By: Kayla Henson | @kayla_hensonn
On March 8th 2017, the Union was bumbling with students with their ID’s in hand, as they rushed to grab all the food and prizes that their bags could hold. The normal mundane routine of walking mindlessly from class to class with headphones on was interrupted by a giant Scrappy blow-up and balloons surrounding the building.
So how do you get a majority of the students to leave their cramped dorms and spend time on campus for longer than their normal class period time? Two words: free stuff. The Union’s ballrooms were lined with dozens of vendor booths giving out free samples of their products to eager students. There were also cupcake parties, live music, silent disco party, laser tag, a private showing of Parks & Rec episodes, and many other activities spread out throughout the day.
To get students even more involved in the fun, there was an incentive to use the hashtag “#UNTUnionFest2017” on Instagram when students post a picture. Next to the art gallery, there was a free booth where students could pick up free polaroid prints of their pictures if they used the hashtag. This resulted in thousands of search results under the hashtag, and many fun memories forever documented in a cute, fun way while also bringing positive attention to the university.
Moral of the story, free incentives and hashtags bring about a unique type of free advertising and are a great tool for networking and putting a positive spotlight on a brand or business.