On Sunday the 5th of October we organised an InstaMeet in Ghent. It was already longer in our minds and was sparkled up again when we went to the InstaMeet in Antwerp. The World Wide InstaMeet weekend was the perfect opportunity to organise such an event in our hometown. We hadn’t much time but we had a rough idea what we could do. Here are a few usefull tips on how to plan an InstaMeet yourself:

  1. Go location scouting: it’s a hobby of ours to discover new places in the city where we live. A few weeks ago we ended up in the neigherhood which we thought would be interesting for the InstaMeet. Think outside the regular places, and try to have varied photo opportunities on the route.
  2. Set a date, time and meeting point: for this InstaMeet we picked the world wide InstaMeet weekend (4-5 Oct 2014), we chose to meet on a Sunday (mostly because there are less people in the city then, which makes it easier to walk around without losing your group) en we picked a place that was easy to reach both by public transport and by car.We worked together with the Tourist Information Centre of Ghent (see #Visitgent).
  3. Create an infogram & caption: an infogram is an image of the location with overlaid text (with date, location, time and hashtag – unique hashtag only for this occasion. Our hashtags were #visitgent and #wwim10ghent.
  4. Publishing: publish the infogram on Instagram (repeatably in the few weeks before the InstaMeet). We made posters (of the infogram) to hang out in the tourist office, library, youth hostels, working places,… We also created a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/instagramghent), this way we could create an event and sent out invitations. Besides the infogram with the necessary information, we created a QR code which was used on the posters and was linked to the meeting place and the Facebook page. You can also use Instagram to send the infogram directly to your friends.
  5. On the day of the InstaMeet: as an organizer be there early, scout the planned route if you have time to make sure you can pass everywhere (we had to ask to open a door which is usually open, but was closed …). Make yourself easily visible (we had a poster of the infogram). Try to find out who is who (Instagram names don’t always reflect the persons real names).
  6. Get a group photo and shoot a few pictures of the group. This can for example be used to promote future events.
  7. We also organized a little competition. Somewhere on our walk there was a little stencil of Sherlock, the first person who found it and shared it on Instagram won a bag of candy (cuberdons, the typical candy of Ghent). You are sure you have the attention of your audience! 😉
  8. Also we documented ourself with the history, and the future of the places where we walked, so that we could explain to the group what they saw and what some things mean. Not only is this very interesting for the people who join you (at least they know what they are photographing) but you learn a lot yourself!
  9. After the instameet: have a drink! And tell Instagram about it http://instagram.com/community/submit_instameet/
  10. And last but not least: have fun!

What we tried to do on the instameet in Ghent, was to get people to places where you’d normally never come. We went into the last remaining of the rempart of Ghent, the ‘Rabot’. Big thanks to Ronde Tafel 68, and especially Tom (13 o’clock hostel – brand new!) and Wim. This was a unique experience, the people who attended our InstaMeet really loved this surprise!
We walk through the historical centre of our city, but Ghent is a city that is developing ever since the Middle Ages. For that reason, we also wanted to show how these changes look like and visited a part of the city that will change dramatically in the next 5-10 years.

InstaMeet is more than just taking pictures with a group of people.It’s about seeing new things, looking differently to what you know, and especially meeting new people. Get inspired on the Instagram blog.

Thanks everyone for coming and hope to see you next time again!

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