The pressure to snap and share every life moment on social media is strong. “Pics or it didn’t happen," is the battle cry of social media users everywhere. Meaning don’t brag about your killer life without posting a photo to prove it. This pressure inevitably leads to many a blurry concert photo, grainy celebrity shot, and more recently, the embarrassing conference selfie.
While sharing photos from a conference or work event is not a bad thing—it's a great way to network and market your brand—not every moment needs to be captured. Think the shot of your manager dirty dancing with a stripper at the conference after-party.
When at a conference or professional event, it’s best to keep photos Safe For Work (SFW). Even though you aren’t working per se, you’re still representing the brand. And chances are great, the company is also paying for you to be there. Let us never forget another battle cry of the internet, “Nothing is ever truly deleted.”
Keep conference selfies relevant and under control by following these tips:
Do: Give some context
Skip the faraway blurry photos of speakers on stage. Instead, opt for something more informative like a selfie that includes event signage, programs, or your conference badge. Don’t forget to include the official conference or event #hashtag. That way your photos will be seen by more conference attendees and you'll add some valuable people to your network.
Don’t: Give them the wrong context
We know conference happy hours can get rowdy, and new friends + booze = long nights on the town. If the party moves somewhere that’s not work safe, i.e. you wouldn’t tell your boss about it—skip the selfies. It’s all good to have fun and make connections, but keep your integrity intact and out of the questionable photos.
Do: Take a group selfie with important connections
Looking forward to seeing a partner or customer at the conference? Snap a group business selfie in a professional setting. Showcasing those connections is a great way to celebrate important brand relationships. Be sure to tag the photo with everyone’s personal and company social handles. This will increase sharing and make the bosses happy.
Don’t: Post group selfies without asking first
Although you’re comfortable posting an after-hours conference selfie, the other people in your group might not be. For everything outside the official event, or outside business hours, check with everyone first to avoid awkward interactions later.
Do: Represent your brand
As an on-site brand ambassador, your selfies are marketing collateral—letting customers and clients know your company is at the conference or event. Find ways to easily and visibly represent the brand’s presence. That might mean wearing a logo tee, taking photos with fellow employees, or attaching your brand’s hashtag to the selfies. And remember, anything branded deserves even more scrutiny before posting.
Don’t: Wear your brand without intention
Treat these as general guidelines. Only you know what will work best for the brand or business you’re representing. A good rule of thumb to ask, “Would I want my boss, clients, or work spouse to see this?” If not, just put the phone down and have fun.