Event planning usually focuses on creating an event that represents your brand and business. But we don’t often consider how our event impacts the personal brand of our attendees.

More than three-quarters (78%) of American millennials have reported suffering from FOMO (“fear of missing out”) over events. The driving force of this FOMO? Social media. FOMO comes from watching peers showcasing their live experiences to the world through Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

People post pictures online to project a certain image on their social profiles. To get people to share images of your event, help them look good — and like they’re having a great time.

Here are 5 tips for boosting social sharing at your next event:

1. Signage

Does your event have a hashtag? Display it with pride! If you don’t let people know about your hashtag, they will typically make one up or skip it altogether. As a result, their commentary and their friends’ comments become more about the image rather than your event. Including your hashtag on invitations and tickets is a good idea, but don’t forget to put up signage around your event to make sure it’s top of mind while people are snapping or tweeting. This is also a good opportunity to promote your event’s social handle(s), which improves your chances of being tagged.

2. Dedicated photo zones

Does your event have any show-stopping sights that people will naturally want to snap? If not, don’t worry. You can create photo opportunities by designating specific zones that people will gravitate toward. For example, setting up a backdrop with props and good lighting is a surefire way to get your guests to stop and strike a pose.

3. Good aesthetics

Event styling is seriously important if you want people to share images from your event. From your lighting and decorations to the plating of food, every little detail matters. Food and wine festivals are a great example of this: people come in droves to eat delicious morsels — but they’re often served in a rush in cheap paper bowls. If the food isn’t picture perfect, people won’t want it in their news feed. If this is something beyond your control, make sure you have alternatives that appeal to people’s interests that they will want to snap — such as displays, demonstrations, or hands-on workshops.

4. High-quality photography

Instead of focusing solely on snap-happy guests, invest in a good photographer to take high-quality images. Great photos with guests looking their best are perfect for Facebook albums, and people are far more likely to share them or tag themselves if the shots are flattering. If you’re struggling with lighting issues or don’t have an event that suits a room full of smartphone photography, this will be crucial to having good images to share.

5. Competitions

A common trend on Instagram is to ask people to regram an image in order to enter competitions. Unfortunately, these come across as spammy and annoying to their followers, so a lot of people are reluctant to enter. To encourage more content and unique images, consider hosting a photo competition where the best image on your event hashtag can win a sponsored prize. This will not only encourage more photos, but it will have everyone trying to take the perfect shot.

Want to know which social media channels work best for event marketing? Take this short quiz to find out.

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