School might be over for the summer, but college organizations and clubs need to prepare for next fall. Next school year, college students will mill through activity fairs and collect all the swag in sight, but they will only hang onto the promotional items that they find useful. After all, dorms are small; hardly anyone has the room to store non-essential stacks of business cards and leaflets. But magnets? Cups? Water bottles? Now we’re talking.
College students are very likely to hang onto drinkware. It can be a coffee mug for the bleary early-starter, a water bottle for class time hydration, or a regular plastic cup for just about everything else. Everyone has to drink, so they might as well do it out of drinkware toting your organization’s name. Try this coffee mug, water bottle, or plastic cup.
If you want to become a permanent name in a student’s dorm room, try a magnet. Almost every student drags a refrigerator to school, and nobody wants a boring fridge. Standard rectangular or circle magnets might not make the cut, but a magnetic picture frame or household word magnets are instant hits. Everyone enjoys creating (probably highly suggestive) sentences out of the words or framing a picture of their dog. Try this picture frame magnet or break-apart word magnets.
Bags are always a welcome addition to a college student’s life. Everyone needs to cart their books to class, so they might as well do it in a drawstring or tote bag with your organization’s logo on it. If the logo does not sway them, at least it will be seen by dozens of other students. Tote bags can double as reusable grocery bags, too. Even more unique would be a laundry bag. All college students need to wash their clothes at some point, so they might as well drag down the dirty laundry in your bags. Try this drawstring bag, tote bag, or laundry bag.
A good, but obscure, item to hand out is sponges. Before lifting an eyebrow at that, a sponge is actually useful to every student in college. Either they live at home, in an off-campus apartment, a dorm with a kitchen, or need to wash their Easy Mac bowl at 4 am. While not many people want to be associated with dirty dishes, think of how many people will look at your name! Try this sponge.
Not in love with the idea of a sponge? Chip clips are always useful. Whether they are being used to actually keep a bag of Doritos closed, or as a makeshift binder clip, a college student will definitely find one handy. Try this chip clip.
Above all, never underestimate the value of a pen! Promotional pens are one of the most inexpensive items, and yet they are probably the most useful item for a college student. Every college student needs a pen to takes notes, complete exams, or do homework. My college backpack was littered with pens from the different college organizations on campus. What do college students do when they are bored in class? Look down at their pen….and then their phone…but then their pen again! The constant reminder of your organization will have them heading to your events, reading your newsletters, and possibly joining. Want to make it a little more unique? Make your promotional writing utensil a mechanical pencil. Appease the math majors and written test-takers by offering them something that erases. Try any of these fantastic pens or this mechanical pencil.
Once your organization has decided on the product, take the time to think about what information you want placed on it. Besides your name, you’ll want to add an e-mail address and a website if you have one. Meeting times are desirable for organizations as well, but make sure that you’re either going to hand out all of the promotional items or that the time is not likely to change. You do not want your future members to show up at 12 pm on Thursday in the science building when you now meet at 5 pm on Wednesday in the library.
What other promotional items do you think would be popular with college students? Is there any swag from college that you still use? Are there better ways to market your organization to other students?