Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



August 2012: Bookstore Games

Posted by Stephanie Kubas on 8/1/12 4:00 AM
Topics: bookstore events, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans

Host Your Own Bookstore Games

Every four years, the summer Olympic Games take place, bringing together athletes and spectators from all over the world. In the same spirit, cultivate new relationships with students by hosting your own Bookstore Games!

Select a venue

Decide on the location of the Bookstore Games, whether it is held completely at the store, or with some stations taking place in other areas of campus. Factors to consider are the weather forecast (if you plan on having outdoor elements), size of the location and the number of students on campus.

Map out the course

Brainstorm with your staff to create fun tasks to be completed. Some ideas for stations are:

  • Design a T-Shirt: Set a time frame for a team to create a T-shirt design that will be judged by the panel. Points are given for creativity!
  • Create a Merchandise Display: Utilize store mannequins, displays and signage to create a display in a limited time.
  • Organize Books in Alphabetical Order: Organize a stack of books, with the fastest time winning!
  • Answer College Trivia
    • What year was your school founded?
    • How many majors are there at your school?
    • What is the name of your mascot?
    • Which school is your biggest rival in athletics?

Think about including summer party activities to add to the diversity of the competition! Some examples are:

  • Limbo Competition: Just how low can you go?
  • Musical Chairs: This childhood game is still a crowd favorite

You be the judge

Download: “Bookstore Games” Email
 Download: “Bookstore Games” Email
Download the Email

Select staff and/or faculty to serve as a panel of judges. Send out an email to recruit volunteers.

Team up

Determine the details of your event such as the number of students allowed on a team, the registration deadline and rules for participation. Then, advertise across campus, announcing the games and how one registers a team.

Light the torch

Post flyers in store, and promote the event through Facebook and/or Twitter. Teams can create their own shirts and team names to add to the competitive spirit. Some possible recruits include student organizations and Greek life.

Here are some example status updates to help with the promotion:

Download: “Bookstore Games” Poster
 Download: “Bookstore Games” Poster
Download the Poster
  • Go for gold and compete in the Bookstore Games! Register your team in store today!
  • The Bookstore Games begin on [DATE]! Organize a team and register by [Date] to participate!
  • Let the Games begin! Bookstore Games begin tonight at 4:00 p.m. Stop by to watch some exciting competitions!

Game day

Set up multiple stations throughout the designated venue, as decided upon by you and your staff members.

On the day of the event, host rounds of participation, depending on the number of teams, with the winners continuing on to the finals. Keep the store open a little later so that spectators and competitors can shop after the games!

Invite students who are not participating in the games to come and watch! To add to the fun atmosphere, give away prizes for audience and team members who are the most festive, have the best sportsmanship, etc.

Give out the gold

For events that can be timed, such as alphabetizing books, use that as a criterion to determine a winner. Ones that are more subjective, such as designing the shirt, can be determined by the panel of judges.

Update Facebook and/or Twitter throughout the event with pictures and/or videos of the competition. Be sure and give special social media kudos to the winning team! Encourage other participants and spectators to share their experiences at your store’s Bookstore Games through social media.

Download this cover photo to promote your bookstore games on Facebook

About Stephanie Kubas

Stephanie was our former MBS Marketing Communications Manager. She helped Foreword Online evolve from simple reposts from other industry-related sites, to original content sourced directly from our college stores. Although she no longer writes for Foreword Online, it still holds a special place in her heart.

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