Festival Blog

Virtual Freshers Festival: A Free Online Student Event

Virtual Freshers Festival takes place on 29th September – 1st October. Get free tickets here.


Most students are returning to university this year facing a rather strange scenario. No ‘back to uni’ parties, no real freshers week, and no chance to experience ‘normal’ university life. Here at Freshers Festival we want to make sure nobody misses out on their university experience.

What is Virtual Freshers?

Introducing Virtual Freshers Festival: The free online event open to all students aged 16+ in the UK. The event takes place on our online platform, and has some awesome features:


  • Freebies & content from brands such as Domino’s, Disney, Google & Red Bull
  • Internship & employment opportunities with some large recruiters
  • Content from the biggest student influencers, including Megan Short & Caitlin
  • Dedicated music sessions with some top upcoming artists
  • A free CV clinic & workshop
  • Networking & social opportunities with thousands of students
  • Interactive events such as treasure hunts, fashion shows, and more
  • Competitions & giveaways worth £1000s 
  • Live content, Q&A’s, and virtual meet-ups
  • Virtual after parties

Virtual Freshers Festival is also working with some of the biggest universities & colleges in the UK to help deliver the VIrtual Freshers Festival for their students.

How do I get involved?

There are so many ways to get involved with Virtual Freshers Festival.

You can get tickets for the event here.

If you want to get involved with our ambassador program to win big prizes, please email [email protected]

To enter some of our giveaways, please follow us on Instagram and TikTok.


Festival Blog

Best UK Student Discounts Right Now

With shops and restaurants slowly starting to re-open following lockdown, there are plenty of student deals to be found right now. Here are some of our favourite discounts right now.



There are some ridiculous discounts you can get right now.

Nasty Gal is doing 50% off everything, Pretty Little thing are offering between 10-80% on all items, and ASOS are doing up to 50% off Summer styles.

In terms of student specific discounts, Nike do 10% off (as always), I Saw It First do 15% off (with Student Beans), and New Look do 10% off (with UniDays).



Get ready for the Summer with your Spotify playlist, and Spotify now offer 3 months of Premium Student for free. Amazon music also do a free trial for students.

Speaking of Amazon, you can still join Prime Student free for 6 months with a valid university or college email address.

Also, rather than paying £70 / year for Microsoft Office, you can probably get it for free using your academic email address. Free Microsoft Word is something every student needs.

For more tech deals, including 10% off Apple and 10% off Dell, check out the Unidays technology page.



We’ve all been guilty of a little too many takeaways recently. Uber Eats runs one of our favourites, with each customer getting a £15 off a £20 order code to give to a friend/family member who doesn’t have an Uber Eats account.

Dominos do a 35% student discount, but it may be better to use one of their on-site codes, such as 50% off pizza orders over £30.



Many restaurants currently operate with a ‘click & collect’ ordering system, and Pizza Express have a great discount you can use. Unidays offer a 30% off Pizza Express (at select locations).

What about when restaurants re-open next week? Ask do a 40% Student discount on Mondays and Tuesdays, Chiquitos do 25% off with a valid Student ID, and Byron do 30% off everything with a Unidays account.


We hope you enjoyed our short guide. Of course, the best way to save money on food is to cook yourself, so check out our student cooking guide for some top tips and tricks. 

Festival Blog

Protected: Virtual Freshers Festival Pack

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Virtual Freshers Festival, Giveaways, and Caterpillars | Student Newsletter #1

We recently revamped our weekly email newsletter, where we share the latest student news, opportunities, and giveaways. We will turn the email newsletter  into a blog post each week for those people who prefer blog content.


Virtual Freshers Festival, Giveaways, and Caterpillars

Welcome back to our weekly student newsletter, a chance to stay up to date with the latest student news, discounts, opportunities, and memes. 

This week we have an exciting announcement: Virtual Freshers Festival is coming this September!

What is Virtual Freshers? It is just like any other Freshers Festival event, but online! There will be freebies, video content, games, networking, job opportunities, and much more. 

VIsit our website and stay tuned to our Instagram for more information. 


News & Opportunities

4th July Reopenings

Freedom! (sort of)… As many of you will know, this Saturday sees a significant change in the Covid-19 restrictions, with restaurants, bars, and cinemas re-opening for the first time in months. You are also able to officially meet another family inside, and you are even able to travel within the UK and stay the night in hotels. 

For students, libraries are re-opening, and youth clubs and outdoor sports facilities will be accessible. For a full breakdown of all the new changes, please see the official government statement here

Student Influencers

Virtual Freshers Festival will offer the chance for student influencers / content creators (of any size) to share their content with the UKs student audience. In particular, we are looking for content creators who make videos (YouTube/Instagram/Tik Tok), although all influencers will be considered.

If you think you have some content you want to share, please get in touch with us via our form.


Deals & Giveaways

2kg Sweet Giveaway on Instagram

There is still time to enter the 2kg sweet hamper giveaway on our Instagram. We teamed up with @thatlondonduo to bring you a pretty sweet giveaway! Remember, we run giveaways on our Instagram every week, so be sure to follow us for your chance to win some great prizes

Best Deals Right Now

With the shops re-opening, brands are starting to launch huge deals for both their online and physical stores. We have compiled a list of some of the best student deals for clothes, restaurants, takeaways, and technology. Check out our guide here.


A Bit of Fun

Meme of the Week

Should have gone to Specsavers…

Follow Us On Instagram 


Funny News of the Week

The story of Tesco, caterpillars, and more caterpillars that we are sure will turn into a Netflix documentary one day…

Follow Us On Facebook 


Video of the Week

Ok, we might be a bit biased with this one, but we wanted you all to check out our Virtual Freshers Festival trailer!

Follow Us On YouTube 


Festival Blog

5 Useful Skills To Learn During Lockdown

With lockdown restrictions, most of us have a lot more time than usual to spend by ourselves. Whilst this can be boring, it also provides a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills. But sort of things should you be learning? Here are 4 extremely useful skills that you could easily learn during lockdown.

One of the best places to learn new skills is Skillshare, and you can get 2 months Skillshare completely free by clicking this link.



Cooking is a skill that everyone should know, but we know that lots of students haven’t yet had the time to truly master the kitchen. Well now is a better time than any! On our website, we have multiple cooking blogs with some easy student recipes. However, if you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, check out Recipe_tin on Instagram. YouTube is also a great place for learning new cooking skills, with some incredible cooking channels for you to get inspiration from.



Photography is often considered a fairly niche area, something that only people with £500 cameras should consider learning. However, we all take photos, and as such we would all benefit from learning a bit more about how to take a better picture. Whether you want to spice up your Instagram, enter a photography competition, or simply create some amazing Snapchat stories, photography courses are great. We have seen some fantastic iPhone camera courses on Skillshare, which is great for any amateur photographer. If you are looking for something a bit more advanced, there are some amazing YouTube photographers who teach you everything from lighting to editing, so make sure to check them out!



Coding is something that many people believe is difficult, but there are some very easy coding options that can be extremely useful. Simple HTML, for example, is an easy form of code that is used in many websites, blogs, and online shopping platforms. It can be something easy to learn and put on your CV, and could be the small difference that helps you beat out other candidates for a job. Similarly, IT skills related to coding, such as SEO (search engine optimisation), are also hugely beneficial skills to learn, and are used by every company to try and improve their online presence. Learning these skills is not overly difficult, yet they can be extremely useful additions to your knowledge base.



This is an obvious one, and one that probably can’t be completed during lockdown, but starting to learn a language is an amazing thing to do. Languages are not only useful for visiting other countries, but learning them has a huge range of other benefits, from improving mental health to building confidence. They also look great on your CV, and can open up a range of additional employment opportunities. One of the best platforms to use is DuoLingo, providing a range of learning methods to suit whatever works for you. You can also take a more traditional route, finding a pen-pal or exchange partner who can help build your language confidence. Whilst languages are a fantastic thing to learn anyway, the time we all have given the current lockdown measures means now is a better time than any.


CV Writing

We have spoken a lot about improving CVs in this article, but a great skill to learn is exactly how you can write the perfect CV to impress any employer. Any student in lockdown should be thinking about their future careers, and the CV is the best possible place to start. Intern-UK offers professional CV help and advice for those who want it. If don’t know where to start, check out their basic guide here.


Festival Blog Student and Millennial Marketing Strategies

How to Advertise to Students in 2020: The Complete Student Marketing Guide

Note from the author: If you are looking for student marketing help, whether that’s reaching 20,000+ students through email marketing, social media marketing, or event solutions, please contact us. If you are interested in being part of the UK’s largest Virtual Freshers Festival, then you can find out more information here. 

There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment on how organisations, recruiters and brands can engage with students and create effective marketing campaigns with strong ROI.

In this guide, we aim to outline the best ways to market your brand to students in 2020. It is a ‘living’ guide so we will be updating it as we get feedback from Universities, from marketers and receive updates on COVID-19 related public policy.

Having worked with UK students for 15+ years, Freshers Festival prides itself in being a hub for student marketing and outreach. We have a deep understanding of the student market, and how brands can connect and engage with them. This guide takes into account the current coronavirus pandemic, considers how marketing has been impacted over the last few months, and how your brand can keep engaged with a student audience caused by social distancing issues.


Student Marketing – A Quick Summary:

  • Students are a highly diverse group (the majority are older than 19). Marketers need to think carefully about messaging and possibly market segmentation.
  • They are value seekers and money conscious. Organisations must offer value for money where possible. Students offer companies a massive potential customer life-time value if they are perceived as useful or supportive during the student years.
  • Social Spending is a priority. Students are willing to spend money but want to recap the benefits socially. How can brands differentiate themselves by tapping into the desire for social activity? How can this be achieved with current restrictions on large groups and gatherings?
  • First year student numbers are growing year on year. The freshers student market has a population of over 500,000 in Higher Education alone.
  • Student spending is set to increase. Student spending isn’t slowing down, combining the above can help brands unlock a huge potential market, with a predicted worth of £30Bn!


Virtual Events:

Before discussing the more ‘traditional’ student marketing methods, it is only right that we discuss how student marketing has been impacted by the tragic Covid-19 pandemic.

With social distancing, many of the best methods of marketing to students (such as face-to-face marketing) are currently unavailable. Furthermore, digital marketing budgets have been cut, and some forms of influencer marketing are much more difficult than they were before.

However, one thing that has grown significantly in recent weeks is the push toward virtual events. Hosted on online platforms, these events have the potential to reach a much wider audience. The events can be paid-for or free, and are usually hosted on an online event platform. Don’t know where to start? Here are some of the best platforms to host your virtual event. There are two main types of virtual event:

  • Webinars
  • Virtual conferences & tradeshows

Webinars are shorter online video conferences, allowing you to present either live or pre-recorded video. They can allow for Q&A sessions, and are generally best for educational purposes. Many students have already experienced ‘webinar’ type functions if they have had online lectures which makes this channel known. A webinar is not too different from a Zoom call, as it allows for live interaction between an expert and the attendees.

But how can you market to students in a webinar? Webinars are highly conducive to learning or employment content. If you are looking to hire student employees, or bring in student ambassadors, then webinars are a great way to do this. Simply run a free webinar, and use it to teach students about the benefits of your brand. The good thing about free webinars is that they are fairly cheap to run, and even cheaper to market. You will get many sign-ups for a free webinar, and conversion rates from sign-ups to attendees is still strong given the vast increase of options (2018 benchmakrs suggest these are around 45%), which is an excellent return for a free ‘event’.

Virtual conferences, on the other hand, are much more advanced than webinars, and are very similar to a real physical event. Much like in-person events, virtual conferences include keynote speakers, live Q&A sessions, pre-recorded content, networking opportunities, promotional content, giveaways/competitions, and much more. Virtual conferences have an agenda/timetable, and attendees can watch exactly what is relevant to them, just like in a physical event.

Virtual conferences have limitless marketing potential for students.

Through creating relevant content, you can promote any sort of brand to an interested student audience. For example, if you are a sustainable food / drink brand, you can deliver a talk about sustainability in the food industry to students with a passion for the environment. Within this talk, you can promote your own brand, and the engaged audience will be much more likely to visit your website and order your products as a result.

Giveaways are another fantastic way to engage with attendees at a virtual conference. Many virtual conference platforms offer engaging ways to deliver giveaways, such as anyone who watches a short promotional video can be entered into the giveaway. This will allow you to get your message across, whilst still creating a positive brand experience for your customers. Overall, there are countless ways to market your brand in a virtual conference, and they provide a method of truly engaging with an audience that is otherwise almost impossible during this period of social distancing.


Virtual Freshers:

Speaking of virtual conferences aimed specifically at students, Virtual Freshers Festival 2020 is the biggest you will see in the UK.

We will be providing brands a platform to engage with students in a variety of creative ways, helping to deliver everything from brand awareness, to greater brand experience and engagement.

Each brand receives a “channel” within the Virtual Freshers Festival and from within that channel they can showcase every element of their business which is relevant to our audience. So for a food brand, for example, it’s not just about the food itself (although that can be a big part) but about the job opportunities they offer, the sustainability programmes they are running, talks on their corporate diversity, interactive cooking sessions – giving a much deeper insight into the brand and what it stands for.

With tens of thousands of students in attendance, it is the perfect way to showcase your brand to the UK’s student audience in the run up to freshers and during the Virtual Freshers Festival with the content being archived and used through our channels giving on-going ROI throughout the academic year. 

If you want to find out more, please check out our information page here.


Influencer Marketing:

One form of marketing that has seen rapid growth over the past 5 years, of course, is influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing simply involves using a person of ‘influence’, usually someone with a large following on social media, to promote your product for you. This works so well as influencers have an extremely loyal following, and their audience will be much more likely to listen to them about a brand promotion, rather than listen to the brand itself. As a result, influencer marketing often achieves significant return on investment, with firms earning an average earned media value of $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencers.  

Influencer marketing can also be fairly cheap. Depending on the industry you are in, influencers with less than 10,000 followers (micro-influencers) will promote your brand for free or at low cost in exchange for free product.

Even influencers with up to 100,000 followers can often be extremely cost effective to collaborate with. However, don’t be afraid to invest in a larger influencer. Smaller influencers can often have a ‘fake’ following based on follows from other influencers (who follow for engagement purposes), or fake accounts. For large influencers, this is much less likely to be the case, and this is something which you should always bear in mind.

Like any form of marketing spend be sure to carry out due diligence on the platform and influencer you are interested in working with.

Finding influencers is often the trickiest part. Of course there are influencer agencies who can do this for you, but these are often expensive. The best way to do this is to simply search on Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube for influencers who make content within your niche. For example, if you are a London-based food brand, simply searching “London food” on Instagram will bring you hundreds of results of London food micro-influencers that you could contact.

But how do you get influencer marketing right?

Firstly, make sure the influencer is RELEVANT for your industry. This is the most important thing. If you are a fashion brand, do not try to contact a food influencer to promote your product, it simply won’t work. You need to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are a clothing brand targeting female students, don’t just ask about their followers but make sure that those engaing with their content are the demographic you are seeking to reach. It sounds obvious but many don’t dig deeply into the audiences an influencer actually engages with. Don’t be afraid to ask influencers for a screenshot of their audience insights / demographics in order to ensure you are targeting the right audience.

Secondly, make sure the influencer has a genuine following. Use a website such as Social Blade to check out their statistics over time. If they saw an extremely rapid rise over a short period, and then no growth since, there is the potential that they have bought followers. Similarly, look at the comments on the influencer’s content. If they have 10,000 followers, but only 1-2 comments on their content, then this is likely to be fake/bought followers. When working with influencers, you need to make sure the engagement is as high as possible (at least 5%) so that you will see some traction with your brand.

Lastly, you need some sort of call-to-action that the influencer should encourage. A particularly useful technique is running a giveaway with the influencer, where the audience has to ‘tag a friend’ in the post AND follow your brand’s social media account in order to enter. This ensures your social media following will grow, the post will reach as many people as possible, and your brand experience/image will automatically improve due to the giveaway. Like any marketing campaign, a strong call-to-action is critical.

Overall, influencers are one of the best ways to promote your brand to students in the current climate, and should form an intrinsic part of your marketing strategy moving forward.


Sponsorship Marketing:

Sponsoring university teams, competitions, and prizes has become somewhat of a forgotten marketing tactic in recent years. Indeed, for smaller brands, the lack of direct sales that can be attributed to sponsorship marketing often means it is not made a priority. However, sponsorship marketing achieves 2 key goals amongst students: Brand awareness and brand image. If students have not heard of a brand, they are not going to purchase it. Similarly, if students do not associate a brand with the student demographic, then they will be much less likely to purchase it. Sponsorship marketing can help increase brand awareness amongst students, as well as improving your brand image, something which is crucial to success in the student market.

What type of university sponsorships are available?

One of the cheapest and most effective sponsorship opportunities involves sponsoring university societies. Sports clubs, interest groups, and student communities are always looking for sponsorships to fund their activities, and this can be a great way to reach a specific niche of students. Platforms such as Sponsor My Society allow you to sign-up and browse potential sponsorship opportunities. Remember, make sure the society you sponsor are as relevant as possible, as you want students to associate your brand name with the activity. For example, if you are a protein bar / energy drink, sponsoring a university rugby or gym club might be a good idea.

You can also sponsor specific aspects of universities, including prizes or events. The Brighton University website has a fantastic range of sponsorship opportunities. If you are looking for recruitment to your company, you should perhaps think about sponsoring a university job fair. Often, this will allow you a specific stand at the event, or a 10 minute guest slot for speaking, which can be an invaluable way to get your brand across to an engaged audience. You can even sponsor a specific prize, enabling your brand name to reach thousands of students simply by purchasing an Amazon gift card to give away (or something similar).

Finally, don’t forget freshers fair sponsorships. This is one of the best ways to reach students right at the start of their university life. You can be a named sponsor, have a stand at the event to promote your services, or even receive online social media/email promotions. If you want more information on sponsoring our Freshers Festivals, please get in touch.


Email Marketing:

Email marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Out of all the ways a brand can communicate with its audience, customers generally say that email is the preferred method. Whilst you might not associate email marketing with being effective for students, you cannot ignore the significant ROI that email brings. 

Research has suggested email marketing is one of the best possible marketing channels, generating $42 in revenue for every $1 spent. The reason for this is that it is an extremely cheap (or free) marketing channel, meaning every brand should be making use of it.

But how can you market to students using email marketing?

An important thing to remember is that students are much more tech savvy than the average customer. They have been bombarded with digital marketing tactics throughout their life, and will easily tire of sales speech. Instead, the best thing to do is to create content that they will enjoy. As always, content is king. 

Newsletters, for example, are a great way to do this. By putting out a weekly newsletter with interesting student content, links to blog articles, and engaging language, it will dramatically improve your brand image amongst the student demographic. Including some sort of giveaway in your newsletter is also an excellent strategy, as it engages students past simply reading the email. Once you have engaged students via a newsletter, you can then start to promote your products and services.

Early in lockdown we created a new weekly email series “Antidote to Isolation” to bring our subscribers helpful advice, messages of inspiration, deals, freebies and a chance to smile. From its launch until this point we have received consistently strong open and click-through rates showing our audience continues to engage with email.

For consistent and reliable results an email funnel is key in creating an effective system to promote your products to students. This automated series of emails, each one sent a specified period of time apart, helps to build a relationship with the customer before trying to make a sale. In the same way as a newsletter would work, this helps build up brand trust, with each part of the funnel delivering a specific piece of content. Email funnels often work best for more expensive products or services, as these require much more buyer decision time than smaller impulse purchases. Throughout the funnel, you can slowly outline how your product/service can solve a problem the student is facing, so that when the final part of the funnel comes with a call to action to buy, a sale will become much more likely.

What platform should I use?

Whether you want to create a newsletter, an email funnel, or simply market your brand through email, you need an email marketing platform. Even if you only have a small audience, using an email marketing platform is crucial for keeping on top of your marketing practices. Here is a list of some of the best email marketing platforms.

Mailchimp is a good value for money platform, giving you the ability to create lists, email capture forms, audience segments, and more. For more sophisticated email automation, better split testing and a higher email deliverability rate (including more success in getting into the inbox and not the promotions folder in Gmail), we recommend ActiveCampaign.

Whatever platform you use, make sure it has the correct features your brand will need.

Many Universities offer brands the chance to place promotional messages within their internal student emails. The results differ greatly from one institution to another with some offering industry-beating open and click through rates, others perform very poorly. We are currently compiling the media solutions offered by Universities across the UK, so if you wish to receive that information leave your info here and we will send it on when it’s available.

As with all forms of marketing, the stats and data are key to success with email marketing. Most mailing platforms allow you to view stats such as open rates, click through rates for your links, and unsubscribe data. These are crucial. If, for example, one of your emails saw lots of unsubscribes, then maybe you used too much ‘sales’ language, and you should alter this for next time. Similarly, analyse which of your emails has the highest open rates. Did you send it at a different time? Did you use a more engaging title? These are all areas which must be analysed to ensure your emails are as optimised as possible.

At Freshers Festival, we have a mailing list of 30,000+ UK students and find our weekly email newsletter a great way to stay connected and generate feedback.

If you want to promote your brand to a wider and more engaged student audience, feel free to get in touch with us.


Digital Marketing:

Every marketer knows the value of digital marketing.

Students are some of the most tech-savvy people on the planet, and digital marketing is therefore a sure-fire way you can reach them. If you are new to digital marketing, here is a quick guide to get you started.

But what are our top tips for marketing specifically to a student audience?

Firstly, don’t ignore organic digital marketing. Students love social media, and many brands have grown an extremely engaged following on social media through a variety of techniques. If you can get students to follow you for free, then you can GUARANTEE a return on investment for any organic marketing you do. Think about what students actually like. Like any demographic they are selective on where they spend disposable income so freebies and giveaways are a great way to get students interested.

Students also love memes and funny content to share with their friends. Therefore, by basing your social accounts around these areas (funny content, free giveaways, student-only deals), you can easily build an engaged following who will be interested in what you are posting. This following will be far more willing to engage with your brand and your promotional activity, and as a result will lead to more sales!

On the other hand, don’t ignore paid digital marketing, particularly paid social media marketing. Digital marketing costs are extremely low at the moment, allowing you to reach thousands of people with a very small budget. In fact, even spending £10 / day could see you reach 10,000 people. Student specific marketing is slightly more expensive, but you can still reach thousands of UK students without breaking the bank. The most important thing to do is to create an engaging and eye-catching ad. Students scroll through social media at a rapid pace, and any low-quality or boring stock image will result in them scrolling right past without looking twice. The only way to really find out the best marketing material is, of course, to test. A/B tests for digital marketing are extremely important. Advertise to the same student audience, but with multiple different copy and images, in order to see what performs best. The most important thing is to use a Pixel or tracking software to ensure you can see exactly how many actual purchases/leads/results your ad brings in. An ad can have an extremely good CPC (cost-per-click), but still receive no purchases. As always, testing is key.

Digital marketing is of course one of the best ways to promote your brand to students right now. With the right combination of paid and organic content, you can reach and engage with as many students as possible, without the need for high budgets.


Face-to-Face and Experiential Marketing:

Whilst face-to-face marketing may not be possible in the short term, this will not be the case forever, the situation is changing on a weekly basis.

When things finally start to go back to normal, it is important to be prepared for what many marketers agree is the number one way to promote your brand to students: face-to-face marketing.

Here is a story from one of our previous clients at Freshers Festival:

A well-known drinks company launched a new energy drink in 2019. This drink was to be targeted at young people, and the company’s marketing team were given £1 million to promote the brand. As is normal for a large company, the team pursued a number of different marketing avenues, including social media promotion, digital marketing, billboards, and other ads. The team also attended Freshers Festival to promote their drink at the event. A few months after the launch, the company undertook a survey to see where young people had heard about the drink. Here are the results:

  • Traditional Adverts – 24.4%
  • Social Media – 17.3%
  • Freshers Festival – 56.7%

The cost of the advertising efforts: more than £1 million. The cost of attending Freshers Festival: a few thousands pounds. The event took up less than 0.3% of their advertising budget, but provided over 50% of brand awareness for their new product amongst the students they surveyed. That’s what you call a good ROI. The point of this case study is not to show off the success of our event, but to show off the potential success of face-to-face.

Research has suggested that 98% of people feel more inclined to purchase a product after attending a face-to-face activation (EventTrack).

What is face-to-face marketing?

Face-to-face and experiential marketing simply involves directly promoting your product to potential customers through in-person means, often at an event or pop-up. Face-to-face marketing does not just have to be about sales, it can also be used to help improve brand awareness, brand experience, and brand engagement.

Face-to-face marketing works through the psychological process of ‘affect transfer’. If a customer has a fun or positive experience with the employees / marketers of the brand, they will ‘transfer’ these emotions to the brand itself, and the brand will be thought of as fun or positive in the customer’s mind. Face-to-face marketing also works due to its personal nature. Customers are much more likely to purchase products from a brand if they have a perceived emotional or personal connection to it, something that can easily be

The rapid advancements in technology over recent decades – particularly since the turn of the century – have indisputably changed the way brands talk to customers and, more importantly, how customers talk to brands, and brands listen.

In a world where companies are able to reach millions of consumers with the click of a button through social media, it’s necessary to evaluate the benefits of the different tactics available within the 21st Century marketing mix. Evaluating these as a combination of available tools will help companies decide on the right blend of solutions that will best support them to reach qualified customers and build meaningful (and profitable) relationships. Regardless of how valuable social media and other mass marketing tools are at reaching large audiences, CMO of MC2 Rob Murphy points out that “face-to-face engagement creates a personal connection and builds trust between a company and its target audience.”

Through Freshers Festival, we’ve found that face-to-face marketing provides brands with a platform to build deep relationships with customers and, as Rob Gibbs, Business Development Director at Appco UK claims, “give the brand a real personality”.

Still unsure about face-to-face marketing? Here are some stats that you might find surprising:

  • 90% of consumers have more positive feelings towards a brand after attending an event
  • 85% of consumers consider themselves ‘likely’ to purchase after participating in face-to-face experiences
  • 71% of consumers share information about their experience of face-to-face marketing with their friends / family.
  • 75% of large companies who engage in face-to-face marketing see a huge ROI of 5:1 (EMI & Mosaic, EventTrack)

Evidently, face-to-face marketing is one of the best methods of connecting your brand with a student audience.

Whilst timelines for events are currently unknown, you can still plan to include face-to-face marketing in your future marketing strategies, in order to fully engage with students.

We are already seeing hundreds of sign ups per week for our live Freshers Festivals even though we have not started to promote them so we can clearly see there is a desire from students for live events to return. This year, more than ever before, students will not have the ability to meet students through traditional channels so we understand that events such as the Freshers Festivals provide more than just a chance to meet brands and grab freebies. We are currently planning our live Freshers Festivals so that they can return, in a new COVID-19 suitable format, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Augmented Reality:

There has been an huge surge in the use of Augmented Reality, especially through apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Tik-Tok.

Google continue to release AR objects to view in your own space (check them out if you haven’t already), Pokemon Go took the world by storm and retail giant IKEA have been placing virtual sofas in homes for years now.

The AR features made available through these apps have been widely successful and have proven the value of Augmented Reality experiences for students and Gen Zs. For brands looking to launch their own immersive marketing experiences, web-based Augmented Reality (Web AR) should be the first port-of-call.

Web AR is accessible by users through their standard iOS or Android device (2.9 Billion compatible devices worldwide). This means that users don’t have to download an app to view the experience. All of the AR content is contained and functions within the mobile web-browser, simply using the native camera. This slick and smooth user-experience allows brands to deploy highly engaging and interactive Augmented Reality experiences quickly and easily.

Here are a few video examples of Web AR experience in-action. 

In terms of analytic performance, dwell time and engagement rates inside Web AR experiences are typically very high – as shown in this marketing case study, which resulted in:

– 40.3% engagement rate
– 2.08x page views per user
– ~2mins dwell time inside the experience

These results are outstanding when compared with social media advertising and other forms of traditional marketing. This is further boosted when considered that the average demographic of AR users is 16 – 34, therefore deploying a Web AR marketing campaign to target students should deliver solid results. 

Freshers Festival Group offer one of the most experienced student marketing agencies in the UK and can deliver live, virtual, digital, social media and AR campaigns for your brand.

If you are unsure what options you have to reach UK students this year, be sure to get in touch with us.


The Antidote to Isolation Newsletter | Week 8

We recently sent out the eighth of our series of weekly emails offering help, advice, messages of inspiration, deals, freebies and a chance to smile during this tough time. We will turn the email into a blog post each week for those people who prefer blog content.


The Antidote to Isolation | Free Beer & Funnies… Simple!

1.  Fun & Frivolous

Learn a Language for Free

Learn a new language for free with Duolingo through their fun, bite-sized lessons. You earn points for correct answers, race against the clock and level up. Duolingo features personalised learning, immediate grading and rewards. A study has shown that 34 hours of Duolingo are equal to 1 university semester of language courses. Plus, we’ll be ready for our next holiday when travel restrictions are eventually relaxed. Bonus!

Cards Against Humanity Online

Some pre-COVID-19 pastimes have transferred surprisingly well to lockdown (we loved our Couchella parties), whilst others just don’t. Playing card and board games with pals over zoom can be a bit of a struggle. TechRadar has come to the rescue to outline a few options to play Cards Against Humanity online. Just make sure to have a video call while playing, watching your pals cringe during the game is definitely the best part.

2.  You’ve Got This

45 Self-care Practices

Check out these 45 really quick and simple self-care practises for a healthy mind, body, and soul from Tiny Buddha. If you are struggling at the moment, small things can make all the difference. Try treating yourself to a small luxury or putting on your favourite song and having a dance. Here are a few of our favourites, we recommend you give them a go:

  • Go cloud-watching. Lie on your back, relax, and watch the sky;
  • Create a deliberate habit and routinise something small in your life by doing it in the same way each day;
  • Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines.

3.  Show me the Money

Free Pint from Brewdog

Brewdog is giving us all something to look forward to post-lockdown. All you have to do is sign up and they will send on a voucher code for a free pint when their bars reopen. In the meantime, they ask us to stay home and stay safe… fair enough, we’d say that is great advice. You can sign up here

Free Spotify 3-Month Trial 

Music is real salvation at the moment so we were delighted to see Spotify are increasing their free trial for new users to a massive 3 months. Jump onto their site to find out more…


Meme that made us laugh


Quote that made us think

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” Plato.

There can be something quite comforting about looking into the sky, especially right now, to get a bit of cosmic perspective. 


Music that made us dance


Moments that made us smile

We don’t need any excuses to drop in a dog story so we were loving the coverage that trials are underway to confirm if sniffer dogs are able to detect Coronavirus in humans.

It should be known by September of this year if trials are successful.

Check out the full story here or watch the video below:

🙋 So be sure to say hello


The Antidote to Isolation Newsletter | Week 7

We recently sent out the seventh of our series of weekly emails offering help, advice, messages of inspiration, deals, freebies and a chance to smile during this tough time. We will turn the email into a blog post each week for those people who prefer blog content.


The Antidote to Isolation | Fakeaways, Freebies and Food Boxes


1.  Fun & Frivolous


Are you missing your usual trips to Nando’s or a pizza with pals? Professor Green is on hand to help create takeway delights from home through Instagram Live. He has already tackled donner kebabs, Big Macs, chicken katsu curry and a few more. Tonight he’s having a go at Domino’s stuffed crust pizza. Check out his Instagram account at 7pm sharp. 

Harry Potter Virtual Escape Room

Created by American librarian Sydney Krawiec, this is the perfect lockdown boredom buster. Experience the life of a Hogwarts student from your sofa. Solve puzzles and riddles based on the famous books. You can play as a group or on your own. Why not compete against a group of friends and see who can escape first. The game begins with you starting your first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You have a team-building activity where you all lock yourselves in rooms and have to answer puzzles to get out – no magic at all! Next thing you know, the room is completely dark and you hear a door slam… Check it out here.


2.  You’ve Got This

30 Days Free with Peleton

We miss going to the gym, it can be hard to keep the momentum going when you’re working out alone in your bedroom. So if you’re feeling that you need a bit of support, Peleton are offering 30 days free on their app. Access thousands of live and on-demand classes from your phone, tablet, TV and more and the community aspect might just give you the boost you need. Have a peek on their website for more info.

In the Right Headspace

On the subject of free, we love Headspace, especially as they have a lot of content which you can access at no cost. The free “Weathering the Storm” collection includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling.  Have a look-see


3.  Show me the Money


Do you like tea? Do you like freebies? Well, be sure to sign up for The Pukka Collective to receive 8 free tea sachets, a chance to discover your unique Ayurvedic mind-body type with their dosha quiz as well as weekly personalised emails based on your wellbeing goals. You can sign up here. 🧘

£30 Food Boxes

Asda has announced the launch of a food box featuring a selection of cupboard filling favourites and essential items to help people obtain important everyday items during these unprecedented times. Available now on the box will typically contain 31 store cupboard staples for just £30 (price includes delivery).


Meme that made us laugh

See you on the other side…

Quote that made us think


“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day…” A. A. Milne.

We can relate.


Music that made us dance


Moments that made us smile

Britain’s largest bird of prey has returned to UK skies for the first time in 240 years. White-tailed eagles, which have a wingspan up to 2.5 metres, were once a common sight across southern England until the 18th century when they were wiped out by illegal killing.

But thanks to Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation this lost species is making a comeback. 

Check out the full story here.

Don’t forget, we want to share your inspirational stories. So send in your suggestion with a bit of info and your mate’s/family member’s Instagram or TikTok username and we’ll try to include. 

🙋 So be sure to say hello


The Antidote to Isolation Newsletter | Week 6

We recently sent out the sixth of our series of weekly emails offering help, advice, messages of inspiration, deals, freebies and a chance to smile during this tough time. We will turn the email into a blog post each week for those people who prefer blog content.


The Antidote to Isolation | Star Wars, Savings & Stoicism


1.  Fun & Frivolous

May the 4th Be With You

We couldn’t kick this off without mentioning May the 4th, a day when Star Wars fans across the globe celebrate Lucas’ famous franchise. There’s no denying that the Star Wars Universe has led to some amazing content. For a full Force fix, be sure to subscribe to Disney+ to watch The Mandalorian and the recently released The Rise of Skywalker. A couple of our favourite pieces of Star Wars content can actually be seen for free though, made by fans. Two of our favourites include Darth Maul: Apprentice and Vader vs Kenobi: Reimagined.

Things to do at Home During Lockdown

You might be stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! From cooking and redecorating to meditating and playing with your pooch, here are 7 of the best new gadgets that can help get you through the lockdown.


2.  You’ve Got This

Five sayings from the Stoics for Enduring Hardship

We feel there is a lot to be learned from Stoicism, especially right now. Check out these 5 sayings on enduring hardships. Here is our favourite:

‘Love of bustle is not industry — it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.’ Seneca

The pressure we feel to be productive is often the result of anxiety. We’re seeking to distract ourselves from our unexamined worries. Idleness can be useful; it allows us the space to explore and soothe our troubled mind.

Morning Pages

We’re always on the lookout for tips and techniques to make our days more productive and fulfilling. Morning pages are a great way to empty out the noise from your head allowing you to start your day with the right mindset. As Julia Cameron states on her website, “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art.” The video is only 2 and a half minutes long so persevere, for many people this can be an extremely helpful exercise in clearing the mind and setting yourself up for the day ahead.


3.  Show me the Money


Our lovely friends at GLOSSYBOX are offering our readers an exclusive 20% off your first box. Subscribe to one of their plans and use the code GLOSSYFRESHER to redeem the discount. Check out the Ts&Cs below* Enjoy!

A Month of Free Magazines

If you are missing your favourite magazines why not download Readly. You can get unlimited access to 4923 magazine titles including top UK titles (newest and previous issues included). You can download and read offline on any devices. You also get 5 user profiles so you can share with flatmates and split the cost. Another positive is that there is no contract so you can cancel anytime. Readly are offering one month free (£7.99/month thereafter)


Meme that made us laugh


Quote that made us think

Your focus determines your reality.

Qui Gon Jinn. We couldn’t help ourselves 🤣


Music that made us dance


Moments that made us smile

It’s an old one but a good one. Last Star Wars reference, we promise 🙂


Festival Blog

The Best New Gadgets to get you through the Lockdown

You might be stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! Here are 7 of the best new gadgets that can help get you through the lockdown:


Tile Item Finder

Whether you are in lockdown by yourself or with your entire family, there is one thing that is guaranteed: You will lose things down the sofa. Whether that be your remote control, wallet, or iPad, things have a habit of getting lost. But with Tile Pro, you can attach it to your favourite possessions and ring it when they get lost. Simple, but so useful!


Mini Projector

Stream your phone, laptop, or playstation on the big screen with a portable projector! Get a 200 inch projection onto the wall of your living room, and enjoy cinema-sized entertainment from the comfort of your own home. With over 1000 reviews at 4.5/5 average stars, this GooDee projector is one of the best on the market.


Muse 2


There is no better way to stay relaxed during this difficult time than with the Muse 2 Brain Sensing Headband. This technological masterpiece measures your brain activity, heart rate, and breathing to detect when you are at your most calm. This will allow you to find the meditation or relaxation activities which best suit you. Use with the Muse app for optimal performance.


HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

This tiny photo printer can be taken anywhere, and will print photos directly from your phone in seconds. It even lets you customize your photos before you print them. If you are looking to redecorate your bedroom during lockdown, adding a few photos from the HP Sprocket is a great way to start.


Furbo Dog Camera with Treat Tossing Technology

This is like something brought back from the future. If you are having to self-isolate away from your pet, or are simply too lazy to get up sometimes, then the Furbo Dog Camera can help you out. Not only does it let you see your dog, but also lets you speak to your dog. Best of all, it even lets you toss a treat to your dog at simply the press of a button. With almost 10,000 rave reviews, this is a toy you cannot miss out on.


Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub


For any wannabe master chefs out there, the Weber Connect is a great little tool. It will measure the temperature of your meat or cooking, and will send notifications to your smart phone when it is done! If you’ve ever struggled to cook a perfect medium rare steak, or are guilty of overcooking your chicken, then this could be the gadget you’ve been waiting for.


Instant Pot Duo

We thought we would end this list with another cooking gadget (since cooking is one of the only things we can do during lockdown). The Instant Pot Duo is a 7-in-1 pressure cooker, with options for cooking a variety of tasty dishes. It includes a rice cooker, yoghurt maker, steamer, and much more. If you want to try your hand at cooking some more complicated dishes during lockdown, then this is a gadget worth thinking about.