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How to Develop Effective Content at Live Events

There are quite a few perks that counterbalance the whole always-buried-into-your-phone-and-or-computer life of a social media professional. Community Managers, Content Creators and Media Buyers alike all rejoice at the thought of the great experiences – both professional and personal – that live event social media coverage can provide.

But how does one plan to develop effective content at live events when the events themselves are many times unpredictable? I’ve recently attended the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show in NYC and compiled a list of the skills and overall bad luck-defying tips to consider when attending a live event for social media purposes:

Clean up your phone space

This one may be a big duh, but I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to miss a moment due to the “Cannot Take Photo” message. It’s an easy house-keeping task to keep your photo folders clear of clutter so you don’t have to waste time fumbling with Snapchat screenshots of Kylie Jenner’s dogs, and miss great moments like these:  Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 4.06.19 PMFormer Miss USA Olivia Culpo gets a glam moment, while The Nanny’s Fran Drescher glows during an interview.

Learn Your Geography, But Also Explore

At these events someone will usually walk you through the area(s) where you can roam and “social media.” Make sure you know this like the back of your hand, but stay alert to new opportunities made by changes in the event structure.

For example, the most recent live event Ignite worked was Go Red For Women’s Red Dress Collection Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week. The bulk of our work consisted of remaining backstage and photographing “getting ready” moments among celebrities. Once the celebrities lined up to walk the runway, there was an opportunity created for me to stand right where they entered the stage, therefore allowing me to capture incredible and exclusive content moments before the ladies hit the runway.

Had I not been open to possibilities, I would have gone back to my designated spot away from all the action. I’m not encouraging you to go around your event managers – I did not do that and I did not interfere with the show in any way (and had someone asked me to leave, I would have) – but just to keep your eyes and ears open to new spots that will garner a better view for your brand’s followers.

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Miss Universe Pia W. getting her finishing touches from makeup artist – cool enough backstage moment. Pia getting hyped up JUST before hitting the runway – truly exclusive. 


Stay Calm

These events can get very chaotic with all the things that need to be done, and while you’re still trying to keep a modicum of “cool” about yourself when doing your job. Take some deep breaths and take your task-list one at a time. If you have team mates working the event with you, keep the vibe chill by not acting out when hurdles happen (i.e. faulty WiFi or battery dying).

A sweet moment captured by our Media team member of ballerina Misty Copeland – and a kiss shared on the runway by Alexa and Carlos Vega, shot by our VP of Community Management, who attended as a guest, but was still busting out amazing content!


Live events are a great time to get creative with your content because you know you have a large captive audience anyway. And it makes your coverage seem all the more special! Here are some Boomerangs we were able to capture throughout the night:




Lennon and Maisy of Nashville.


Singer Monica twirling backstage.


Miss Universe being regal af.

Know Your Channels’ Audiences

Madison Beer, the singer discovered by none other than Justin Bieber poses exclusively for us with Sofia Richie backstage.

Do you know these girls? They are singer Madison Beer and model Sofia Richie (daughter of Lionel Richie). Never heard of them? Well, Instagram has. And together, they have over 5 million followers, comprised of mostly teenagers. So where did we first post this great capture to? Instagram and Twitter. Go Red’s Facebook audience – and Facebook’s entire audience anyway – skews older and probably wouldn’t know who these girls are.

Be strategic about the content you are capturing and know where to place it for best results.

Get Your Photo Editing Apps On Point

I wrote a blog post once about the importance of basic photography and artistic skills when capturing content for social media. Those rules still apply, but now you do not have a controlled environment to your liking. So basically it’s photography on level hard.

  • Ensure your photos have enough lighting not to be shaky or blurry.
  • Get your compositions clean of any background clutter and unwanted subjects.
  • Straighten out your shots with the help of mobile apps that do wonders to the average iPhone photo.

I used VSCO Cam during Red Dress Collection to give all photos the same aesthetic feel, and it worked out really well. I also took advantage of Instagram’s Boomerang, the ability to record and add quick filters via Snapchat and even Instagram’s quick and easy collage tool, Layout. Additionally, the recently acquired Lumee iPhone case was a huge hit among these women! The built-in selfie lighting guarantees a perfect portrait every time. And they were IMPRESSED.

Stylist Mary Alice Stephenson took my phone to snap her own self-approved selfie (hence the blurriness, but she LOVED this one), and Top Chef’s Gail Simmons literally goes bananas upon seeing the Lumee light.

Collaborate & Communicate

Whether you’re alone at the event or joined by co-workers, talk to as many people as possible to find out basic information like bathrooms and where to get a snack or water. But also collaborate in the sense of staying 100% nimble and agile when it comes to taking care of your client’s needs. If you need to send a Media person to take a photo really quickly while you send your edited images to your Community Manager, so be it. If your credential isn’t ready but your client expected you inside 10 minutes ago, tell them what’s up.

The only rule at live events is that everything could change. So plan for the expected, but prepare for the unexpected. Communication is key, so tell the right people the right things so they can help you.


The backstage madness. On one side, celebrities getting hair and makeup done, on the other, Ignite sharing it all with our followers.

Celebrate But Don’t Pull The Plug

The anticipation before a live event is huge. When it’s done, take a step back and watch over the amazing engagement and impressions your work provided your brand. It’s a pretty awesome feeling!

Keep the momentum going with event follow-up posts and recaps, so you can keep your fans talking about it for days to come. And feel free to tap yourself on the back – YOU DID IT!


The lovely Ignite and Carusele team at Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, with client Ashley Mora representing Go Red For Women, before and after Red Dress Collection. 

American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women is an Ignite Social Media and Carusele client.

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