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Selling to Students

by Ben Clissold

Over the years at Monash, Pete and I had many adventures running nights and promotions with clubs. We cut some of the most amazing deals with clubs, and had much success with them. However, we learnt some things pretty quickly.

Peter Allen and myself were the nightclub liaison officers for the Monash Uni Clayton Activities collective. The collective ran most of the social events on campus, like bands, barbecues, free beer, comedians, and so on. Pete and I kept the nightclubs under control.

If a nightclub wanted involvement on campus, they spoke to us, and we did all we could to help. We held student functions at clubs, established nights, ran promotions, and so on. Initially it was difficult, because we had to learn, but by the end, we had it down. I studied marketing allowing me to practice while learning. The ideas flourished.

Today most clubs still struggle with uni crowds. They are pretty hard to crack, but most clubs make the same mistakes.

Students are always looking for a catch, and will spot a fake a mile off. They are pretty smart, but often think too much. For instance, a night with $2 entry and $2 drinks would not work. The student would think, "hey, why are they sucking up to me so bad?". Their answer would probably be: "They must be struggling".

Even free entry for a night draws that response, so you have to be clever back. Give them free entry on some condition. Giving them free entry for dressing in theme often worked well, because it changes the mindset from the club giving, to the student earning.

Even things like passes are funny. Really popular nights will move passes irrespective of technique, but growing nights, and average nights face a battle. Whilst putting passes out should help it grow, too many passes draw the response that it must be struggling. Often a good trick is to put out more passes for your other nights. The students will see that one night has less or no passes, so must be really popular. If you have an over 28s night, put those passes out. The only catch is that the students must know about your other nights. Good use of support media is the solution to that.

I could go on and on with marketing solutions to club problems. However, as a consultant, I am usually paid for this advice, so would be crazy to give it all away. If you would like further advice or information, please send me an E-mail, and have a look at the Ads / Services page.


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