How to Create a Successful On-Campus Event (and get people to actually come!)


Student leadership is all about engaging your campus community, whether it’s within your specific organization or the entire student body. As a student leader, it’s important to bring your campus together and motivate people to take action, and the best way to do that is through a campus event.

Whether the event you’re planning is big or small, you’ll want your people to come out and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to plan. Here are some out-of-the-box tips you need to make sure your campus event is a success:

Make sure your event covers an interesting topic

What are the students at your university or in your club interested in? Does this fill a need of your peers? Think of the questions you’ve had in the past or get asked by others and build a program that answers those questions and more. The goal is to make sure your event is unique and unlike any other program on campus.

Get Great Speakers

If your event is going to include speakers, make sure they can draw and captivate an audience. Use your network and connections, as well as the connections of your other club members to find speakers who would best be able to speak on the event topic. Great event speakers to reach out to include:

  • Professors
  • Internship supervisors or colleagues
  • People you meet at other networking events, like FindSpark events
  • Family friends
  • Friends that have already graduated
  • School alumni
  • Alumni from your organization

Offer Free Food

Free food is a great perk for busy college students, especially towards the end of the semester when meal plan points are running low. Sweets and pizza are great, but creativity is key if you want to draw a crowd. Some fun ideas you can incorporate into your event include:

  • Partner with a local business for discounted food or donations
  • Host a potluck! Encourage club members or attendees to bring a different dishes.
  • Rent a popcorn, cotton candy or sno-cone machine.
  • Create your own candy bar or ice cream bar.
  • Make mocktails for attendees.

Give Away Awesome Swag

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Whether you are giving something away in a raffle, selling club-branded swag or offering it for free to attendees, personalized and branded gifts are a great way to grab attention and leave a lasting impression beyond your event. The key is to make sure the swag you choose is both useful and unique. Take pictures of the swag in advance and include the pics in your pre-event advertisements. Some cool swag ideas include:

  • T-Shirts
  • Stickers or laptop decals
  • Phone Wallets
  • Pens or pencils
  • Phone cases
  • Water Bottles
  • Bottle Openers or key chains
  • Mobile device charging sticks
  • Stationary
  • Club-branded candy like personalized M&M’s or chocolate bars

What to order some awesome swag for your next event? Arrow Promotional can help! Check out the  Arrow Promotional website and email for more info.

Advertise As Much As Possible

Advertising and getting the word out about your event is probably the most important part of hosting a successful event. Flyers and tabling are some of the easiest ways to spread the word, but try to think outside-the-box and come up with marketing ideas that will catch the student body’s attention. For instance, you could:

  • Use sidewalk chalk around campus
  • Create a Facebook event
  • Promote on your club’s social media accounts
  • Send multiple email blasts to your club’s email list
  • Partner with other orgs to cross-promote
  • Ask your professor if you can tell your classmates about the event at the beginning or end of class
  • Send Snaps to all of your friends
  • Post in university Facebook groups
  • Hand out flyers around campus
  • Ask to have your event included in other student activity email blasts or calendars around campus

With these tips, you’re ready to host a great on-campus event!

What do you do that makes your events so successful? Share your tips with us on social with the hashtag #FindSpark

Do you love planning events? Want to gain some valuable experience to build your resume? Looking to make awesome connections and bolster your network? Apply to be a FindSpark Campus Ambassador. Our Campus Ambassadors have gone on to work at companies like Time Inc., L’Oreal, Wieden & Kennedy and more. Fill out an interest form today:

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