Beyond Hashtags: Leveraging User-Generated Content in Experiential Campaigns

Beyond Hashtags: Leveraging User-Generated Content in Experiential Campaigns
April 23, 2024 0 Comments

Experiential campaigns have emerged as powerful tools for creating memorable brand interactions. These campaigns go beyond traditional advertising by immersing consumers in unique and engaging experiences. One key aspect of successful experiential marketing is leveraging user-generated content (UGC). In this article, we’ll explore strategies to encourage event attendees to share their experiences and become enthusiastic brand advocates.

The Power of User-Generated Content

User-generated content refers to any content created by consumers rather than the brand itself. It includes social media posts, photos, videos, reviews, and more. Here’s why UGC matters:

  1. Authenticity: Consumers trust content created by their peers more than branded content. UGC provides an authentic perspective on a brand or event.
  2. Reach: When attendees share their experiences on social media, it extends the campaign’s reach beyond the event venue. Encouraging the use of event-specific hashtags and fostering real-time engagement transforms attendees into enthusiastic brand advocates, organically expanding the campaign’s reach across various social platforms.
  3. Community Building: UGC fosters a sense of community among attendees. They become part of a larger conversation, sharing their unique perspectives and connecting with others who attended the same event.

Strategies for Leveraging User-Generated Content

1. Create Brand Experiences Worth Sharing

The foundation of UGC lies in creating memorable experiences. When attendees have a positive and impactful experience, they are more likely to share it. Consider the following tactics:

  • Interactive Installations: Design interactive installations or photo-worthy moments within your event space. Encourage attendees to capture these moments and share them online.
  • Surprise and Delight: Surprise attendees with unexpected elements—a personalized message, a special gift, or an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. These delightful surprises will prompt attendees to share their excitement.

2. Reward UGC Champions

Identify attendees who actively create and share content related to your event. These UGC champions can become your brand ambassadors. Consider the following approaches:

  • Contests and Challenges: Host UGC contests with attractive prizes. For example, ask attendees to submit their best event photo using a specific hashtag. The winner receives VIP access to the next event or exclusive merchandise.
  • Acknowledgment: Publicly acknowledge UGC creators during the event. Highlight their posts on screens or announce them from the stage. This recognition encourages others to participate.

3. Spark Conversations and Contests

Engage attendees in conversations related to the event. Use social media polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats to encourage interaction. Additionally:

  • Hashtag Challenges: Create event-specific hashtags and challenge attendees to use them creatively. For instance, ask them to share their favorite moment using the event hashtag.
  • User-Generated Contests: Invite attendees to submit their own content—whether it’s a short video, a meme, or a testimonial. Feature the best entries during the event.

4. Seamless Sharing and Branded Hashtags

Make it easy for attendees to share their experiences. Provide clear instructions on how to use event hashtags and encourage attendees to tag your brand. Consider:

  • Social Media Walls: Set up screens displaying real-time social media posts. Attendees can see their content featured instantly.
  • Branded Hashtags: Create a memorable and relevant event hashtag. Use it consistently across all promotional materials and encourage attendees to do the same.


Beyond hashtags, experiential campaigns thrive on the genuine enthusiasm of attendees. By strategically leveraging user-generated content, brands can create lasting connections, amplify their reach, and turn attendees into loyal advocates. So, as you plan your next experiential campaign, remember: It’s not just about what you say—it’s about what your attendees share.

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