How to Use Snapchat at Events


Boasting more than 150 million daily users (compared to 140 million for Twitter), Snapchat consistently sets the standard for engaging an audience with short-form, visual content. The app, a product of Snap Inc., is especially useful for connecting with a millennial audience through the sharing of now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t images and video. (Snaps, or Snapchat posts, are designed to disappear after they have been viewed unless the user chooses to store them via a feature known as Snapchat Memories.) The app is perfect to capture the in-the-now excitement of events, especially now that Snap Inc. has announced the imminent rollout of Spectacles, eyeglasses that allow Snapchat users record and share better-quality video on Snapchat. Here are some ways event planners can succeed with Snapchat.

Creating Pre-Event Buzz

Snapchat allows users to create custom overlays, or temporary stickers, for their personal profiles. Accordingly, Snapchat users can adorn their profiles with overlays that incorporate branding elements of an event (“I’m heading to Dreamforce 2016”). Event planners would do well to borrow best practices from individuals and businesses that use Snapchat to promote product launches and events such as movie premieres. For instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger created buzz for the launch of Terminator Genisys by sharing filters that allowed users to look like the movie’s title character. Businesses can and should adapt these ideas for their own events, even if their audience is limited in size.

Marketing During an Event

Snapchat can also enhance the excitement of an event while it happens. An excellent way of doing so is to encourage attendees to take snaps (photos or videos) of content, whether of speakers or the event itself. Your attendees are probably doing so on their own — so why not get involved by encouraging them to share their snaps with you, and reward the most effective, engaging ones? For instance, at Content Marketing World, many of the attendees use Snapchat to take photos or short videos of the keynote speakers and then use filters to customize or brand their creative work.

Creating content during an event could become an even more sophisticated experience thanks to the launch of Spectacles. The eyeglasses, hitting the market soon, will make it possible for users to create 10-second video clips that more naturally reflect one’s field of vision than using a smart phone to record an experience. With Spectacles, users can record real-time events and store them on Snapchat Memories for viewing later. Especially when Spectacles hit the market, there will be a considerable amount of buzz and novelty associated with the product. Event planners could capitalize on this early excitement by sharing a limited amount with lucky event attendees and encouraging them to create videos of their adventures. Prizes could be awarded for the most inventive video. Since Spectacles promise to be fashionable and more fun to wear, event planners could build some goodwill by allowing users to keep them after the event, too.

Live Access and Behind-the-Scenes Snaps

Sharing private content makes attendees feel special. And by sharing behind-the-scenes snaps of your company’s operations and tours of event venues, you can enhance the personality, voice, and vision of your brand. Here again, corporate event planners can learn a lot from businesses that use Snapchat to support public events such as product launches. For instance, McDonald’s has used Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the launch of its bacon clubhouse sandwich. The brand adopted a playful approach, working with NBA star Lebron James. You might lack the budget to hire someone like Lebron James, but you can still be inventive. For instance, at an internal employee event to honor top-performing salespeople, you could create a campaign of snaps consisting of amusing, make-believe awards calling out some of the attendees.

Snapchat is certainly not the only game in town. Businesses should continue to employ social networking tools like Twitter and Instagram to enrich the value of their events. But using Snapchat will inject a hipness quotient into your event — especially with millennials — that no other social app can provide. Tomorrow another app will eventually become as hot or bigger than Snapchat. But today Snapchat is where the action is. How are you using Snapchat?

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We Love Live. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing


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