Instagram has risen from the echelons of social media to become a part of everyday lifestyle, and now ladies and gentlemen, to a holiday of its own. A collection of Selfie ‘museums’ have sprung up across the country from London to Manchester, to let visitors create an eclectic photo reel set of themselves and their friends in various dramatic, beautiful and outrageous settings.
What can you find in a selfie museum? Imagine an art gallery where you are the star of every feature, which is full of larger-than-life installations with fantasy backdrops, oversized props, iconic interiors and optical illusions. Some settings make use of textures to provide an other-worldly experience, such as the appearance of cotton candy on trees, seating and suspended clouds. Rooms can be focused on one colour such as a pink underground train or monochrome passageway. Some selfie museums are permanent facilities which welcome visitors all year around, however many are pop-up installations which run for only a few months.
The ‘Selfie Factory’ at the O2 in London is the UK’s first Instagram-inspired zone where anyone could take selfies in a collection of inspirational, outlandish and beautiful photo booths. A main feature includes a walk-in pink subway train with pink interior poles and cow-pattern seating fabric; a shot sure to get noticed by social media followers and boost engagement, as viewers wonder where in the world they have ended up. Other installations provide backdrops of deluxe faux foliage, black and white sketched interiors, pink liquor stores and angel wings, with props such as shopping trolleys, ball-filled bathtubs and brightly coloured sofas to pose on. Attendees can spend the day creating a fantasy showreel in which they are the stars, which can generate significant social media engagement and reach.
The ‘Flamingo Factory’ in Manchester went truly out of the box with surreal versions of exotic animals in technicolour ready to pose all day for groups of reach-hungry socialites. Giant pink hippos, winged zebras, ball pits and confetti cannons provided a dramatic selfie experience and led the way for future events of this type, which are considered ‘pop-up’ exhibits which can tour the country.
This trend has seen more selfie backdrops, structures and props become main features in events, as organisers hook onto the trend of creative and edgy photo opportunities to get their brand noticed online. Everything presented in a selfie exhibition can become a feature in an event or business expo, with oversized props for people to interact with, ball pits, bizarre seating and dramatic or elegant backdrops. Doughnut swings, walk-in video games, giant photo frames and immersive foliage bring to life any space and draw in attendees or customers to pose with branded signage. The perfect combination of fun and social media reach for events and brands, which is fast becoming one of the biggest trends of 2021.