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Posted on 01/25/2023

6 Instagram Story Ideas You Can Use to Promote Your Next In-Person Event

Instagram stories are an effective way to share content and boost audience engagement. They play a significant role in a social media marketing strategy, even though they only stay live for about 24 hours. 

A study by Social Insider found that brands get a 70% retention rate by posting five stories daily. Additionally, major brands have doubled their Instagram Story usage in the last year. It’s hence clear that Instagram stories can be instrumental in promoting your next event.

In this article, we take you through six Instagram story ideas you can implement today to build awareness about your event and attract more attendees.

1. Do a Quirky Team Introduction

Today’s digital audience wants to know the faces behind their favorite brands, products, and services. When you introduce your team, you allow your audience to connect with your brand at a more personal level. Using short videos can help you with this.

Think of fun ways to introduce your CEO, fulfillment manager, social media manager, and other key roles. You also want to choose background music that will speak about families and family dynamics in a positive light, such as the “Full House” theme song. 

Use photos or videos that look something like this:

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Once your target audience gets acquainted with your staff, they will most probably be more comfortable coming to your next event. This gives them a sense of belonging where they feel like they know some of the people they will find at the event. 

It also helps in building hype around the event. You can also use these videos to introduce some of the other guests who will be speaking at the event. Even better, you could have them reshare the same clips on their Instagram stories.

Another side benefit of doing team introductions is it can support your recruitment marketing strategy. As it showcases your team and workplace culture, you also get to attract top talents.

2. Share Photos or Videos of Your Event

Social proof is a big deal for online audiences today. People will love to see photos and video evidence of others having a great time at your previous events. So use the photos and videos from those events as social proof to promote your next event

To make your work easier, take advantage of user-generated content here and add the swipe-up feature with a registration link. 

Choose between a slideshow of about five different photos of your event or a video showing the event’s highlights. Add background music to the posts to make them more appealing to people who will watch the video with their sound on. 

See how Hoskar promoted their networking event using videos and photos from their previous event:

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Remember to add text to your IG stories showing the details of your next event. These details include the venue, date, and time of the event. Add a location sticker to spruce it up. 

Hoskar shared the next event’s poster and added a link sticker to help interested people register in just a few clicks. Here’s the shared poster:

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Since Instagram is a visual platform, this Instagram Story idea will keep your potential customers visually stimulated and anticipating your next event. 

3. Post Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Sharing behind-the-scenes (BTS) content is a great way to welcome your audience into the backend operations of your business. It elicits trust and connectedness and allows your audience to feel like they are part of the fold.

Among the most utilized Instagram story ideas, sharing behind-the-scenes content lets you bridge the gap between you and your audience. This boosts brand loyalty by creating a high level of intimacy between your audience and your brand. 

To promote your upcoming event, you can share a sneak peek of the event’s venue and the ongoing preparations. Here is an example.


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You can also do a before-and-after video showing what the venue looked like before you added your branded content and decor and what it looks like after.

You may also choose to do a brief video walk-through showing your audience what to expect from the time they walk through the entrance until they get to the main event. 

Keep an eye on the engagement metrics to see what type of BTS content your followers enjoy the most. Then post the best-performing content more frequently.

4. Run a Contest

Offer your audience the chance to get rewarded through an Instagram contest. Use your Instagram stories to encourage your audience to take part in a contest that is relevant to your next event. 

You could offer them something valuable if they win, such as a gift card, free entry to the event (if it’s a paid event), or a free subscription to a premium service/product.

For example, Brighton SEO hosts annual SEO events. They usually run contests encouraging users to take part for a chance to win free tickets that usually go for several hundred pounds. They promote these contests on their Instagram stories and even feed posts as seen below:

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Depending on the nature of the contest, it can incentivize your followers to share details of your upcoming event with their followers. For example, if your contest requires participants to like, share and tag friends on a post. This increases your reach significantly, helping drive more signups for your next live or in-person event.

And if you have a business app, use your next event to get more app downloads from your audience. Providing a QR code for app download will help you turn offline interactions during in-person events to an app download in minutes.

5. Host a Live Q&A Session

Hosting an Instagram live Q&A session is another brilliant way to promote an event.

Through the live session, interested attendees can see your emotions, gestures, facial expressions, and all the other little things that make human interaction so effective. 

Audiences tend to respond avidly during live sessions by commenting and asking even more questions as the session progresses. 

Here’s one of BrandedU’s many live Q&As:

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Your followers can also tag their friends and urge them to join the live session and engage with you. These people may end up attending your event and forming a connection with your brand from that point on.

Use the Q&A session to answer questions related to the event. You can also use it to introduce your brand and its offerings.

It’s advisable to prepare in advance for the live Q&A session. It may even be a good idea to promote the live Q&A session. You can do that by sharing a few posts about it on your Instagram posts and other social networks. You can also send out an email newsletter promoting it.

While promoting the live Q&A session, ask your audience to share some of the questions they want to be answered and invite their friends to the session. (You can also use the question sticker feature to ask for more questions during the live session).

That should help you build a considerable audience for the live Q&A session. And as more people attend the session, they’ll see why they can’t afford to miss out on your next event.

6. Create a Countdown Timer

One of the best Instagram Story ideas to implement when promoting your next event is a countdown timer. This works well in building the anticipation of your followers towards the event. It also acts as a reminder that the event is drawing nearer and nearer with every passing day. That can create FOMO.

In today’s busy world, your audience will most probably need those reminders to add the event to their schedule and attend it when the time comes. The Instagram countdown sticker also lets your followers set up a reminder so that they are notified when the event begins. 

BrandedU is a personal branding institute that focuses on accelerating women in business and entrepreneurship. Here’s how they used a countdown timer for their upcoming Instagram event:

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Whether it is a product launch, a sale, or a live Q&A session, a countdown timer is one of the most straightforward Instagram Story ideas that you can use to scale your followers’ response to an upcoming event.

In Closing

There are several Instagram story ideas that you can use to promote your next event. One of the first Instagram story ideas you can use is to introduce your team to your audience. This makes your followers familiar with the faces behind their favorite product or service. Next, share photos and videos of your previous event to encourage followers to attend your next event.

Post behind-the-scenes footage to bring trust and loyalty between your business and its audience. Run a contest and reward your followers if they participate and win. Hosting a live Q&A session will also help you connect more deeply with your audience before the event.

Finally, create a countdown timer to build anticipation for the upcoming event and use interactive stickers. Your followers can set reminders to be notified when the event is about to begin. These Instagram story ideas will bring you closer to achieving the desired results at your next event.

David Pagotto is the Founder and Managing Director of SIXGUN, a digital marketing agency based in Melbourne. He has been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years, helping organizations get more customers, more reach, and more impact.

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