Who’s the most crucial part of your event next to you? Your attendees and exhibitors. 

They are the best critics and the most potent force to make your event successful. And there’s something else you should know about them that makes them even more valuable: these people are trusted by their social circles. 

User-generated content (UGC) is a fantastic way to market your next tradeshow or conference and get people excited about attending.  

What is UGC? 

UGC is any content—text, photos, videos, etc.—created by users rather than by the brand. UGC can be a powerful marketing tool because it is authentic and relatable. People are more likely to trust and engage with content from others rather than from a brand. 

Not only does UGC allow businesses to take a break from content creation, but it also positively impacts their bottom line. Studies indicate that user-generated content has sway over up to 79% of people’s purchase decisions. 

Customers seeking out potential companies perceive user-generated content (UGC) as more reliable. This honest feedback makes incorporating UGC into your content marketing strategy easier. Furthermore, using UGC will help promote your events and make them even more successful! Here’s how:  

Organize Contests 

Contests are one of the most organic ways to generate user-generated content. By asking your audiences to take a selfie with your product (thinking this needs to be more organization specific – not sure an association thinks of them as products). and post it on Instagram, you can offer a prize for creativity, such as a free event registration. This is an excellent way to gather content and get people talking about your brand or upcoming event. 

You can also use this strategy during your event by publishing and distributing rules for a social media contest. For example, you could say, “Take a photo with your group at the registration area and use #CompanyName and #Event2023.” By doing this, you will have plenty of posts from participants to boost your event’s social media presence. 

Implement a Social Media Wall 

A fun way to get people talking at your events is by setting up a social media wall. People can share their thoughts, tweet, or take selfies, and the display will rotate through all posts using catchy event hashtags.  

Display the content on a big screen to encourage other attendees to create and share more. This is a great way to start a social media trend as your event is taking place. Seeing their content displayed on a massive screen will give attendees positive feelings toward your event! 

Incorporate Influencers in Your UGC Strategy 

Influencer marketing continues to be the fastest-growing marketing channel. Make connections with influential people in your niche arena (trying to think about how this makes sense to an association or event), whether they have a personal attachment to your organization or event. They can be more valuable than any other costly marketing strategy because when they talk, people listen.  

If you want to increase brand awareness and get people talking about your organization, invite social media influencers to your events or offer them promotional discounts. Utilize their influence by having them speak during a conference session or give their fans a personal link for an event discount. 

Implement Event Testimonials 

Are you collecting attendee testimonials? If not, you’re missing out on leveraging the best kind of social proof. Testimonials from actual attendees can go a long way in boosting your ticket and exhibition sales.  

If you can show people your event is the place to be; you’re helping people on the fence feel more confident and secure in their purchasing decision.  

How do you get testimonials? 

  • Reach out to past happy attendees and exhibitors and ask for a short paragraph on their experience with your event. 
  • Send out attendee feedback forms after every tradeshow or conference. 
  • Browse your comment sections on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Take screenshots of comments complimenting your event and ask permission to use them in your marketing materials. 
  • Utilize a platform such as Gather Voices where you can easily acquire testimonials 


According to recent studies, over 86% of businesses use UGC in their marketing efforts.  

That’s because it is so powerful that it can captivate, engage, and convert an audience all on its own. User-generated content is an excellent way to embrace authenticity and drive cost-effective brand promotion for your events. 

The attendees and exhibitors are the real source of any event’s success, and UGC can help ensure that success.