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These are the events brands can promote at in 2017 to target students
We list eight student parties that your brand should be at in 2017
Simon Lucey

Promoting to students during the spring and summer period is notoriously difficult - their habits change as they leave university early and finish lectures. In short, if you are looking to run an experiential marketing campaign during this time you can’t just rely on buying up some space outside the Student Union and waiting for them to come.

However don’t be too deterred as there are also some real gains to be got from marketing during this time of the year. You just need to follow a few simple rules:

Rule 1: It is very hard to attract your own crowd, so share somebody else’s

As previously mentioned, predicting student behaviour is tricky. There are 100+ UK universities, each with slightly different procedures at the end of term. So trying to predict how to run your own event across a significant number is a nightmare.

We recommend partnering with an existing event which already has a good crowd, whether that is via a Student Union, University, local bar or regional festival.

Rule 2: Bigger isn’t necessarily better

Reach is important. However don’t limit your focus to actual number of attendees. Partnering up with an end-of-year awards event might only get you access to a few hundred students but factor in the digital reach and general marketing packages the student union will be able to provide to sweeten the deal.

Rule 3: Think outside of the box

You don’t need to go through the Student Union at all. Next month we are partnering with some local bars (each with a decent but modest capacity) to run parties promoting a new football app - the audiences aren’t going to be huge but we’ll throw such a good party everyone should hear about it!

Top Student Events happening in Spring/Summer 2017:

Interested in targeting this group? We’ve spoken to our pals at the Union’s and these are some of the events that will get the best bang for your buck.

  • Sheffield Summer Social – last year the 4,000 tickets sold out in 3 hours. It kicks off at 3pm so plenty of time to enjoy the summer party mood.
  • Roses Varsity – one of the oldest rivalries; York vs Lancaster includes thousands of athletes playing 130 different games. This opportunity, though hosted in York, sees you promoted across both campuses.
  • Exefest – 3,000 Exeter students let off some steam at the end of exams at this event. This is really great value and allows you to host a face-to-face area within the festival.
  • Sheffield Varsity – the deadline is tight on this one, it is in March but I’m told they sold over 3,800 tickets to the Ice Hockey yesterday!
  • Plymouth Summer Ball – thousands of party goers attend this event, with 8 full stages.
  • Essex Summer Ball – Over 4,000 students attend this ball and event organisers give a great whole package, which includes plenty of pre and post event marketing opportunities.
  • York Summer Ball – the racecourse has 4,000 students attend and event organisers are usually very flexible with the space you can occupy on the night.
  • Manchester Celebrate Week – these are consecutive events, each hosting 500 students recognising different achievements from the year.

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