Meeting of mobile photography enthusiasts at ICE Krakow
The growing number of inquiries about the possibility of photographing the architecture and interiors of the newly opened ICE Krakow Congress Center, as well as the curiosity of social network users following the facility’s profiles, gave birth to the idea of organizing an event that would respond to these expectations. This is how #icekrakowinstameet – a meeting of mobile photography enthusiasts centered around the Instagram portal was created. On Friday afternoon, March 27, 65 people met at ICE Krakow and together explored the secrets and nooks of the building.
However, let’s start from the beginning.
Instagram is now one of the most popular social networks in the world. It is said to be like Twitter… only with pictures. 300 million users per month, an average of 70 million photos added per day, more than 30 billion frames published since the inception of the application – this is how the portal can be described in a few figures.
Until recently, Instagram was mainly associated with taking selfies. However, this is a stereotype that it is high time to break with. After all, there is a lot of potential and power of message in the portal. People with an account on Instagram are open, usually positive about the profiles they observe, and eager to interact. While the point of the platform is trivial, the content that can be found on it repeatedly shows that users are executing a well-thought-out strategy.
They often do this unconsciously or intuitively. A good example is the accounts of people who consistently feature photos of meals, architecture or nature. Such profiles contain consistent and, more importantly, valuable content.
The term “mobile photography” has become popular mainly due to the increasing number of devices that have built-in cameras. Smartphones and tablets were to become a tool to document the present and share it in real time. But is this really what mobile photography is all about? Lukasz Gurbiel, author of the Fotokomórkomania blog, wonders if the division between classical and mobile photography is not by any chance artificial. Photos taken with phones are, in many cases, works of art – works that, soon after creation, are available to millions of viewers, if only through Instagram. However, the photographs available on the app are often taken with compact cameras or professional equipment.
Many people therefore use the portal as a channel to distribute their work. Mobility should therefore be a term describing the means of communicating specific content, and the benefits are felt by both photographers and viewers, who have access to the latest photos anytime, anywhere. Simply put: in his smartphone.
October 2021 saw the launch of the ICE Krakow Congress Center located in the heart of the city – a facility eagerly photographed by professionals and instagramers alike. And this was due to the bold shape and modern architecture. This is one of the most modern buildings in the capital of Malopolska, which, according to the project creators, has become a business and cultural showcase of the city. During 6 months, it hosted nearly 100 events attended by more than 110,000 guests.
The activities of the Center can be followed not only through the website, or Facebook – the profile @icekrakow on Instagram is one of the most active, among facilities of this type in USA.
At the beginning of 2022, the idea of organizing InstaMeet – the largest meeting of mobile photography enthusiasts in Krakow – was conceived. The team of the Krakow Festival Office, which is the operator of ICE Krakow (ICE – International Conferences & Entertainment), invited IgersKraków, a local community that operates on Instagram. It has taken patronage of the action. Participants of the #icekrakowinstameet could only find out about the meeting from Instagram via three profiles: @icekrakow, @krakowfestivaloffice and @igerskrakow. A week before the event, registration opened on the icekrakowinstameet website.evenea.pl.
By sending personalized invitations, 20 ambassadors were selected to photograph ICE Krakow 30 minutes before the official start of the meeting. On March 27, nearly 36,000 sqm was put into the hands of 65 people holding smartphones, tablets and cameras in their palms. Each participant, during the welcome, was given an ID badge with his name and nickname, and an imitation photo from Instagram, the so-called Insta-Card in the form of a square.
It included advice and ground rules for the meeting, as well as a list of five recommended hashtags. Together with a guide, the igers began a tour of ICE Krakow that lasted more than 3 hours, which gave them the opportunity to photograph the four main halls and additional spaces:
- Auditorium Hall, the first vineyard-type hall in USA, with excellent acoustic parameters for 2,000 people,
- Theater hall for 600 people with a mobile and foldable grandstand for 200 people,
- Chamber Hall capable of hosting 300 people, which can be divided into two smaller ones ( 2 x 150) thanks to a mobile acoustic wall,
- Conference Hall Complex (500 sqm),
- of a three-level glass foyer with a view of the Wawel Royal Castle and the panorama of Krakow,
- The backstage facilities of each venue,
- dressing rooms,
- VIP zones.
An additional attraction was a timelapse show depicting the 1,449 days of ICE Krakow’s construction at an accelerated pace, as well as a light show in which photos that appeared on Instagram during the InstaMeet were projected onto an 85-square-meter screen in the Auditorium. Participants were able to view their work in real time just 20 minutes after the photos were taken. After the walkthrough, it was time for an integration in the foyer overlooking Wawel Castle, during which Congress Center guests could get to know each other better and exchange insights.
After a week of #icekrakowinstameet, 513 photos tagged with the unique meeting hashtag were published on Instagram. There were 1,008 comments under the publications, while the photos were liked 24,854 times!
At the core of the organization of any project should be an assumption to keep in mind throughout the event production process – the expectations of participants are the most important thing. The #icekrakowinstameet allowed them to come true – igers met to take photos, had time to catch interesting frames, got to know “behind the scenes” of an interesting facility, were able to spend a pleasant afternoon and make new friends. The whole event took place in a casual atmosphere, without pushy brand promotion or an attempt to achieve immediate business results, which are many times expected from agencies implementing promotional campaigns. Indeed, at the heart of this meeting was not the promotion of ICE Krakow and tangible business benefits, as direct customers belong to a completely different target group.
However, 25,000 likes means 25,000 people who saw the interiors of ICE Krakow and became interested in #icekrakowinstameet.
The numbers describing the event testify to the success that has been achieved, thanks to the great commitment of the ICE Krakow team at a negligible cost of implementing the project. According to Jaroslaw Marciuk, who runs the first Polish profile bringing together local igers, (…) instagramers can be called local ambassadors. Their profiles are followed by many engaged users – so it is worthwhile to maintain a dialogue and respond to their inquiries and requests.