10 Steps to Instameet Success

An Instameet is a wonderful way to connect with your fellow community members, share your love of photography, explore new places, and flex some creative muscles. There are no hard and fast rules for an Instameet or minimum amount of attendees required, just get some people together and have some fun! After hosting many Instameets with Instagramers Seattle, I am always excited to share tips and encourage my fellow community members to host their own! Here are some easy to follow tips to get you started: 

Pick a place.

Michaela Lincoln

 Select a photogenic place with different areas or interesting items to shoot. Try and pick a location that is easy to get to and you can plan a route around.  Think of where will you walk, stop to take pictures or meet after the event.

Set a Date & Time.

Michaela Lincoln

 A time that works for everyone will be hard to get, so picking a time that most people are generally free, like during the weekend, is a good rule of thumb. Make sure to check for competing events happening in the area that can affect traffic or attendance. Depending on the season the time of prime daylight, also known as the golden hour, will vary. So make sure to check a sunrise/sunset calendar to determine the best time for maximum light.

Tag It.

Michaela Lincoln

 Create a unique hashtag for attendees to post to and follow along with for updates. Make sure to share this tag in all of your announcements ahead of the event.

Spread the Word!

Michaela Lincoln

 Create an event image and caption that includes text with the date & time, location and event hashtag to post and share. Use a photo of your meeting point or location of your event. You can create this with multiple apps including Over and Phonto. Share on all of your social media platforms, with your friends and local Instagramers, and invite them to share on their pages as well. Reach out to local Instagram feature pages or groups in your area to see if they will share too. You can also share your event directly on Instagram’s community map, just visit their website and submit your information.

Play with Props.

Michaela Lincoln

 Balloons, empty picture frames, bubbles and photo booth kits; props can add a fun touch to photos and bring out the creativity in folks. Bring some yourself or ask attendees to in the invite.

Arrive Early.

Michaela Lincoln

 On the day of the event, make sure to check your event post often for any last minute questions and let people know how to find you if they arrive late (ie. Instagram comments, etc.) Arrive early at the meeting point and snap a quick post or have a sign with the hashtag so people know who to look for.

Start the Show!

Michaela Lincoln

 You can wait a few minutes to start the walk to let anyone running late have time to arrive, in the meantime get to know some of your attendees. You can bring names tags and a sign in sheet for people to write their names/Instagram handles. This is also a great icebreaker and you may even see a name you’ve already been following! When you’re ready to hit the road, introduce yourself and thank everyone for coming.  Remind everyone what the event hashtag is and your plan for the walk or if there is a designated meeting point for after the event.

Snap a group shot.

Michaela Lincoln

 Get everyone together for a group shot; it can be fun and creative or everyone giving their best cheese! If you didn’t bring a sign in sheet, ask everyone to comment on the group photo when you post it so you can tag them and connect afterwards. This is also a great way to say thanks for coming!

Have Fun!

Michaela Lincoln

 Instameets are all about connecting with your fellow community members, so have fun! Whether you stand around a chat about photography or your favorite food, take endless photographs, or just walk around, enjoy your company and get to know your attendees. Instameets can be overwhelming for first time attendees, so if you spot someone who seems a little shy, go over and say hello. Do your best to make everyone feel welcome and included.

After the Meet.

Michaela Lincoln

 As mentioned previously, you can designate a meeting place after the meet is over. A coffee shop or some place to grab a bite. This is a fun way to end an event since people will have had time to settle in and relax. You can hang out and talk shop on editing photos, share shooting tips, look at photos from the meet or just chit chat. Over the next day or so following the meet, browse the tag to see photos shared by everyone who came and give them a like. Comment on your favorites and connect with community members you met. One of the best parts of a meet is viewing the photos afterwards; I am always amazed at the different perspectives captured and cherish the opportunity to continue to build connections with new friends.

Closing Thoughts

There you have it! At the end of the day, hosting an Instameet is all about meeting fellow community members and having fun. Every event is different so host a few and experiment with locations, days and times. Enjoy exploring new places, making new friends and getting some rad shots! I hope you find these tips helpful and inspire you to start planning. Connect with me @yomichaela to share your group shots and Instameet stories. I look forward to seeing your success!