By Casey S. Campbell

Happy client? Check.
Happy participants? Check.
Happy staff? Check.

Happy camera crew running endlessly around the event course capturing 10-20 pictures per participant for all 4,000 participants and then organizing the pictures into folders so that the marketing team can easily find and use those images for next year’s campaigns AND capturing all the happiness that was listed in the three bullets just mentioned? Uhhhhh…. Eeeeek… Check??? Well, NEVER FEAR, because USER-GENERATED CONTENT IS HERE!

Welcome to 2017 where almost all participants will be carrying a handy-dandy portable device (known as a smartphone) in their pockets and taking pictures from the start line to the finish line. But how can you make sure they’re capturing the right moments? And how can you ensure that not all their pictures look the same, but rather show character and personality?

Try this: Give ‘em a reason. Give them a reason to take a picture and they will, indeed, take a picture! Then, through customized hashtags, you can find those pictures, ask for republishing permission, and voila: user-generated content. Here are 4 ways that you can encourage your participants to take a picture and connect with the cause:

1. Oversized Emojis

2. Group Photo Backdrops

3. Course-wide “H” Frames and Selfie Signs

4. Cause-related Signs

Now, it’s important to note that professional photography on-event is a MUST-HAVE, and participants love receiving high-quality pictures to save and share after the event; user-generated content is just an additional element that will spice up your marketing and engage your audiences. Be creative on event day… your engagement relies on it!

Casey S. Campbell (LinkedIn) is a Digital and Social Media Specialist at Event 360. He executes the social media and digital advertising strategy for MuckFest® MS as well as oversees their social media community management and engagement. He also works on digital advertising strategy for The Susan G. Komen 3-Day and social media and community management strategy for Event 360’s corporate social channels. Casey is an avid cat-lover and actor living in Chicago.


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