College students. There’s hundreds of them on campus, working on homework, drinking coffee like it’s water, and hanging out with their friends. You see them all the time, but how do you actually attract them to YOUR events?

When planning an event for university students, there are a few important components to keep in mind. It can be a little confusing to figure out what makes college students tick and how to appeal to them. Luckily, we have some tips today just for YOU to help with this dilemma (and they’re from a recent college grad too!). 

Capitalize on the Free Stuff (especially food!)

That broke college student stereotype? It may sound a little far fetched, but most college students certainly feel that way. They don’t have much free time for a job, and even if they have a job, they’re probably not making a lot of money. For that reason, those “broke college students” LOVE getting free stuff! 

Make sure to include some sort of free swag at your event and mention this in your event promotions! Students will come out to an event for free items, especially if they’re items they can use! This can be anything from free water bottles, flash drives, t-shirts and more! Free food is also always a good idea to have at an event. This way, students can be engaged (and not hungry) at the event and not have to worry about spending money on their next meal too; it’s a win-win for everyone involved! 

Be Social Media Worthy

As a generation that was the first to grow up with social media, college students love showing off their life online. Make sure your event has some aspect to it that is unique enough to show off on social media. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but just including one thing that breaks up the monotony of daily studying and classes that is student life helps. This could be bringing baby sheep on campus for students to play with, setting up a bouncy house to students to use, putting on a silent disco — anything! 

Just make sure to have something different about your event that’s not standard to have at college events; this will draw students in. Also, it will cause them to feature your brand and event on their social media, which not only shows that they’re enjoying the event but it’s free advertising for you too!

Be Worth Their Time

As mentioned previously, one of the students’ biggest struggles is time constraints. College students have to juggle class, studying, extracurriculars, a job and (hopefully) a social life too, and there are only so many hours in the day. Why is your event worth giving up some of their limited free time? Keep this in mind when promoting your event! YPs want to know the real reason or benefit as to why they should come out.

This reason doesn’t need to be anything complex. It could be as simple as offering them a way to relieve stress, like giving students an opportunity to play with puppies during exam time or offering free 5-minute chair massages. Other useful benefits could be learning more about study abroad opportunities, how to write a resume, etc. It doesn’t matter what the reason, but show them WHY your event will be beneficial. Once the students see that, they will be attracted to the event and will show up.

College students are a great audience to work with; after all, they are full of bright ideas and will be the world’s next young professionals! Attracting those students to your college events is an easier nut to crack then you might think, just keep these tips in mind! Still wanting some more ideas on how to increase attendance rates at your next event? Check out our free guide, Event Marketing: Promotional Tactics to Amplify Attendance, below!