Liang Shi is the Creative Director and Experience Designer of Dessert Goals, which is New York City’s first ever dessert festival! As you can guess, social media is a huge part of how they promote their sweet events and fuel excitement. We highly suggest following them on Instagram for gorgeous content that will make your mouth water. Read on to find out how they create a visual (and tasty) story, utilize social media to build a community, and use Planoly for all of their content planning needs!
Please introduce yourself!
Hellllloooo, everyone! I’m Liang, a creative director and experience designer in New York City. I am the co-founder of Dessert Goals, a super delicious and highly-Instagrammable dessert fest in NYC and LA. I also started Ma Matcha, a high-quality matcha pop-up serving hand-crafted beverages. In short, I’m a serial project starter and love designing for all five senses.
As a food-focused content creator, what do you hope to contribute to the content landscape that you do not see already? How do you use social media content as a means to fuel community in an offline setting?
When I think of desserts, I think bright hues and rainbow shades. A world of endless color and sweetness. I strive to make the Dessert Goals Instagram all about the colorful fun and joy of eating something sweet; and I want to create content that looks as good as the desserts taste.
Most dessert photos are often shot in context — in a bakery, or on a table, or wherever you can find a spot with good lighting before you eat it. I wanted to elevate the desserts by shooting them in a studio setting in a highly stylized way. By making them super graphic and pretty, I think it makes people more excited about getting to finally eat them at the festival and inspires them to create their own content around it!
Planoly is all about empowering users to tell their story visually. How does this same idea apply to creating Dessert Goals visual experience both online and off?
We design an “Instagram Garden” at every festival — usually the area with the best lighting – and we fill it with different backdrops and photo ops to create high-quality content. We want to make it easy and fun to create beautiful content!
What Planoly features have you found to be the most helpful for both lead-up content and real-time posting?
I am super meticulous about our grid! I have, literally, nine photos pre-planned at a time so I know what the content will look like coming up. Being able to play and plan things out is super critical.
How would you define “planning” as it relates to both the online and offline components of Dessert Goals? What have you found to be the biggest difference?
Our online components are all about storytelling to set the mood and expectations around the physical experience offline. I use certain design elements in our photography and designs to hint at elements you’ll find in our space. For example, I started shooting desserts for our last festival of rainbow gradient backdrops. This was because we ended up doing a rainbow themed Instagram garden! Both the online and offline components stay tightly related to create a cohesive experience.