6 februari 2020 Marketing 8 min

How to use user-generated content for your event

Deborah Schoonen

Are you looking to make as many people as possible familiar with your event? Then it's a good idea to make use of user-generated content. Your posts on Instagram and Facebook may have decent reach, but having your visitors share their own content about your event truly helps you to stand out.

User-generated content is one of the most effective forms of content. It turns out that consumers tend to trust user-generated content up to 50% more when compared to content that comes directly from brands. You’re more likely to believe the experience of a friend or acquaintance than what a brand says about itself. This makes user-generated content a great opportunity to make your event stand out.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content for events is any content that visitors and fans make and share about an event. Many people share their attendance of events through posts and Stories on Instagram or Snapchat for example. By doing so, they spread your event among their followers which increases your reach.

You can find user-generated content in many forms. Examples are posts, Stories and videos on channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. Each channel has its own functionalities and possibilities that you can make the most out of. You can even build your own filter for Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

User-generated content in action

A good example of user-generated content is the usage of Collaborative Stories for Public Figures on Tomorrowland. Using this new feature on Facebook, an event’s visitors can post their self made videos of an artist's performance to the artist’s Facebook Stories. As a result, the artist’s reach tremendously increases. The Chainsmokers are a good example of this. Even though the duo already had millions of followers, 92% of the people watching their Story during Tomorrowland weren’t followers of theirs. The non-followers were exposed to The Chainsmokers’ Story through their friends. This is precisely how user-generated content can increase the reach of your event.

Paid influencers vs. user-generated content

Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increasing amount of sponsored posts by influencers on our social media timelines. At first, people considered content by influencers to be much more trustworthy than content by brands, but now that our timelines are filling up with more and more sponsored content, this trustworthiness is rapidly declining. As a result, user-generated content is becoming increasingly important. Content made by friends and acquaintances is considered to be more trustworthy, as people are less inclined to believe a recommendation by a paid stranger than one from a friend.

When trying to promote your event, it’s important to remember that everyone is an influencer, regardless of popularity. All content created by your event’s visitors has the potential of influencing others.

Why stimulate user-generated content yourself?

Having more user-generated content helps more people become aware of your event. This results in more interest in your event and more visitors; the more visitors you have, the more potential there is for new user-generated content to be created. It’s a snowball effect.

When organising an event, you want this snowball to start rolling and keep rolling. You could leave this up to chance by hoping your visitors will post about your event on social media. However, you could also take some measures to encourage your visitors to share content about your event.

Ways to encourage user-generated content

You want your visitors to share content about your event and there are several ways to go about this. We’ll point out a few possible ways to stimulate user-generated content below. For the best results, it’s a good idea to combine multiple tactics.

Create a branded hashtag and make sure visitors know about it

One of the most important steps in getting visitors to share user-generated content about your event, is creating a so-called branded hashtag. Choose a hashtag to use just for your event and encourage your visitors to use it when sharing content on your event.

With your own hashtag, you can easily find, collect and react to all content generated by your visitors. Also, your visitors themselves can use the hashtag to find other social media posts about the event.

Ask your visitors to share their favourite moments during your event

A simple way to encourage visitors to share more content is by asking them to. You can do this at several moments and in multiple ways.

You could ask visitors to share their attendance after buying a ticket, for instance. During the event, you could also ask people to share their experiences via social media and use the corresponding hashtag. You could urge them to share their favourite moments on screens, posters and flyers. Another idea is to contact your visitors through email or social media and ask them to share their most memorable moments during the event.

To increase the chance of someone sharing something at your event, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. To do this, you can give visitors the opportunity to charge their phones or provide them with a good WiFi connection.

Make shareable moments and décor

People have the tendency to share beautiful and unique things on social media. You can provide for that by adding some Instagram worthy elements and décor for your event. Other possibilities might be to add a photo booth or a photo wall. You can even add your hashtag to these elements, to make sure people share the picture they take with the right hashtag on social media.

Another element you can add to your event is a live screen that shows social media posts that have been posted using the corresponding hashtag. This encourages visitors to share their own experiences at your event so they can watch their own content appear on the screen. Seeing the moments other visitors share can strengthen the experience of your event.

EVENTIX TIP: Give visitors something to win!

A popular way to get more engagement from your visitors is by organising a contest. You could hold a raffle and dish out nice prizes among the people that used a particular hashtag. Visitors are much more likely to put in the effort to share something on social media, if there’s a chance of winning something.


Get more value from your existing user-generated content

By using your existing user-generated content in a smart way, you can make sure you get the most value out of it and sustain the momentum. There are several things you could consider: You could make the effort to like, share or respond to the content that people have shared about your event. By doing this, you show a sense of appreciation and make the visitor feel even more connected to the event.

Something else you could consider is to put some user-generated content on your website. You could put up an Instagram timeline with pictures that have a certain hashtag or share your visitors’ positive experiences. Another possibility is to share user-generated content on your timeline, which creates a sense of authenticity. You could also share the content via your Stories. This way, you show that you appreciate the people putting in the effort to share something and at the same time it helps to give an impression of the atmosphere during your event.

Would you like to know more about stimulating interaction with your visitors? Then check out our

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Deborah Schoonen

Content Marketeer

Can regularly be found at the Dutch festivals during summer. Enjoys good music and beautiful stories and is always planning her next trip abroad.