Event Ideas for College Students

3 Event Ideas for College Students to Bring Instant Fame to Your Name

You know what?  Some of you out there are in a league of your own: you belong to student organizations that consistently aim high in everything you do.  You want more than just the same old event ideas for college students.  You’re looking for the kinds of event ideas for college students that will bring instant fame, event ideas for college students that will launch your organization right into the heart of your campus’ collective psyche.  Here are just three possibilities.

There are some things to take for granted about each of these event ideas for college students.  First, they might be costly, although they don’t necessarily need to be, so it’s a good idea to have lots of other groups signed on as sponsors.

The second thing you need to know about these event ideas for college students is they’ll require a lot of organization, so you’ll obviously want a driven team of your organization’s members who’ve got your back.  If you’ve got questions about putting together a budget, see our last article on organizing events with college speakers.

Third, for these event ideas for college students to be a success, you’ll need to market them aggressively.  Reach out to your campus in as many ways possible for a while in advance in order to build the excitement.

1. Organize a music festival

Nothing can add the perfect touch to a sunny Saturday in the quad like live music.  Well, wait—the one thing that could make it even better is that the live music is free.  A free music festival, featuring all manner of musical acts and all styles of music, outdoors, in a public place with lots of foot traffic, will draw lots of people and is a wonderful way of publicizing any particular message you want to spread.

Of course, the intimidating aspect of staging a music festival is the cost.  How do you afford to pay all the bands?  Here’s one possible solution: you don’t pay them.  You are in college, after all, and universities are never short of independent student musicians.  What’s more, these bands are usually eager for whatever type of exposure they can get.  If your school is in a city with a bustling independent music scene, then the same rule holds true.  The publicity is usually enough to convince these bands to perform for free.  Use your social media channels and your personal network of friends and student group members to put out a call for student music acts.  Each act should be prepared to perform for at least half an hour.

You will likely have to put down money on any beverages and food you serve, if indeed you do serve any.  Please keep the environment in mind, though.  Don’t purchase a bunch of items that will just generate a lot of garbage.  You’re probably going to be on the hook to clean up your mess anyway, so keep that in mind.

The other thing to think about is the stage and audio set-up.  Some universities will balk at the idea of a stage.  Believe it or not, a stage adds a lot of liability issues to the mixture, so the best advice is to proceed with caution.  The audio rig can be provided in coordination with the director of facilities office.  Every college is different on this point, so if you’re unable to obtain anything through the university, you can rent a sound system or once again turn to your network of friends and performers.

2.  Arts and Independent Crafts Fair

So maybe supporting your local music scene isn’t your thing.  Here are some other event ideas for college students: what about supporting your local arts and crafts scene?  An event like a crafts fair can draw especially large crowds near the holidays or around Valentine’s Day—any time when gift-giving is on everybody’s mind.  You’ll need to talk to your student activities office about what sort of paperwork is necessary to bring vendors to campus, and you’ll also need to try to reach out to the vendors themselves.  Again, active campus towns and cities are the best places to tap into an independent crafts community.  Certain stores will specialize in selling goods from independent local artists, and you can connect with them about arranging a fair.  You can also do research by punching in your locale on a site like Etsy and then contact local artists about participating.

The benefit of these kinds of event ideas for college students is their relatively low price tag.  The vendors are the ones out to make money, and you simply need to take care of the paperwork that’ll make it all happen.  If you must submit a proposal in advance, emphasize the good you and the university will be doing for local business.

3.  The Open Mic

As far as event ideas for college students go, the open-mic is a tried and true classic that never fails to please.  If you make it a regular occurrence, it can be a fun venue for both meeting new people and passing time with old friends in a casual and laidback environment.  Consult with your director of facilities office about reserving a regular space somewhere prominent, such as in one of the campus’ cafes, a cafeteria or a student center annex.  Once a week, once every other week, or once a month, your open mic can take place as often as you like, so long as it’s a regular thing that returning fans can plan on attending and newcomers can feel comfortable joining at any time.

The open mic can be a less work-intensive alternative to the music festival we described earlier, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be focused exclusively on music either.  You can really grab attention by showcasing stand-up comedy or improve acts—again, something of which no campus ever suffers a shortage.  An open mic event also requires less aggressive marketing as the other two event ideas for college students.  Because it’s a regular event, it has more possibility to spread by word of mouth, but a weekly Facebook invitation to your group members and friends is certainly helpful for reminding people.


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