Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which is Right for Your Event?

Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which is Right for Your Event?


There are so many social apps that could create opportunities for event attendees to connect with each other and share their experiences via dedicated event accounts.  It can be difficult to decide which ones are going to best suit your brand, your event, your goals, and of course, your audience.  After all, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin and divide your efforts by providing too many options for attendees to choose from.

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “Utilizing Facebook is pretty much a given, and many companies still incorporate Twitter, as well.  If you want to add another trending platform, you might find yourself torn between Snapchat and Instagram.  Adding an image-sharing forum, especially one that encourages creativity and personalization, is a great way to facilitate engagement and allow attendees to contribute in social and experiential ways.”

Really, though, you might have some trouble telling the difference between the two photo-sharing platforms these days.  Snapchat had a novel idea when they started thanks to photos that self-delete, generating near-instantaneous FOMO.  To compete, Instagram, already a powerhouse in its own right has seized upon some of Snapchat’s desirable features and developed its own version.

Is Snapchat nearing expiration, or does it still have something to offer?  Does Instagram do it best, or have their efforts to clone Snapchat’s successes fallen short?  Which one is better for your event and your audience?  Here are a few things you’ll want to discuss with corporate event planning companies before you decide.

What’s the Skinny on Snapchat?

Snapchat’s 16 million daily active users are nothing to sniff at, especially since they tend to fall into the tech-savvy and socially influential millennial group (the majority of users are in the 12-24 age range).  This can be a difficult group to engage at events, but connecting is made easier with an app they already use and enjoy, especially since the average user is engaged 25-30 minutes per day.  This means you have ample opportunity to increase visibility and connection with users.

Of course, Snapchat isn’t just for youngsters.  It turns out more than half of new users are 25 and older, which could mean this social app is simply catching on later with a more mature audience.

What features recommend Snapchat?  The photo deletion feature may not be particularly appealing for brands that want their content in front of users as long as possible, but the fleeting nature of the content means users are likely to look at it sooner rather than later for fear of missing out, and this can work to your advantage if you string out narratives through pictures and videos via Snapchat Stories.  You and your event management services team can also create geofilters unique to your location and your event, creating further exclusivity and FOMO.

Corporate Event Planning Companies Like Insta Gratification

There’s no denying Instagram has the upper hand in this race with exponentially more users, numbering 500 million.  The average age of users is slightly higher at 19-29, which means for the most part, they’re old enough to attend your events.  However, only about 20% of those users are in the U.S. – not necessarily a problem if you cater to an international audience.

If you and your event management services team are interested in opting for Instagram, there’s a lot to love, starting with the fact that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, allows for cross-posting, so that you can post pics to Instagram and Facebook simultaneously.  This time-saving bonus is great for harried hosts and corporate event planning companies.

Instagram also blatantly snaked the stories feature from Snapchat and made it their own with Instagram Stories, where photos and videos can be posted for 24 hours (with no option for likes or comments, unlike other Instagram posts).  Geofilters aren’t available, but geotagging is, and this can make your posts easier for a target audience to find.

Of course, the thing that really pushes Instagram over the top is hashtags, which make content more shareable and searchable.  The use of trending and event-specific hashtags can expand your reach and increase engagement.

Ask Event Management Services Pros Which Platform Suits Your Event

Experienced corporate event planning companies can help you to determine whether Snapchat or Instagram is better suited to your upcoming event by considering your audience and what you hope to accomplish.  Even better, these event management services professionals have the know-how and connections to help you implement effective marketing and engagement strategies on your social platform of choice.

How to Utilize Social Media Influencers to Drive Attendance

How to Utilize Social Media Influencers to Drive Attendance

Working with social media influencers is an intriguing prospect for any company or global meeting planner looking to tap into new networks of prospective patrons. As an event host, this can be a great way to expand your marketing strategy. With the right social influencers promoting your event, you and your corporate meeting planner could see a significant uptick in interest and sales. Of course, like any promotional strategy, you could also end up spending a lot of money and seeing very little ROI if you don’t have a solid plan in place to ensure successful outcomes.

What can you do to make sure you find the right social influencers for your brand and your event? How can you recruit them and create a message that will speak to their audience? Are you better off cultivating brand ambassadors or simply paying for the services of social media influencers? Here are a few things to consider if you want to properly utilize social media influencers to drive attendance at upcoming events.

Ask Your Corporate Meeting Planner to Help You Find The Right Influencers

The first step to adding social influencers to your marketing and promotional efforts is finding the right people for the job. Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at American Meetings, “While a Kardashian might be the ideal choice to hawk weight-loss waist cinchers, shiny lip gloss, or gummy vitamins, you’ll probably want to choose a popular influencer in your own wheelhouse when it comes to promoting your upcoming event and boosting interest and attendance.”

How can you and your global meeting planner find these ideal candidates and tap into their audiences of devoted followers? It could start simply enough by searching for popular accounts on social media platforms that fit in your industry, field, or niche.

For example, if you’re hosting a flower convention, look for popular Facebook accounts by individuals that love sharing gardening tips, tricks, and pics with their audience. If you’re in the food industry, seek out accounts that get a lot of attention for their many food-related postings, especially those that match your niche, whether your focus is fast food, organic products, or vegan fare, just for example.

You want to look for three main things when scouring social media for suitable influencers: accounts that are authoritative, high numbers of followers, and frequent posting that is in line with your own industry and ideals (in other words, relevance). This will give you and your corporate meeting planner the best chance to recruit a like-minded influencer to your cause and connect with an audience that already has an interest in what you’re offering. Don’t forget, tools like SocialRank and Scrunch can also help you to pinpoint suitable influencers to connect with.

Craft a Compelling Message

Once you have a platform in place to connect with new followers via a trusted influencer, you need to make sure the message you deliver has maximum impact and delivers positive results. Naturally, your goal is to encourage the audience to sign up for your upcoming event, but you don’t want to hit them with hard sell.

Keep in mind that your message will be delivered by the influencer, not directly by you, so insisting on a specific copy or messaging could be detrimental. You and your global meeting planner may be better off creating a general messaging strategy and then letting the influencer filter and deliver the message in his/her own words, making the final delivery more natural and compelling to a specific audience.

It can be difficult to hand over the reins, especially if you’re paying for social mentions. However, you have to remember that you’re tapping into someone else’s network of followers, and that audience follows, likes, and trusts the influencer – not you. If you want to make the most of this outreach opportunity, you’ll have to place some amount of trust in the influencer to deliver an appropriate message that speaks to his/her audience.

Work with Your Global Meeting Planner to Build Lasting Relationships

Many social media influencers are happy to hawk any product or service if the price is right, but this isn’t necessarily the route you want to go. It may be easier, but it’s also likely to deliver lukewarm results. What you and your corporate meeting planner should focus on instead is building long-term relationships with social influencers that are picky about who and what they promote.

Invite your top picks to your events (on your dime) to show them what it is you do and endear them to your brand and your events. This way, when they decide to work with you and promote your events to their followers, their messaging will be detailed and genuine, portraying you in the best light and helping you to meet both short-term and long-term goals.

The How and Why of Using Social Media Ads to Promote Your Next Event

The How and Why of Using Social Media Ads to Promote Your Next Event

If you want to raise attendance for your upcoming event, there are a number of ways to market and promote. You might choose traditional, blanket efforts like local ads in print and broadcast or mailers, just for example. Or you might opt for more targeted efforts like emailing or calling past event attendees or approaching businesses that might benefit from sending employees to your event.

In this day and age, however, you’re making a big mistake if you fail to promote your event online and through social media channels.  It’s true that online advertising can be expensive and risky, what with all the competition, but you might be surprised to learn the extent of return on investment when you focus your efforts on social media advertising.

When done right, social media ads have the power to reach an extremely precise audience and deliver a powerful message that boosts successes for your upcoming corporate meeting or event. How can you and your event company properly utilize social media ads to promote your next event?  What benefits will you gain in the process? Here’s what you should know.

Work with Event Management to Pinpoint Your Primary Audience

Before you launch any kind of marketing or promotional campaign, you need a clear understanding of who you’re hoping to attract to your event.  Are you interested in young professionals fresh out of college, experienced execs, stay-at-home parents, video game aficionados, or members of the media, for example?

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at American Meetings. Inc., “The amazing thing about advertising through social media channels is all the options you have to narrow your audience to very specific groups. Facebook ads are probably the best example of this principle in action. In addition to pushing information to your followers, you have the opportunity to put ads in front of a target audience based on selection of features such as age, gender, economic status, job type, and even interests and preferences, among other attributes.”

In other words, you and your event management team can get very specific, so long as you have parameters in place to target the ideal audience.  It gets even better, though, thanks to features that allow you to re-target users who recently visited your website or blog, or alternately, exclude website visitors that are likely already aware of your event.

You can also use the lookalike audience feature, or create separate ads for mobile and desktop viewing. There are endless opportunities to customize and reach a wider audience without undue spending.

Create and Test Content with Your Event Company

Once you have your target audience and ad preferences squared away, it’s time to work on the content that will compel action, such as clicking through to your event website, following your event social media pages, or signing up to attend your event.  You and your event management team will want to work on the base message and then flesh out several different ad types to test against one another.

A/B and multivariate testing can help you to hone your advertising efforts well in advance of your event, before you make a big push, in order to achieve the best possible results.  Naturally, different types of advertising are likely to work better on different platforms, so give yourself plenty of time for testing prior to launching your social media ads in earnest.

Understand What’s Working and Why

Online advertising platforms offer untold opportunities for tracking and analyzing the results of your marketing and promotional efforts.  If you’re not experienced or adept with this form of advertising, you may need some help from your event company to determine what metrics to track, or to analyze the resultant tidal wave of data.  At the very least, your event management partner should be able to recommend professionals skilled at managing social media advertising campaigns.

Gain the Benefits of Social Promotion

Let’s just start by saying Facebook currently has north of 2 billion monthly active users.  Instagram boasts over 800 million, while Twitter claims more than 330 million at last count.  That’s a lot of eyeballs looking at screens, which means a lot of opportunities to reach a target audience, especially with the right advertising tools at your disposal.

The main benefit event hosts will enjoy when working with an event company on social media ads is the ability to make every dollar count. Blanket advertising is a crap-shoot.  Social media ads go straight to users that are most likely to be interested in what you’re selling, so to speak.

If your campaign is good, you might even encourage sharing, in addition to intended conversions like click-through and sign-up. When done right, using social media ads to promote your event can deliver unsurpassed return on investment.