Marketing on campus with events is a great way to engage students and create a lasting impression. Planning for a successful campus event does require a fair amount of prep work and coordination. Here are some considerations college marketers need to address 30-60 days prior to executing an on-campus event.
Budgeting - It is important to set a budget early so you can work within these boundaries. It is important to overestimate a bit in case you have to make adjustments to your plan once it is in motion or pay for incidentals you may not have foreseen.
Scheduling - Is your event taking place on multiple campuses? Does your event footprint require you to have multiple sets of assets made to be on many campuses back to back or simultaneously? Are you flexible in case of a need to reschedule?
Site Selection - Not all campuses are alike. Review the layout of any university you want to target to see where the student hotspots, high-traffic areas, or popular landmarks are on campus. Will you be indoors our outdoors? Off campus or on campus? Your answers will also help determine if you need to acquire permits.
Logistics - Campus events require coordinating transportation and parking, shipping and storage of event materials, rental and delivery of locally sourced event pieces, and the setup of technology-related items such as internet connections, electricity, audio/visual equipment, and computers.
Staff Talent - Think about who will be representing you at the events. College marketers may use their own employees, campus brand ambassadors, or street team talent or need to arrange for speakers or entertainers. The size of your talent team depends on the scope and duration of your on-campus event.
Design / Production - To make sure your event “pops,” it’s important to have an eye-catching design with appropriate signage and messaging that are consistent and on brand. Production of creative assets always takes longer than you expect, so do this work early, decide on a direction, and avoid making sweeping changes in your overall event look late in the game.
Management - Events are hard to do yourself. Most brands need a trusted partner to help them navigate the intricacies of college campus marketing. Make sure you have experts handling key campus event details such as catering, third-party vendors, scheduling, and on-site management.
Contingency Planning - Even the best-planned campus events run the risk of being sidelined with unforeseen issues. Make sure you have a plan in place for issues relating to inclement weather, student safety, insurance, and other emergency situations.
Promotion - What good is a campus event if students don’t know about it? Be sure your budget allows for some pre-and post-event promotion on each campus you are visiting. There are many campus advertising options offline and online that you can use to spread awareness about your event and extend your reach.
Looking for a more comprehensive to-do list for on-campus events? Download our checklist today.