Cam (iOS, Android)



AfterLight (iOS)




Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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