Summer Event Ideas

Summertime is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the many community events!
Many colleges participate in state or county fairs to promote their schools to the greater community. We commonly support schools in such efforts. Here is a photo collage of summer event ideas that we’ve created for clients:

promotional ideas for events

A community event is an opportunity to connect with an audience in a fun and exciting way. Having staff wear branded apparel and handing out a promotional item is a way to make your school memorable both during AND after the event.

At events promotional item can:

  • Help drive people to your display and activities
  • Serve as a reminder of the experience with your school after the event ends
  • Promote word of mouth marketing, whenever anyone sees your swag
  • Increase brand recall and recognition to support your school
  • Tie-in with social media accounts to increase your brand’s reach beyond the event

For these reasons, we highly recommend using your brand colors and logo across multiple items. As in the photo collage above, a tote bag is a visible canvas for your logo throughout the event. While we created that bag for the Tosa Farmer’s Market, a similar idea could be applied to any school’s presence. Whenever you’re giving people handouts, a tote bag, drawstring bag, or plastic bag with your logo on it provides a convenient, useful take-away.

Another example of a school that we support for community events is the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The sunglasses and paw print fans pictured in the collage above were used for the Wisconsin State Fair. Temporary tattoos, visors in school colors, and yellow t-shirts were also used for their presence.

Social Media Tie-In Ideas

One strategy to bring the event to a wider audience is imprinting a hashtag or Twitter handle onto promotional items, just as UWM did one their t-shirt imprint last year.

UWM State Fair shirt design

UWM State Fair t-shirt Imprint tied in with social media.

To create buzz and excitement on Twitter, The University of Wisconsin – Madison used the custom #FutureBadger frame at campus visit days and UW-Homecoming. Such frames, school mascots or fun backdrops create an eye-catching photo-opp for event attendees. Photos are then often shared on social media to increase your exposure. Photo-opp attractions are an excellent way to create an interactive display and draw a crowd!

More Event Ideas

For more inspiration and ideas, see UWM’s promotional items in use at the fair  the links below:

Since promotional items serve as a reminder of a brand experience, it’s important to select items that reflect your brand identity.  We recommend advance planning with an experienced promotional consultant, who can discover the right ideas and share examples from other colleges and universities.  We are here to support your summer event planning needs – simply contact us to get started. Happy event planning and have a great summer!


Help Students Picture Their Future at your School

Help students picture their future at your school with creative custom frames.


Custom Frame showcases a prospective student on a campus visit. Image credit @uwadmissions

This is a fun, themed promotional item that can easily be incorporated into campus yield events, direct mail, and additional marketing ideas. The custom frame helps achieve the goal of engaging students in a memorable way with a social media component. We created this custom frame for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wrote about it in this case study. Here’s our guide for how to use a custom frame at your school.

How to use a Custom Frame – On Campus

This oversize custom is an ideal event-related photo opportunity! Here are a few pointers for using the frame:

  1. Pick a favorite spot on campus to have custom frames setup during a campus tour, open house, or yield event. Think of a picturesque, iconic spot on campus.
  2. Assign staff members or current students to have prospective students pose with the frame as part of your event or visit. If staffing is limited, place on a stand to keep it in place.
  3. Another staff member should take pictures with a Polaroid and / or camera phone.
  4. Share digital pictures via social media using the hashtag imprinted on the custom frame. Email, tag, or private message students a copy of the picture. If using a Polaroid, pictures can be shared with students on the spot and posted to a bulletin board.
admitted students custom frame

Check out these #AdmittedBadgers at a yield event. Image credit @uwadmissions

Direct Mail Ideas

Remind students of their on campus experience by mailing a smaller, magnetic frame along with a thank you note. The note can include a generic picture of the magnetic frame displaying a picture taken with the large custom frame on campus, or an actual picture of the student for a more personalized touch.

Direct students to check out pictures of all admitted students on a URL that includes links to your admissions site. Bold, call to actions can promote campus overnight events, invite students to join an incoming class group on social media sites, or instructions on how to secure their place on campus.

For UW-Madison, we created smaller magnetic frames and had them inserted them into envelopes that were imprinted to help streamline mailing of their admitted student packets.

Other Marketing Ideas

“Picture your Future here” themes can easily be integrated into existing marketing. Whether printed or electronic, all communications to students can include custom frame imagery. Emails, posters, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat could feature similar imagery.

Admissions counselors could travel with custom frames to bring to high school visits or events and share pictures via social media.

The custom frame is an ideal product for engaging prospective students, tying in social media, and taking advantage of the #selfie photo sharing trend. To view additional information on the custom frame, visit our admitted student showroom or read our case study.

Products Featured

  • Large Custom Frame – 31″ x 42″
  • Medium Custom Frame – 23.5″ x 35.25″
  • Magnetic Frame for direct mail – 5″ x 7.375

How would you use this campaign on your campus?

Top 5 Ideas for Campus Tour Staff

Fall is a beautiful time of year for campus tours. Striking fall colors and cooler weather are realities of our Wisconsin location. Recent conversations with some Midwestern colleges have us sharing ideas for warm apparel. To further expand on outfitting tour guides and admissions staff for campus tours in the colder months, we assembled a list of our favorite ideas.

Top 5 Ideas for Campus Tour Staff

  1. Extra Large Umbrella – Keeping campus visitors comfortable and dry in inclement weather is important.  What a better way to do this than with a huge umbrella with an 80″ arc?  This is a new product that is the LARGEST arc umbrella available. It can hold 4 people underneath! Features vented technology, which allows the wind to pass through the vents. This simply means it’s easier to hold onto on extra windy days. Currently available in black, though we expect more colors to added in the future.  Another larger arc umbrella option with more color choices is the MVP Umbrella. With either item, smaller quantities are available, simply let us know what you need.
    80" arc umbrella for campus tours

    Extra large umbrella can hold up to four people underneath

  2. Outdoor Weather Gear – Many schools have a closet of 10 or more jackets for their tour guides or student ambassadors. This is more cost-effective than simply giving everyone a jacket. Plus keeping them in the tour office makes it easier to keep track and take care of them.  For this purpose, we recommend a durable rain jacket or versatile soft-shell winter jacket.
    Soft Shell Jacket for Tour Guides

    Keep guides warm in a branded soft shell jacket

    On those days when it really pours, consider having re-usable ponchos available for visitors.  This lightweight poncho is a great alternative to single-use ponchos.  It is also eco-friendly and PVC-free.

    rain poncho for campus visitors

    Keep campus visitors nice & dry with this poncho.

  3. Rugby Shirt – A long sleeve rugby shirt is a classic, collegiate look that can be worn over layers, while providing an easy to identify uniform for campus tour guides or staff. Ten different colors available plus custom colors, so you can match your school colors.
    Striped Rugby Shirt

    Red and White Rugby Shirt will stand out in a crowd!

  4. Custom Frame – This is a fun “accessory” that can be used on a campus tour, admitted student day, or any admissions’ event.  The custom frame is an extremely popular way to encourage photo taking and sharing via social media. Learn more about it in our Custom Frame Case Study. Large Custom Frame for Social Media
  5. Winter Hats – A warm hat is an essential for cold winters! This is one of our favorite, USA made knit hats because of its retro look with the knit-in lettering. Poms are also a fun, trendy feature.
    Knit in winter hat

    Knit-in Letters with many colors available to match your school’s colors

What tour items did you like best? How do your tours and respective uniforms change with the seasons?

For more campus tour ideas, including promotional products to give to visitors, visit our showrooms:

  1. Staff and Tour Guide Apparel Showroom
  2. Campus Tour Showroom

Contact us with any questions or for additional promotional product ideas.

Integrating Social Media into Campus Tours – NEW Case Study


It’s a key component of any and every marketing plan to make your school more memorable.  A common message woven through print, online, social media, TV radio, direct mail and promotional items can effectively increase exposure and the likelihood of recall.

Lately there’s been a lot of social media integration with promotional products.  Here are a few examples:

This custom frame with the hashtag #FutureBadgers was created for the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Admissions Office.  It was used to integrate social media into campus tours, allowing prospective students show their excitement and actively endorse UW Madison to their own social networks.

Future Badgers Custom Frame

Learn more about the marketing goals, product details, application and results of the custom #FutureBadgers frame by visiting our case study library.

How has your school integrated promotional items into social media or other elements of the marketing mix?