Snapchat: The Secret Sauce for Increasing Event Engagement and Attendance


Snapchat has come along way from just being known as the social network for teens snapping messages to their crushes. With Snapchat’s 18 percent penetration of all smartphone using adults, not to mention being the third most popular social network among millennials, brands of all sizes are taking notice.

What’s so great about Snapchat? Snapchat users are some of the most engaged on social media. With snaps (photos and videos) having a shelf life of 10 seconds, or 24 hours if it’s a Snapchat Story, users are highly engaged. A whopping 65 percent of users upload pictures everyday to Snapchat in comparison to less than 35 percent of Facebook users who do the same actions.

Event marketers and professionals alike have a huge opportunity to leverage this social network to increase engagement, buzz and attendance around their events.

Here are four ways to harness the power of Snapchat for your events.

1.  Gamification

There’s nothing like a good game or challenge to get folks engaged with your brand and events. A scavenger hunt is a great way to tease a promotion before your event or increase engagement during the main event.

When USA Network wanted to increase awareness about its new show “Dig” during San Diego Comic-Con, they leveraged the influence and high engagement levels of attendees by having a Snapchat scavenger hunt. The winners would be invited to an exclusive meet and greet with Tim Kring, the show’s series creator.  

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In addition to promoting the contest across social channels, their marketing team created a Snapchat Story that included an overview of how to participate in the scavenger hunt and the rules. The Story was followed by six clue snaps, encouraging attendees to snap photos of the symbol to the show’s official handle.

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The result? They increased their Snapchat following to over 16,400 followers, received 614 snaps and 28 winners who went to the exclusive party. Talk about getting some great buzz around their event and new show.

2.  Have exclusive rewards for Snapchat followers  

Since Snapchat users are already extremely engaged, leverage this vibrant community by rewarding them with special offers that are exclusive to your Snapchat followers.

When word gets out that your Snapchat account is the one to pay attention to, you’ll not only boost your following, but have a dedicated audience around your event updates.

Snap teasers around influencers who’ll be attending your events, special guests, sessions and anything else relevant to your prospective attendees. If you’re feeling fancy, you can include registration discount codes at the end of your snaps. Be sure to measure how many attendees came to your event from Snapchat so you can measure your ROI.

3.  Capture behind the scenes content

Build anticipation around your events by snapping some behind the scenes footage. Whether an author is signing books before a book tour, a band is rehearsing or volunteers are stuffing gift bags, give attendees and prospective attendees alike a sneak peek of what’s in store for them.

This could be the nudge needed for people on the fence about buying tickets to your event. It can also spark engagement and excitement among attendees who are getting ready to participate in the festivities.

To bring more attention to your behind the scenes footage, consider partnering with a Snapchat influencer. They could take over your account for a set period of time and broadcast content for you. To make sure you get the most out of your influencer relationship, be sure to have them promote their Snapchat takeover on their channels. This will extend your reach and also bring more attention to your Snapchat account and in turn, your event.

4.  Keep the party going

One of the big appeals of Snapchat is that content moves really fast. But how can you keep the fun going if your content can last 24 hours max? Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose! You can also save your snaps and repurpose the content on more permanent channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Create snaps that can serve as post event coverage and post them on other social networks. This way attendees can relive the fun they had at your event and anyone who couldn’t attend won’t want to miss out on your next event.
When former Twitter CEO and University of Michigan alum Dick Costolo came to his alma mater’s campus, students could find a Snapchat recap on Facebook.


Want to learn how to use Snapchat and other social networks to make the most of your college recruiting efforts, download 7 Ways to Amplify Your College Recruiting Through Events & Social Media.

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