User Generated Content at Events

Last week, team Unicorn attended June’s EventHuddle. For the uninitiated, EventHuddle is a monthly panel discussion and networking breakfast focusing on key issues and trends in the industry. This month concentrated on User Generated Content (UGC) at events: What it is, and how we can use it.

If you were there, it was great to meet you! If you weren’t, we’ve compiled our top 8 takeaways from the morning’s discussion:


1 - ROI should not stop you from focusing on social media driven UGC

One big question when trying to implement a UGC campaign, which most likely will come via a social media channel, is whether or not it is worth the money and time invested in the first place.

However, the beauty of social media is that it allows you to be brave and to learn from your mistakes quickly and at a minimal cost in comparison to other marketing channels. Much of the time, the question shouldn't be 'what will happen if we do this?', it should be 'what will be happen if we don't do this?'.

2 - UGC can help to feed your event culture

Encouraging and utilising UGC will allow your guests to build and become part of a close-knit event community. Not only will this allow the buzz of the event to continue outside of the event itself, but it will help to enhance the event experience on site.


3 - Stories are more than just disappearing content with filters

Stories, either Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat are a great way for guests to place themselves at your event online. Giving them the option of location filters and clickable hashtags will enable all their followers to know which event they are attending. They are also a great place for you to pull all of guests' tagged content together and repost with ease to your own followers. A low effort way for you to utilise UGC and showcase your event experience to others outside of the room.

4 - Use of WhatsApp to encourage UGC

If you thought that WhatsApp was just a messaging up for friends, GIFs, and group chats you can’t keep up with, you’re wrong (kinda).

WhatsApp also has a broadcast function where you can reach up to 200 contacts at a time. One way to reach guests in a more personable way to focus their attention and encourage UGC is via a WhatsApp broadcast message. Panelists at EventHuddle recalled having a lot of success with this feature in the past at their events, and it’s a cheap way to reach guests, assuming your attendee base is open and responsive to this type of communication.

5 - Using incentives for UGC

A question that came up a few times during the EventHuddle was around the subject of incentivising UGC from delegates - for example: 'Use our event hashtag and retweet this image for a chance to win a £20 festival food voucher' etc.

While this can work in some cases, it is important to keep the barriers to entry low - otherwise it increases the chances of two things.

1 - The guest will lose interest before they actually get to posting the content.

2 - The resulting content is not genuine and therefore the whole exercise will have been pointless.

6 - Use UGC as a form of evergreen social content

Everyone knows by now that event content should be evergreen on social channels, whether this is once a week or even bi-monthly. If you have created an event specific account, it should not sit idle when the event is not live. Incorporating UGC throughout the year can be tricky - especially if it is the first time your event is running, but using simple tactics such as event teasers can help to keep the audience engaged.

7 - UGC can help to empower guests

If you want guests to feel even more involved in your event, requesting UGC can help in achieving this. It allows them to feel like their voice is being heard - especially in cases where the event organisers use UGC to help shape the event. Whether this is asking the audience what they would prefer their event giveaways to be, or what they want the content of their conference to be.


8 - Content Creators

When we think of Content Creators in general, we often think of YouTubers, Instagram Creators, or Bloggers. When we think of people who can produce content from our events, we may think of guests, or the press if they have been invited. But what about our speakers? Both panellists at EventHuddle reported that they have found success in asking their speakers to create content while at the event, and in fact the speakers were happy to do so. Either with a quick and simple tweet, or a follow up LinkedIn post creating more interest in upcoming events. Sometimes the easiest places to get content from can be overlooked.

So there we have it. Those were the top 8 takeaways from June’s EventHuddle. Remember to follow Unicorn Events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up-to-date with the latest industry news, advice, and event behind-the-scenes!

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Elena Clowes