January 18, 2018

8 Ways – including bribery – to get faculty support for your campus events

One way to really rev up your next campus event is to get as much support from faculty as you can!  If the topic of your guest lecturer or the theme of your event matches an area of interest for them, you can really be in luck. They’ll pull out the stops to help you spread the word and get people to attend.

Gain Faculty Support - Photo copyright 2010 Rick sherrell

I’m sure your activities board usually expends lots of effort trying to get students to attend, but what if you got professors, staff and advisers totally on board?! Break down some resistance with these simple tips:

1. Be considerate when you ask for help. Even the smallest amount of time, space, materials and effort that people expend on your behalf is valuable. Be the diplomat in gaining their cooperation, be appreciative of what they can do and understanding of what they can’t. Even if they can’t support you this time how you ask – and even how you handle it if they can’t – could make or break a long term relationship.

2. Ask permission. Some supportive professors may not mind you taking over their lecture hall or giving you a slice of class time to announce or promote your event. They may also be willing to offer their services as a liaison and announce it to all of their classes. Ask real nice first.

3. Match your seminar topic to majors, specific classes and clubs. Contact professors, club leaders and decision makers to let them know your upcoming event is ideal for their students or members. I’ll bet you can get them to work with you to promote the event! If it’s a lecture you’re promoting don’t forget the speech clubs, speech majors, communications departments and public speaking classes. It’s their chance to see a pro in action.

4. Keep them in the loop by inviting staff and advisers to your planning meetings. Especially if they’ve offered support of any kind it’s important to keep them in the loop. If they can’t attend planning meetings send the written minutes or notes to them. Follow up by checking in every so often to get their input and answer any questions.

5. Partner with the staff for promotional activities.Make a list of partners for each kind of event you promote. Professors can announce the event before class. Club leaders can add the date and event information into their newsletter or email blast. Get everybody talking, texting and posting by targeting the partners who are the most interested in the topic.

6. Make the grade by suggesting class assignments based on your event’s topic. If the topic is right, some professors will offer extra credit to their students who attend. Believe it or not, many professors are looking for creative, timely and hands-on ways to drive home the lesson. Let your speaker know this and they often work with the professor to ensure their content is a match.

7. Say, “thank you.” A thousand times say, “thank you!”If you can, mention the professors, staff and anyone else who helped you in the opening to you program. Recognizing their assistance in front of a captive audience is a great way to give them public recognition. (No Academy Awards filibusters please. We have a hook!) Don’t forget a THANK YOU  line in any follow up newsletters, articles, email broadcasts, blog posts or meeting minutes. It’s a nice touch to send a card or note after the event, too.

8. Bribe them. Not as desperate as it sounds, you can bribe your professors with free stuff – and everybody likes free stuff! Once again, if the topic is a good match for the professor’s subject, a signed copy of the speaker’s book is the best idea. You can bribe them with promotional items, but come on… bribery has to involve something of value. Speakers are often eager to share cop[ies of their books, audio programs and more with professors who share their views or their passion for a topic. See what you speaker or act has to offer.

Always keep on the look out for new ways to get faculty, staff, the dean, the chancellor, the provost, the president, the librarian, the janitor, the lawn maintenance guys and everybody else to muster arms. By working together, your event can be an even bigger success – and it’s a win-win-win for everybody. Have any other ideas to endear the faculty and staff? Let me know.


This series of posts will help you get better student turnout at all of your campus events and will work especially well for speaker-based events. Remember to always enlist the help your guest speaker or trainer in your promotional efforts. Look for powerful Student Learning Outcomes that lead to immediate or future success.

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About the Author: Rick Sherréll (12 Posts)

Rick Sherréll is the Blogitor (Blog Editor) here at CampusTalkBlog and agent for the college speakers at Pro Speakers Bureau. In his entrepreneurial life he has been a writer, editor, speaker, trainer, marketer, coach, IT specialist, consultant, event planner, broadcaster, fundraiser and innovator. Find out more at www.RickSherrell.com and www.ProSpeakersBureau.com/about.


  1. Thanks for these great suggestions. Especially #3 – Match your topic with a particular group. This suggestion gave me lots of great ideas! #5 Partner with the staff for promotional activities. This is a very overlooked area of promotion for me. It takes a little time and I’ve been missing the boat on this one. And #6 Suggesting class assignments based on my topic. Very creative indeed. I’ve had professors do this and bring people to my courses, but I didn’t think to initiate that suggestion. You’re always on top of things Rick. Many thanks for always being an innovative and out of the box thinker!

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