If you weren’t convinced about the potential for photos to help both attendees and non-attendees remember your organization long after an event, just think about Ellen DeGeneres’ epic selfie sharing at this year’s Oscar Awards. Do I remember who won the Oscar for best actor? Nope, but I do remember the selfie, and so do the millions of other people who shared it online.

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Here are three ways you too can use photo sharing to enhance your upcoming event.

Location, Location, Location

Sure, it’s easy to have the MC announce a hashtag at the beginning of dinner, but as your event picks up speed, attendees are going to forget the hashtag and become too busy to take photos. Make sure the hashtag appears on all your materials and set aside a specific place for photos, like a photo booth or background with your company’s name and logo.

If you don’t think your event lends itself to a photo booth, think outside the booth. For example, the team at non-profit fundraising firm FirstGiving took photos of runners crossing the finish line with their sponsorship banner in the background and uploaded an album to Facebook.

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You could also provide handheld signs to be used in the photo. For example, FirstGiving could provide signs that say “I give with FirstGiving.”

Marketing agency WebpageFX invited attendees at their friends and family event to pose in a photobooth, and they also shared them to Facebook. With fun props and a colorful setting, the setup was great for enticing visitors to pose at an informal event. The results were pretty amusing:

webpagefx-photobooth

Always think about your brand and how the photo background, location or props can help build brand awareness.

Make ‘Em Famous

By live-streaming tweets and photos using the event’s hashtag, you can create instant buzz around them and encourage more sharing. Everyone posting photos using your official hashtag will be shown on a large screen for all to see, and who wouldn’t love that free promotion?

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If you have the staff available, name one person to be in charge of monitoring this traffic during the event. During slow times, your social media maven can post to Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter to keep the hashtag trending. This person can also answer questions coming through using the hashtag and make attendees feel part of the conversation.

You can also email a link to the attendees with your thank you note after the event.

Award the Best

small__13742540503If the designated photo area and the live-streaming didn’t encourage an attendee to tweet or share a photo on Facebook, the chance of a prize surely will!

You don’t need to break the bank, as prizes can be especially worrisome for non-profits with small budgets. What about taking home the flowers you’ve already paid for as centerpieces or getting their photo taken with the keynote speaker? How about reserving a spot at the head table during the closing dinner of your conference?

Of course, if you have the budget, buying a nice gift that makes sense for your attendees – an iPod at a communications conference, for example – can go a long way in convincing people to use your hashtag.

In the end, promoting photos through these channels will help your organization and event success. You will easily be able to gather all of the user-produced photos from your event by visiting Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and searching for your hashtag. Photos can help enhance any event – both for the attendees and the organizers.

Now, Say Cheese!

Image credit: FirstGiving | WebpageFX | LeWeb | Wash U Libraries

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Adrienne Erin

Author Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer obsessed with social media and the internet. When she's not writing or poking around in Photoshop, you might find her cooking in the world's tiniest kitchen, practicing her French, or planning her next road trip.

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