5 Ways to Increase Attendance at Campus Events

Written by Abby Nieten on September 6, 2012

Posted in Education, Event Planning

This post is a part of Formstack’s Back to School Campaign. From August 20-September 21, we’ll be sharing all things relating to higher ed, from how to survive your first semester of college to what cloud computing tools you should use as an educator. When it comes to all things campus, we’ve got you covered. Check out our campaign page for more information and enter to win a free semester of text books!

Hosting an event on campus can be grueling. You’re competing with the hundreds of other clubs and trying to boost membership, all while putting on a cool event that people will actually want to attend. I mean it’s not that you’re not cool, it’s just tough to stand out against the 50 other neon flyers hung across every board in every building.

Here at Formstack, we know a thing or two about hosting events. Actually, we just know about how to throw a wicked good party and how you can use social media and online forms to promote them. That counts right?

Anyway, here are a few tips on how to make your next event a success:

1. Create a Facebook event.
Facebook has developed a really great platform for events. If you don’t have much experience in social media, they’ve made it simple for you to create a dynamic event page where you can upload a picture, include a link to the event signup form (via Formstack, of course), insert detailed information, and chat with attendees on the event’s wall. You can even include your organization’s Facebook page as the host to build more awareness and allow attendees to see who else is coming.

2. #UseAHashtag.
Want to create a buzz around the upcoming event? Use a hashtag that attendees can include when they’re tweeting about it. If you use a Formstack form as your formal event signup, your attendees can use the social share buttons at the bottom of the form to quickly share the event. Post the designated hashtag on your confirmation page so they know what to use. If you want to make it really simple, use our Twitter integration with an automated message including the event hashtag and details.

3. Take photos.
People love to look at photos. They want to know what to expect. Throughout the few weeks leading up to the event, be sure to post images from past events. Build out the experience for them online if this is their first time attending. Never hosted an event before? No problem! Take pictures of your team getting ready for the big gig and possibly ask attendees to post pictures of their badges, tickets, or even what they’re wearing if it’s a formal event. Any chance for your attendees to show off their swag is great.

4. Giveaway free tickets.
“Free” is a universally awesome word. By giving away a handful of free tickets to your event, you can increase word of mouth around campus. “Hey, I just got two free tickets to (insert your event here). Want to go with me?” BAM. Two more attendees – and they might encourage other friends to go. Also, when people get free things they tend to talk about it on social media, increasing exposure to your event. They might even link to your Twitter page or the event on Facebook.

5. Ask for feedback.
When using Formstack as your event registration form, be sure to collect emails upon registration. Once the event is over, you can send out a feedback survey using one of our email marketing integrations like MailChimp or Constant Contact to see what you can improve for next year. Don’t have everyone’s email? No problem! You can also post a link to the survey on your Facebook event page. Perhaps you can offer a free ticket to the next event as an incentive to a few of those who fill out the survey.

Note: Attention students! If you sign up for Formstack before September 21, you can use our Starter Plan for free throughout the school year. Also, tomorrow we’ll be drawing our first winner for our $500 text book giveaway. Be sure to sign up today!