On-campus events play an important role in shaping the social and intellectual fabric of your university’s campus. But if you want to draw a crowd, you’ll need to look beyond lectures, study groups, and job fairs.

Make your on-campus event stand out with these Instagram-worthy event ideas:

Craft workshops and cooking classes

Host a workshop where students can make their own bedroom décor — think plant hangers, terrariums, or recycled frames for their art. Get inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, or Etsy for the latest crafting trends.

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 US 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. For details on how to start a campus TEDx, visit the website.

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: founders of startups, artists, activists, and social-change pioneers.

Hint: find grads active on social media who can help promote your event as brand influencers.

Community service events

Millennials love expressing their values online, but 80% of them feel it’s essential for people to come together in person to promote positive change. Invite them to be that change. 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 homeless shelter volunteer day.

Stress-relief activities

Students are often stressed. Organise a social get-together that doubles as a makeshift spa day. Bring in chair-massage therapists, aromatherapy experts, and yoga teachers. You can probably find a lot of these “pros” from within your own student base.

Speed networking/dating/mentoring

These 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 check another box: they’re low-budget. You just need chairs and good conversation starters.

Fancy dinner mixer

Getting two or more campus organisations together for some fine dining makes for lively conversation and easy marketing. It also gives students a chance to get out of their casual clothes and play dress up. And of course, it makes for gorgeous and shareable photos.

Smartphone film festival

Don’t simply invite your film students to contribute without any direction. Anyone can make a short film with the user-friendly digital tools at our disposal today. Come up with a theme and some basic ground rules on length and subject matter. Pick a day to showcase entries in a theatre setting. And promise widespread social-media shares for the winners!

Pop-up photo booths

Set up smart photos 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, who provide photo-booths that offer a more high-tech experience.

Need more inspiration? Check out this LONG list of event ideas and formats you can consider. Happy event planning!

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