At Leader Community News, we wanted to celebrate the beautiful city of Melbourne along with our readers, as well as harness the power of social media.

We created Snap Melbourne, a campaign driven by the sharing of photos on social media and celebrated in a major event at Federation Square on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.

Snap: It’s time to hashtag and share.

The event was an inspirational day and a call-out to the people of Melbourne to photograph a moment in their life and share it on social media using the hashtag #snapmelbourne.

On the morning of November 16 in Federation Square, the sun was glistening and the air crisp; workers sipped on coffee while school kids huddled in groups. It was the calm before the storm — nothing like the thriving hub it would be three hours later.   

Snap Melbourne was a huge and lively celebration of the city. Various incentives encouraged attendees to share the event widely on social media.
Snap Melbourne was a huge and lively celebration of the city. Various incentives encouraged attendees to share the event widely on social media.

8 a.m.: Let’s dance.

Our first task for the day was to engage commuters and let them know what was happening at Federation Square that day. We needed to attract as many people as possible into the area between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Our bubbly activities representatives danced in the streets announcing the activities over a speaker and handing out flyers. An eclectic mix of music accompanied them whilst they entertained the people coming through the square.

9 a.m.: Let the transformation begin.

It was now time to transform Federation Square. The first thing to put in place was our huge Snap Melbourne sign. It was so big it took a forklift to move and 25 minutes just to unpack it. But it was worth it; the oversized letters had a commanding presence on stage. People were lining up to get photos, and kids hid in the letter O.

Oversized signs really make an impact. Storage can be a challenge, but the photos and social sharing element make it worth it.

10:30 a.m.: Let the food trucks roll in.

A big part of our event’s draw was the offer of free food to attendees when they posted a photo on social media with the hashtag #snapmelbourne.

One after one the food trucks rolled in. Mr. Burger was the first to arrive, followed by the quaint Franklin Coffee Co. And finally, our gourmet ice-cream van complete with Italian soft serve.   

The people of Melbourne had a great time celebrating with food, music, and more, sharing the fun on social media with the hashtag #snapmelbourne.
The people of Melbourne had a great time celebrating with food, music, and more, sharing the fun on social media with the hashtag #snapmelbourne.

11 a.m.: The final touches.

Our hub was starting to take shape. The Melbourne Stars and Hockey Australia had arrived to set up their kids’ entertainment areas, our Instagram printers were ready, showbags were packed, and Leader flags flanked the main stage. We were seeing ground swell.

Noon: The main event.

By now Snap Melbourne was in full swing. Crowds gathered to take photos and collect their printouts to redeem free food. Mr. Burger proved so popular they had to whip up extra patties. Soft-serve ice cream walked out the door, and lattes were frothed in mass.

X-Factor finalist Taylor Henderson wowed the crowd whilst they celebrated this beautiful city that is Melbourne. Musician Henderson rounded out his 40-minute set with hit “Light Up the Dark” and stayed for photos with adoring fans. 

1 p.m.: For the love of photos.

Federation Square came alive with snaps, food, and fun:

  • More than 5,800 photos were uploaded utilising the hashtag #snapmelbourne.
  • 950 food items were redeemed.
  • We reached 3.6 million people via twitter, and 2.6 million on Instagram.

It was official. Melburnians had embraced Snap Melbourne.