Your first week at uni can be a pretty overwhelming time, out in the world, having to deal with new friends, washing your own clothes and even paying bills. Nothing about the first week of uni is lowkey and Freshers’ Fairs are no exception, walking into a sports hall that’s so chock full of brands its reminiscent of the inside of a piñata.
So how are you going to stand out from the crowd? How are you going to achieve the brand recall you need to justify your spend? Don’t forget, you’re working with a demographic who are notoriously fickle and rightly or wrongly, have the reputation for having the attention span of a magpie at the best of times, not to mention, there are another hundred other companies in the same room all buying for their attention.
Here’s some ideas from Imageco:
Consider why you’re there to begin with, what are you actually offering the audience and how are you making their lives better. Try not to steer too far from your raison d’etre, it’s easy to go overtly ‘zany’, as you’re fighting for eyeballs in an over-saturated space but don’t compromise your brand and its messaging for something that’s standout but meaningless.
Your stand is where you can really have some fun. As mentioned above, stick to what you’re good at but a Freshers’ Fair is the kind of event where you can really experiment with your branding. The first thing to ask the event organiser is if you have a shell scheme or some space for a bespoke display.
Then you can start thinking about some innovative, yet professional ways to get that stand out you need. How about repurposing an old vehicle or creating a fully immersive area for guests.
What about what’s surrounding and decorating your area? Do you need some supplementary banners, POS or light boxes for something even more striking?
And don’t forget the most important thing on your stand, your team.
If your company is full of (to be fair, very well meaning and very good at their jobs) introverts, consider outsourcing the stand work to an agency, or even better, existing students! You need people on your stand who are going to be outgoing, welcoming to the Freshers and who can communicate with them on their own wavelength. If you don’t have personalities like that within your team, outsourcing is the way to go.
Finally, what’s the best thing you can give an 18 year old who’s dropping some serious cash on their education? Free stuff!
This is not the place to be giving out your branded pens, USBs and notebooks, save them for your trade shows.
We’re talking bottle openers, discount cards for local restaurants, travel cards or even branded boxes of cereal or washing powder!