11 Events That Will Electrify Your Campus
Campuses can be busy places, and amid the constant rush of college events ideas can be hard to come by, especially college events ideas that are original, exciting, and that will keep your organization visible. Here are 11 college events ideas that each serves a different strategic purpose, and which can each boost your organization in their own particular way, depending on what you’re looking for.
College Events Ideas That Raise Awareness
If you and your group want to raise awareness about a particular issue, a social issue or otherwise, you have many options.
1. Invite a speaker—or many speakers
To set your group apart from the rest, select a speaker who has something identifiable that you can market, like an author of a book, a filmmaker, or somebody who is highly involved in a particular community that you can engineer interest in. You don’t have to settle for just one speaker, either: a panel discussion of experts can attract multiple groups for each invited speaker. For instance, if you belong to a music business professional group on campus, you could host a panel discussion among high-profile music bloggers. It’s important that you organize your speakers far in advance, since it might be difficult to reconcile all the competing schedules. Be patient and determined, and keep in close touch with the speakers you have in mind.
2. Show a movie
But not just any movie. Showing movies is pretty run-of-the-mill, so again, be strategic in your selection. New, controversial, or buzzworthy movies, as well as beloved classics, will logically draw bigger crowds. You can also kick up the excitement factor by screening a movie that hasn’t been released yet. Film distribution companies are often looking for ways to promote their films, and reaching college students is often a high-priority. Contact a representative and explore your options.
3. Host a photo display
This is a great option if you want to stage an event in a public place. You can reserve a space in your student center where many people will pass by, and set up a walk-through photo or art display by professional artists addressing a specific topic. Passers-by will stop in and check out the display, and you’re guaranteed to have lots of great conversations. That means it’s important for your organization to have lots of members present to answer questions. Don’t try to take it on all by yourself.
College Events Ideas to Market Your Organization
So, then, what about raising awareness about your group itself? The following college events ideas can draw big crowds by offering something fun, giving yourself something by which to identify what your group is about.
4. Host a contest
Whether it’s a dance contest, a singing or karaoke contest, a stand-up comedy showcase, or battle of the bands, the possibilities for contests are countless. You can save money, too, because the entertainment is completely voluntary. Instead of hiring people, you can offer some sort of prize to the winner, which you might be able to get in-kind (for free) from a local business. If your school has a dedicated set-up and takedown tech team, often they can take care of the sound system, as well, providing the microphones, stage, and other equipment free of charge to your organization.
5. Host an entertainer
If you’re after a big name that is guaranteed to attract large audiences, consider inviting a musical artist or comedian that has lots of name recognition. Sometimes the fees can be pretty steep, so invite other groups to help you co-sponsor the event. And again, scheduling can be tricky, so plan far in advance.
6. Host a party
Nothing grabs the attention of your classmates like emerging bleary-eyed from the library to see a full-blown party going on in the quad. You can have a cook-out, set up carnival games, stage a water balloon fight, or host a tie-dye party ahead of your team’s next game. Again, you’ll need lots of help from your group members setting up, greeting people, taking down, and cleaning up. If you want to cut costs, find other groups to help sponsor the event.
College Events Ideas That Do a Little Bit of Both
Hosting regular fundraisers or other events for charity, such as on a yearly basis, is a fantastic way of letting your campus know who you are, especially if it’s the same event every year, tied to a holiday or other date.
7. Food drive
Coordinate with a local non-profit to set up a food drive for canned and non-perishable goods. It’s crucial that you get in touch with the non-profit organization first so that you’re not without a place to take your donations.
8. Clothing drive
A clothing drive is another possibility, but remember a few things: again, it’s important to coordinate with a non-profit first, so that you’re not dropping off unwanted clothing at their doorstep. Also, you should only accept wearable clothes in good condition, not somebody’s tattered and paint-splashed yard work attire. Finally, think about your timing. Clothing drives are especially effective at the end of the school year when people are moving out of the dorms and are probably wishing they had a place to discard their unwanted items.
9. Book drive
Ditto for books. Book drives can be a great thing to host at the end of each semester when students are unsure of what to do with these huge, heavy textbooks. Coordinate with an organization like Better World Books and collect used textbooks to make a difference.
For some great team-building that makes a difference, gather some of your group members to volunteer on a regular basis at a food pantry, meal kitchen, or local non-profit that regularly needs small- to medium-sized groups for help.
11. Voter Registration
Buck the stereotypes about student apathy and organize a voter registration drive. Coordinate with your Student Life office, an organization like Rock the Vote or with your county clerk’s office to get approved and gather the materials you need. You can set up a table in the student center and greet your classmates as they pass by, inviting them to register It’s a great activity to get your members involved as a team, it helps you meet people, and it helps your classmates put a your group’s name with some friendly faces.