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52 Exciting College Event Ideas: Engage, Inspire, and Connect with Students

College events are more than just social gatherings; they shape the social and intellectual landscape of a university. To truly captivate the interest of today's college students, it's crucial to go beyond traditional talks and...

College events are more than just social gatherings; they shape the social and intellectual landscape of a university. To truly captivate the interest of today's college students, it's crucial to go beyond traditional talks and job fairs. In this article, we will explore 52 unique and engaging event ideas tailored specifically for college students.

College Event Categories

  • Educational event ideas for college students
  • Professional events for students
  • Cultural event ideas for college students
  • Fun campus event ideas
  • College social event ideas
  • College competition ideas
  • Online events for college students

Educational Event Ideas for College Students

Students spend all day listening in lecture halls and seminars, so educational events encouraging participation will be more impactful.

Cooking + Comedy Cooking + Comedy / Get in the Kitchen! / Chicago, IL

  1. College-friendly cooking classes: Cooking classes not only keep students healthy but also prepare them to become more self-sufficient. Make the classes enticing with easy, cheap, and college-student-friendly dishes.

  2. Community service events: Millennials are happy to help, so invite them to be part of meaningful community events, such as cleaning up a local beach. You can also organize online workshops or virtual open mic nights to raise awareness and support a cause.

  3. Student-mentor pairing: Pair seniors with first-year students or create mentorship programs specific to different backgrounds or identities. These programs create a rewarding experience for students and help build lifelong connections.

  4. Learn from alums: Invite successful alums to share their experiences and insights with students. Organize meet-and-greet events or workplace visits to provide students with valuable networking opportunities.

Professional Events for Students

As graduation nears, students become more focused on their professional futures. Many companies turn to college students as prospective employees, making professional events essential for career development.

  1. Career fairs: Organize career fairs that bring employers to campus. Consider industry-focused fairs to allow targeted interactions for students interested in specific fields.

  2. Speed interviews: Set up stations for quick interviews between employers and students looking for job or internship opportunities. Create a relaxed atmosphere by offering appetizers and drinks.

  3. Industry networking events: Host industry networking events where students interested in a particular field can connect with professionals. These events provide valuable networking opportunities and industry insights.

  4. Meet your (professional) mentor: Invite successful professionals to mentor students in relevant areas. Arrange informal events, such as networking dinners, to facilitate connections between students and professionals.

  5. Skills seminar: Organize seminars where HR directors and industry experts can provide practical insights on skills required in professional environments. Offer workshops on topics like office dress code, effective communication, and technology skills.

Cultural Event Ideas for College Students

University campuses serve as hubs for art and culture, making cultural events a great way to expose students to different traditions and experiences.

Dyketopia Comedy Dyketopia Comedy / Camp Dyketopia / Littleton, CO

  1. Poetry slams: Hold poetry slams to showcase spoken word performances and encourage competition. Consider hosting the event in a coffeehouse or outdoors for a fun and casual atmosphere.

  2. Book debates: Combine the enthusiasm of English majors with the debate club by organizing book debates. Discuss significant works, authors, or explore different genres for a lighthearted event.

  3. Theater prop workshops: Engage students in the creative process by organizing prop workshops. Invite prop masters to teach students how to create theatrical props. This event appeals to both arts and engineering students.

  4. Gallery crawls: Organize gallery tours where students can explore art exhibits and learn from curators or artists. Emphasize themes such as politics or human rights to engage students from different disciplines.

  5. City and museum tours: Offer tours of local museums, botanical gardens, or historical sites. Invite experts or graduate students to lead the tours for an educational experience.

  6. A night at the symphony: Encourage students to dress up and attend a symphony or music department performance. Showcase classical music and expose students to the joy of live orchestral music.

Fun Campus Event Ideas

While academics are important, college life is also about having fun and creating memorable experiences. These events provide opportunities for students to relax and enjoy themselves.

Shop Made in DC Shop Made in DC / Wine and Watercolors / Washington, DC

  1. Craft workshops: Organize workshops where students can create dorm room decor or participate in paint-and-sip parties. Get inspiration from crafting trends and encourage creativity.

  2. 24- or 48-hour film festival: Challenge students to create short movies within a limited time frame based on specific themes. Showcase the entries in a theater setting and offer awards to motivate participation.

  3. Solo night hike: Take groups on a night hike on an established trail, allowing students to experience the wilderness and bond. End the hike with a bonfire and s'mores for a memorable camping experience.

  4. Comedy nights: Organize comedy nights or open mic events to provide laughter and stress relief for students. Invite professional comedians or allow students to showcase their comedic talents.

  5. Campus campout: Invite students to bring their tents and sleeping bags for a campout on campus. Create a unique opportunity for students to bond and explore outdoor skills in a controlled environment.

College Social Event Ideas

Social events play a crucial role in building a sense of community among college students. These events provide opportunities for students to bond and create lasting connections.

Ohio State Alumni Club of San Diego Ohio State Alumni Club of San Diego / Ice Cream Social / San Diego, CA

  1. Ice cream socials: Treat students to an ice cream social as a way to show appreciation and create a relaxed environment. Gather at a local parlor or make customized ice cream creations at an on-campus event.

  2. Charity casino night: Host a casino-themed fundraiser with card games, roulette wheels, and slot machines. Follow local gambling regulations and make it a black-tie event for added sophistication.

  3. Alternative sports events: Organize alternative sports competitions like ultimate frisbee or paintball. Invite students to try something new and engage in friendly competition.

  4. Campus farmer's market: Collaborate with local farms and vendors to organize a farmer's market on campus. This event supports local businesses, promotes healthy eating habits, and fosters community engagement.

  5. Clothing swaps: Host clothing swaps where students can trade clothes and experiment with new looks. Create an inclusive, gender-neutral event by collaborating with the LGBTQ+ community.

  6. Pet therapy sessions: Invite a local pet adoption organization to bring dogs, cats, and other animals to campus for students to interact with. Boost student well-being by providing opportunities for pet therapy.

College Competition Ideas

Competitions generate excitement and encourage students to showcase their skills. These events bring out the competitive spirit and provide opportunities for personal growth.

University of California Esports Initiative University of California Esports Initiative / UCEI Invitational Championships / Santa Monica, CA

  1. Video game tournaments: Organize video game tournaments that bring together gaming enthusiasts. Consider including multiple consoles or focus on specific genres or games.

  2. Trivia night: Test students' knowledge and create a fun and interactive atmosphere with a trivia night. Offer categories such as geography, science, or pop culture, and crown an overall trivia champion.

  3. Battle of the bands: Showcase student musical talents by organizing a battle of the bands. Let students compete to be the best and provide opportunities for exposure and recognition.

  4. Rap battle: Host a rap battle event where students can display their lyrical skills. Encourage participation by offering a prize pool and inviting exciting outside talent.

Online Events for College Students

As online education becomes more prevalent, virtual events offer opportunities for students to engage and participate remotely.

TEDx TEDx / TEDxWesternNewEnglandUniversity / Springfield, MA

  1. TEDx talks: Arrange TEDx talks where students can share their ideas and experiences. Capture presentations on video and leverage social media to reach a wider audience.

  2. Online language clubs: Create online language clubs where students can practice speaking different languages. Include students worldwide to facilitate cross-cultural connections.

  3. Virtual theater performances: Organize virtual theater performances that can reach a broader audience. Incorporate the magic of drama and comedy into the digital realm.

  4. Professional meet-and-greet: Connect students with professionals in their field by hosting virtual meet-and-greet events. Offer opportunities for networking and career development.

  5. Virtual campus walking tour: Provide a virtual tour of the campus for students who are unable to visit in person. Showcase landmarks, lecture halls, and popular student hangouts.

Get Students Excited for Your Next Event

With these 52 exciting event ideas, you are ready to create engaging experiences for college students. But don't forget to effectively market your events to reach as many students as possible. Utilize the Eventbrite marketing suite to promote your events through social media ads, email marketing, and event listings to maximize student engagement and attendance.

Eventbrite data 5/1/2022 - 12/1/2022 comparing events promoted with Eventbrite Boost with any event that was not promoted with the same tool.