Perla Nieves and Alysis Vasquez, co-creators of food purveyor Midnight Market, noticed something across the board at all their events.
“People would get their food and immediately take photos of it,” Nieves said.
This gave the two women an idea. Why not stage an event entirely around the idea that people were coming for both the food and the ability to share their photos via Instagram?
When the Westfield Garden State Plaza invited Nieves and Vasquez to host an event, they came up with InstaYUM, a two-day event for New Jersey foodies, which is scheduled for Jan. 13-14.
The event, which is broken up into five two-and-a-half hour sessions, not only allows people to meet and eat with foodies, but provides small food business owners the opportunity to learn how to grow their social media presence from the pros who’ve already done it.
“I went viral over the summer. It was incredible. I saw five million views in one day,” said Daniel DeMiglio, third-generation owner of Callahan’s in Norwood, a restaurant popular for its larger-than-life hotdogs and burgers. Their truffle mac burger drew internet-wide attention in June. “Our video got reposted on WorldStar [Hip Hop] and multiple news stations. We had a line out the door for weeks.”
DeMiglio, who recently started a consulting business, is teaching a masterclass called, “How To Go Viral and Build Your Social Media Presence.” His hand-picked panel of pros assisting him in this class includes Nicole Valdez, director of PR and Marketing for Carlo’s Bakery; Instagram food celebrity Blake Horton (@blake_201); and Andrew Lampach, founder of BoozyBurbs, a digital-only dining and food news outlet.
Touting the benefits Instagram has on food businesses, DeMiglio said, “This business has grown solely because of social media. In a matter of just a year of focusing on Instagram, we have twelve-thousand followers—all organic growth.”
InstaYUM invites small business owners to get in on what allowed that kind of growth.
“If you’re a small business in food, you can’t pass up the opportunity to pay $40 for a whole day of learning when an hour of consulting costs $300,” DeMiglio said. “When you’re a small business, you need to save money—here, you can eat and learn at the same time.”
Tickets for the event and more info on vendors are available here.