Using Pinterest for Events

January 30, 2012

My Pinterest board of recipes.

Warning: Pinterest is addictive.

Pinterest is the latest social networking site to become mainstream.  Similar to a bulletin board which you might have hanging at home or in the office, Pinterest allows you to digitally pin items that you like to online boards and share them with your followers.  Pinterest connects to Facebook to make it easy to follow the boards of people who you are already connected. It can also cross post to Facebook. Unlike other social networking platforms, Pinterest is visually-based  made up of virtual boards designed to be filled with beautiful photos of anything from food (my personal favorite) to travel destinations to fashion to cars and even infographs. With their bookmarklet tool which sits on your browser toolbar you can easily pin any graphic from any site right onto one of your Pinterest boards. Users can repin a post or simply like it or comment on it.

I discovered Pinterest before the holiday season and quickly began pinning recipes for delicious looking treats. Since then I have been pinning and experimenting with the recipes that I have discovered.  At the end of a busy day, I find it relaxing to browse boards in search of visually-pleasing ideas.

For consumer brands, there are many uses for Pinterest. Early adopting companies are hiring people to pin items found on their websites to help to promote their products through viral sharing.  Pinterest is certainly helping push traffic to blogs and websites that make use of graphics to tell stories. With the interest in Pinterest growing daily (they have about 4 million users with steep monthly growth), I was wondering how it might be used in the events arena. It seems to appeal more to a non-techy crowd which may make adoption in the events world a bit easier.

Here are some thoughts on using Pinterest for events.

Midori and I always tell the story of how I hired her for an AV project. I watched the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics and wanted to replicate the digital projection they used to tell a story at one of my events. I used descriptive language to explain what I wanted. It’s similar to when you want a new hairstyle and you bring a photo that you like and show your hairdresser. Many times it is easier to show someone what you want rather than explain it with words.

So imagine working on an event and trying to find the right decor. You might spend some time browsing Pinterest for landscapes that match your vision (brides are already making great use of this). Searching for the perfect centerpiece? Spend a few minutes looking at some of the do-it-yourself projects and you might find some inspiration. Trying to build an event website that matches the destination, Pinterest can help with that too.  There are infinite possibilities for searching for inspiration through what other people find beautiful.

I also see some team building applications where teams can build just about any story by creating a board and going out to the internet to find images that match the message that they are trying to communicate. Imagine one group creating a story board and another group verbally telling the story that the other team built.

I’m very excited to see what kind of creativity can arise from the latest in social networking tools and how the events industry might adopt it.

Pinterest is still in beta and requires an invitation to join as the company grows and manages their bandwidth, but most people get accepted in a few days. Take a look and let me know how you see Pinterest being used. 

Follow me on Pinterest.