An Easy 10-Step Guide to Organising an Instameet

Instagram has just announced their official Tenth World Wide Instameet on their blog. This announcement encourages Instagrammers all over the world to meet in their cities over the weekend of the 4-5 October 2014!

Here's a short film that was made during the 9th World Wide Instameet in South Africa that was hosted in Soweto, Johannesburg. You can also read up about Instameets all over the world on Instagram's "Behind the Instameet" series on their blog.

In light of Instagram's announcement here is some free knowledge for Instagrammers everywhere on how to arrange an Instameet! Laid out below is an easy-to-follow 10 step guide on how to organise an instameet. Happy snapping!

1. Go location scouting.
Go on a little adventure, keep in mind that the best locations will always have many varied photo opportunities. Think outside the box and consider the variety and number of people that will be attending.

2. Plan a route
Your route already needs to be planned and plotted out in your mind. The ideal route will contain a few minutes of walking with stops lasting around 15-20 minutes, especially around those spots where Instagrammers can explore & take a few snaps!

3. Set a date & time (consider timing)
This is possibly the most important practicality when arranging an Instameet. From personal experience, weekends seem to be the best. Sundays are ideal because cities are usually quieter. When considering the time, keep in mind that the best natural light falls during magic hour (an hour before and after sunrise or sunset).

4. Set up an general & unique hashtag
You need to set up two hashtags. The first one will be a more general hashtag to track your community. This will act as an umbrella hashtag for all past and future instameets. The other hashtag needs to be specific to the Instameet and ideally one that has never been used. It's the best way to track all the images taken during that particular instameet.

5. Create an "infogram" & caption
An infogram is simply an image of the location with overlaid text. You can create these infograms with an app called "over" which is available on iOS and Android platforms. The text on the image needs to contain the Location, Time, Date and Hashtag of the Instameet. The caption needs to be a well written welcome message that invites anyone to participate. The caption should again include the Location, Time, Date and Hashtag as well as a contact person.

6. Publishing (personal & availability online)
The best way to publish an Instameet and maximise exposure is to utilise your existing community accounts, blogs, social media platforms, and the very people who will be attending. Traditionally for Instagramers, we'll post the infogram to the city account and also to @igersSouthAfrica. We'll also make the infogram with accompanying caption available online in either a dropbox link or blog post on a website so anyone can announce the instameet.

7. Meet, Announce & Group Photo
Arrive a few minutes earlier for your Instameet. Make yourself easily visible and keep checking on the posted infogram. People who are lost or late will often comment and request the status of the Instameet. Once everyone has arrived, make an announcement. Welcome everyone, thank them for coming, share the hashtag, and mention your community account if you have one. Find a rad wall or spot where the lighting is good and take a group photo and post it. Ask everyone who is there to comment on the photo. This is the easiest way for instagrammers to find each other on Instagram.

8. Socialise & mingle
Smile and be nice! Instameets are ultimately about the people. You want to make people, both newcomers and regulars, feel as welcome as possible. Some organisers give away sweets, while others make stickers and t-shirts. Figure out what you can do differently to make people remember the Instameet.

9. Documentation
Get hold of a few people who enjoy shooting video and ask them to film your Instameet (watch an example below). Alternatively, if you don't know any filmmakers, ask a few bloggers to do a short photo blog about your Instameet. It's always great having some content that can be used to promote future events.

10. After the Instameet.
Find a nice place to go to after your Instameet concludes. Discuss photo editing techniques, compare shots, and find out each other's handles around a beer or pizza. You as the community manager should also select a few of the best shots to feature over the next few days. People will appreciate having their photo featured and it also gets them excited for the next community meeting.

Here are some shots of Instameets from all around the world: