As the official marketing sponsor of KNOWSHOW, one of our main responsibilities was creating visual content for social media. An especially fun part was our Instagram Story Takeover, where our media team captured live moments over the 3-day event in Vancouver. For any event or trade show, Instagram Stories is a top choice for live social marketing, but also useful for pre and post-promotion. To complete the live coverage, we also produced three same-day Instagram recap videos (filming in the day and posting that evening).

“For shooting Stories, you need a bit of method to the madness. Have an outline or schedule of your must-have shots, but be on point to catch the random, intimate moments that’ll really connect with your audience” – Jonathan Spooner, Creative Director

View highlights from our Instagram Story Takeover below:

*Note as this is a recreated sample, the resolution is lower.*

Key reasons to use Instagram Stories for events or trade shows

  • With Instagram Stories lasting only 24-hours, the main reason to use it for a live or semi-live way of sharing your event, your booth or any people or activities happening there. It gives the live experience to people not attending but also fills people in who are there of what else is happening or what they’re missing.
  • It’s a perfect place for more fun or less formal content, such as a funny moment or a look behind-the-scenes.
  • It can also be an opportunity for a quick question or talk with your team or an attendee, without the pressure of it being a permanent post.
  • It lets you connect your audience of Instagram followers, the attendees and your brand all together with a more personal, spur-of-the-moment vibe.

Tips for using Instagram Stories for events and trade shows

  • While using live is the focus, it can be used to build hype leading up to an event, as well as follow up after. The week before and after an event are key times to gain last-minute interest and ticket sales, with the week after for following up with attendees. With Stories disappearing in 24-hours, it encourages people to check it out asap, so make sure to have a teaser or two before and a couple recaps.
  • Stories are best when complemented with other unique video and photo posts to Instagram. This gives you a presence on the main Instagram feed as well and reminds people to check out your story (and vice-versa)
  • Spur-of-the-moment, unplanned shots and videos are what make Stories fun. But don’t forget to bring a game plan. With tons of things going on at an event, you also need to be at the right place at the right time to create the best content. Set alarms on your iPhone for moments you want to catch. And this is also a situation where you might want to print out a schedule, in case you don’t want to keep checking your phone while also using its camera
  • Remember you don’t need to post actually live. Grab the footage, make a cut, add the event hashtag and @tag then post. Also keep an eye out for random moments to photography or film, which you can add in to the story mix for some variety.
  • For the professional touch, have some graphics or animations made for intros, outros or transitions. A graphic/animation used as a transition is a good time to throw a Call-to-Action in, opposed to in a live-action clip. But don’t forget the 24-hour time limit on story content, so load them onto your phone the morning of or have download links ready to go.
  • Also take advantage of swiping up for more info, promotions, RSVPs or any Call-to-Action. The popularity of Stories has given strong engagement for ads in that format, which is especially great for pre-promotion, as well as following up after the event.

Check out our Knowshow Tactical Sessions Recap with our sales director Geordie and co-founder Alex.