Students have had a particularly tough time over the past year. Some may have struggled to get to know their classmates, due to studying from home, and missed out on the events that bring people together. And students who are about to begin their university journey may be feeling apprehensive about what their first term will look like. University events and group activities for students can be fantastic ways to make up for some of these lost opportunities, whether they’re held in person or online. Here are our top tips for making your campus meet-ups and Freshers Week activities ideas stand out from the crowd.

1. Craft workshops

Host a pop-up workshop where students can make their own bedroom décor – think plant hangers, terrariums, or recycled picture frames. Get inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, or Etsy for the latest crafting trends. Classes can also be held online for distance learning students or those who aren’t comfortable with in-person meet-ups. Simply send out the required materials in advance.

2. TEDx talks

Did you know that the iconic idea-sharing forum TEDx started as a campus event at the University of Southern California in the U.S. in 2009? Now, the platform encourages campuses to start their own version of the digitally evolved lecture series. Capturing such talks on video makes for powerful, potentially viral social media. Plus, with the many virtual platforms on offer, they’re also easy to host online. For details on how to start a campus TEDx, visit the website.

3. Meet the alumni

Bring back graduates with stories to tell of the ‘real world’. Not just those who’ve landed excellent jobs, but people doing unusual things with their university credentials, like founders of startups or social change pioneers. Hint: find grads who are active on social media to help promote your event as brand influencers. And don’t forget to record the event or hold elements of it virtually so that you have plenty of content to repurpose.

4. Community service

Team up with an organisation outside of campus to promote and orchestrate a meaningful community event. For instance, a Clean Up the Community Day, a Read a Book to an Elder Day, or a day volunteering at a homeless shelter are all great ideas for uni events.

5. Stress relief

With looming deadlines and constant exams, students can often feel stressed. Organise a social get-together that doubles as a makeshift spa day. Bring in chair massage therapists, aromatherapy experts, or yoga teachers. You can probably find a lot of these professionals from within your own student base. To appeal to a wider audience, host student activities like virtual Pilates classes or online mindfulness workshops.

6. Speed sessions

Whether it’s networking, dating, or mentoring, speed events check a few boxes for university students. They’re exhilarating experiences, they’re productive, and they don’t waste precious time. For an event creator such as yourself, they tick another box: they’re low budget. You just need chairs and some good conversation starters. You can also make use of interactive features on video conferencing software, like breakout rooms or quizzes, to host them virtually.

7. Fancy dinner mixer

Getting two or more campus organisations together for a dinner party makes for lively conversation and easy marketing when it comes to university activities. It also gives students a chance to get out of their casual clothes and play dress-up. And, of course, it’s a goldmine for shareable photos that you can use on social media. For those who aren’t on campus, a virtual dinner party can be a great way to get to know their fellow students from a distance, too.

8. Smartphone film festival

Don’t simply invite your film students to contribute – anyone can make a short film with the user-friendly digital tools at their disposal in their pockets. Come up with a theme, set some basic ground rules on length and subject matter, pick a day to showcase entries in either a cinema or online setting – and promise widespread social media shares for the winners.

9. Pop-up photo booths

Set up smart photo booths around campus (or at a bigger event) to encourage students to create social-worthy images. Think beyond the old standard – the photo booth where you insert a pound, stand behind a curtain, then wait for a few grainy pictures to print out. For example, you could use a company, such as Flashmat, that provides photo booths that offer a more high-tech experience.

Upgrade your university events with Eventbrite

Whether you’re connecting people in person or virtually for poetry readings, cookalongs, or concerts, there can be a lot to think about. Luckily, our event planning platform and tools can help you to organise and market your student events. Eventbrite Boost is the all-in-one marketing platform designed for event creators, making it easy to reach new people, engage your followers, and grow your attendance – directly from your Eventbrite account. For more ways to build your student following, take a look at the rest of our marketing tools.

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