It’s no secret that the end of the semester is a stressful time for students. To help them make it through successfully, the University of Dayton Bookstore has had a long-standing tradition of offering free massages to their customers during buyback. This year, the staff at the UD Bookstore took this a step further, transforming their buyback and rental return into the "Main Event.”
From April 23 – May 1, each weekday featured a different theme to reward students as they brought their books back to sell to the bookstore.
“Massage Monday” started things off, with a massage therapist on hand to help stressed-out students relax. “Treat Yo Self Tuesday” meant free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream after students sold back their books and on “Wet Your Whistle Wednesday,” the staff handed out free sodas (donated by Pepsi).
If their customers were still feeling overwhelmed, “Throw down Thursday” helped them blow off steam. The store rented a bounce house (always a crowd-pleaser!) and let participants joust, bounce and box — with plenty of padding, of course. 124 students seized the opportunity to pummel each other, making Thursday’s event a big success.
Finally, “Friday Freebies” closed out the week, giving students an opportunity to win a $500 textbook scholarship for the fall.
Feedback and turnout was great each day, according to Retail Operations Manager Julie Banks.
“Students are always happy to receive free stuff, especially food and drinks,” Banks said. “All of the activities were well received — they just wished we were offering massages and free ice cream all week long!”
To promote the special events, the store covered all of their bases, including:
- A newspaper ad
- Posters across campus
- Digital signage in the store
- Emails to students
They also created a series of videos and promoted the event daily on their Facebook page.
Inspired by the success, the store plans something similar for both buybacks next year, but “with a new theme and fresh ideas,” Banks said. They also intend to do more videos to promote future events.
For other stores looking to organize a similar promotion, Banks advises thinking locally:
“Take advantage of campus vendor partnerships and reach out to any local businesses that students frequent.”