Cultivate Blog

Posted by Madeleine Denebeim on 6/11/24 9:30 AM

Who plays the most crucial role in your event besides you? Your attendees and exhibitors. They are your most insightful critics and keystones to your event's success. 

Here's why they are even more valuable: they are trusted influencers within their social networks. While an image or video may have a greater impact than traditional word-of-mouth marketing, other lucrative, long-term opportunities can come from User Generated Content (UGC). Keep reading to learn more about UGC and how to optimize it to elevate events and on-site experiences.

What is User Generated Content?
UGC includes all types of media produced by attendees, including photos, videos, reviews, and social media posts. With 86% of planners implementing experiences designed to be reshared on social media, UGC is key to promoting your event from all angles in the digital age. Real people capturing moments from your events create an authenticity that can reinforce other traditional marketing efforts.

Why You Need to “Wow” Attendees

Whether their followers are limited to their personal circles or thousands of fans, people can influence their audiences’ buying decisions when they post on social media. According to Adweek, 85% of people say UGC is more influential than content made by brands. Even if the audience doesn’t know the person who made the content, consumers naturally connect more with the casual language of online reviews than with scripted or structured content.


Why? Sometimes, seeing is believing, and UGC can serve as curated testimonials. Its authenticity makes for relatable content to recycle in your marketing strategies long after the event has ended and builds excitement among your audience to stay tuned for the next one. People can visualize the real experience of attending your event and connect that to your brand. Reusing UGC in your social strategy evokes those fun experiences even when things have slowed down internally while planning for the next event.


How to Encourage User Generated Content at Your Event

Whether your event is invite-only or open to the public, there are simple ways to make your event feel more exclusive online. According to, creating a hashtag or encouraging people to tag your company is key to tracing UGC as it’s shared across different platforms. From incentive trips to industry conferences, creating hashtags and asking for tags are great because they’re free to do and can create traction in social media algorithms once enough posts are shared with them.


Apart from selecting beautiful venues that people can’t help but share on socials,  incentivizing attendees to share some snaps is key to collecting UGC, even if it’s just to get people to use your hashtag in their posts. Considering the possibilities a relatable or viral post can do to create wide brand recognition, there is considerable value in putting a budget behind the “free” User Generated Content you request from attendees.


How Gifting with Choice Invites UGC

When clients book on-site programs with us, our On-site Staff creates boutique experiences for attendees to browse, try on, and select a gift of their choice. As we handle all the behind-the-scenes details, the Pop-up Shop invites people to connect with each other in an organic way. You’ll find people snapping photos of each other in search of the perfect pair of sunglasses or celebrating with the gifts they chose.


Those moments of appreciation are invaluable! That’s why we believe incentivizing attendees or engraining appreciation into User Generated Content makes for an even exchange and validates tagging or using specific hashtags in their posts. Who wouldn’t include a hashtag for the chance to win a premium gift? This is exactly how Cultivate encourages UGC at our On-site Gifting programs!


If you’re already incorporating gifting into your event planning budget, think about how you can transform a standard goodie bag into a full experience sure to generate UGC and buzz across different channels. When it comes to investing in the right experiences for your events, consider a premium gifting experience with Cultivate. 


We stretch your gifting budget into white-glove, stress-free service with our Pop-up Shops, which invite attendees to capture the memories they make while selecting a gift of their choice. Not sure what program would be right for you? Flip through our On-site Gifting Lookbook to learn how we deliver meaningful appreciation to events worldwide.

Browse the Lookbook



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Topics: Event Planning, Appreciate & Inspire

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