5 Ways to Promote College Student Activities Events in 2024

Post-pandemic it has been difficult to gain strong student turn out for live events...

From students transitioning back to in-person engagement, to Student Activities departments building up new employees during a time of massive job changes, it’s good to look at opportunities to drive student involvement. The success of student events often hinges on the effectiveness of the promotion strategy. As a national leader in communication branding and leadership, here are five methods for promoting events to ensure maximum student attendance.
Whether it’s learning new baking hacks to driving student awareness, social media is a powerful tool for reaching the student body. Create engaging and shareable videos that highlight the key aspects of your event. Utilize platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat which rank the highest in usage among Generation Z, or even Linkedin, to showcase sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes footage, and testimonials from previous events. Don’t have the bandwidth? Ask your event talent to create the content – they know the event better than anyone.
Craft compelling email campaigns that provide detailed information about the upcoming event. Segment your email list to target specific groups or demographics of your students, tailoring the content to their interests. Use visually appealing graphics, clear call-to-action buttons, and a sense of urgency to encourage students to register or attend.
If you’re campus has leveraged a Slack, Teams, Discord or other campus-wide community service, there is great potential. Create channels dedicated to event promotion, where students can discuss and share details about upcoming activities. You can even automate event reminders and updates directly to relevant channels.
While digital methods are crucial, don’t underestimate the power of traditional marketing. Design eye-catching flyers and posters to be displayed strategically across campus. Ensure that they include essential details such as date, time, location, and a compelling visual to grab attention. Consider collaborating with graphic design or art clubs to create visually stunning promotional material.
Engage directly with the student body by attending or sending promotional material to various club meetings on campus. Don’t spam emails to them, but instead make it a personal invitation to the club. Offering incentives, such as partnership opportunities, VIP seating, or exclusive access, can encourage these groups to actively support and promote your event within their networks.
Identify popular and influential students on campus and collaborate with them to promote your events. These students can easily be found by doing a geographic-based search around your campus, and looking for accounts with strong following. These individuals often have the ability to  effectively reach a wide audience authentically. Offer them incentives such as free tickets, VIP access, or exclusive merchandise in exchange for promoting the event on their platforms.
By combining these diverse promotion strategies, college student activities departments can create a holistic and effective approach to event marketing. Remember to continually assess the success of each method and adjust your strategy accordingly. Engaging with students through various channels ensures that your events become must-attend experiences, fostering a vibrant and connected campus community. Looking for an applicable and engaging student session on strategic communication and leadership? I would be happy to chat.  


Dr. Dustin York

Dr. Dustin York

Dr. Dustin York is a Professor at Maryville University, speaker, author, trainer and overall lover of life. He has an ongoing research interest and overall fascination with nonverbal communication, leadership development, branding, and innovation in orginzations and digital marketing.

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