Heading Back to School with Pixilated

In a year of uncertainty, Pixilated comes fully prepared to ‘bring the fun’ for back to school events of all shapes and sizes — whether in-person, virtual or hybrid.

Here we are staring down the dog days of summer and with it the planning begins to figure out how to get our students back onto campus, into schools and picking up the pieces of where many of us left off in the late winter of 2020.

While the stories and experiences of schools both large and small have varied tremendously over the last 18 months, one thing is for certain. The need has never been greater to get our kids back to school and back on track. While many of the rules and regulations have changed dramatically it’s up to school administrators, teachers and parents to find new and creative ways to drive student engagement.

Typically, the start of a new school year is brought in with a flurry of back to school events. Whether we’re talking about celebrating “Move-In Day” on college campuses or “Breakfast with the Teacher” to help get new students warmed up to the ideas of their first time in school, school events play a critical role in helping students prepare for their new school year.

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In this article, we’ll share some of the best strategies and tools many of our clients in higher education are using to come up with fun ideas for college events on campus. Additionally, many of these ideas for school events are applicable for elementary, middle and high schools too.


Looking for creative ideas for college events? A photo booth might be just what you need…

We live in a world that is driven by technology; much of which is powered by images so it’s no surprise that photo booths can play a big role in helping students get acquainted with their new environment.

At Pixilated, we’re extremely lucky to have a large list of clients in the higher education sector that are exceptionally talented at coming up with student engagement ideas for their on-campus events that utilize the unique features of a photobooth rental. We mention this if only to provide real-world examples of universities using these strategies and techniques and winning.

So, whether it’s Johns Hopkins University using our photo booth kiosks to welcome students back to campus, Stevenson University creating an awesome photo booth experience for the Homecoming Tailgate or Central Connecticut State University helping their grads commemorate their commencement experience, the proof is in the pudding.

Photo booths are perfect for all types of school events.

Depending on the type of school — public or private, higher ed or K-12, large or small, east coast or west coast or somewhere in between — the different types of events that take place with the education ecosystem vary quite a bit.

Photo booths are perfect for school dances, graduation parties, athletic banquets, campus life events, and more.

Since we’re currently in the late summer run up to (and happening now in some places!) the official “Back to School” season, many of the events we’re currently seeing schools use photo booth rentals for are largely around the returning to school and celebrating another year in education.

We’re seeing a lot of photo booth rentals for events on college campuses welcoming first time students to their new world. Campus “Move-In Day” events are nothing new and a great way to not only provide students with a fun photo memory but also give them something to share on social media as well as with their friends and family.

This doubles as an excellent opportunity for the college or university to also gain some useful UGC (user-generated content for those who don’t know) and some helpful organic exposure for the school brand. That being said, there are so many creative ideas for campus events, fun ideas for high school events and excellent opportunities to make new students in primary schools feel welcome and engaged.

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While this is far from an exhaustive list, see below for a few ideas and events that are perfect to bring in a photo booth, celebrate your students and create a fun experience all at the same time.

  • Move-In Day
  • School Photos
  • Homecoming
  • Professional Development Events
  • Professional Headshots
  • Comedy Shows
  • Craft Nights
  • Midnight Breakfast
  • Movie Night
  • Game Night
  • Carnival
  • Sports Events
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Open Mic Night
  • Dorm Room Mixer
  • Networking Event
  • Theater Production
  • Music Performance
  • Art Openings
  • Voter Registration
  • Book Drive
  • Career Fair

      At Pixilated, we offer photo booth options for school events that are easy to rent and easy to use.

      Our photo booths are self-service, rent by the day, and are an extremely effective way to keep your students engaged as they re-enter campus for the fall semester. Plus, we offer free round-trip shipping on our photo booth rentals to campuses nationwide.

      Interested? Click here to check out our photo booth rental options, including GIF booths and green screen photo booths, too.


      Virtual photo booths are a great solution if your events have become hybrid (or are still virtual)

      While our diy photo booth rentals are great for gatherings it’s worth mentioning that you (obviously?) need to be holding an in-person event to use them and we’re far from hosting solely live or in-person events as a standard at this point.

      While many of us in the events industry had hoped this would be the summer we said goodbye to all virtual events and began planning a return to in-person and live events, it seems the roadmap on that will once again need to be adjusted.

      Back at the beginning of COVID we developed a virtual photo booth tool that allows for the same photo sharing fun albeit from whatever device or location your attendees happen to be. Having a handful of virtual event tools at the ready will help schools and universities continue to engage with their students, support their event strategy and build engaging experiences that can successfully bridge the gap between here and there.

      Our virtual photo booth software is a great way to carry out a robust events calendar without missing a beat. The good news is that students have become comfortable with current status quo and so overcoming reluctance isn’t going to be the issue it was in early 2020. Instead, the challenge is on the ensure that the college experience is the best that it can be within the confines of our current climate and a virtual photo booth can be an invaluable tool to help you accomplish your goals.

      To get the juices flowing, you’ll find a list of just a few creative ways our clients have taken their events virtual with Pixilated photo products.

      • Virtual Commencement
      • Campus Move-In
      • Virtual Prom
      • Virtual Holiday Party
      • Welcome Event
      • Alumni Gala
      • Virtual Alumni Career Day
      • Intent to Enroll
      • Admitted Students Day
      • Greek Life Events
      • School Spirit Week
      • Hybrid Solution

        Which brings us to the conversation around hybrid events and the technology solutions that make them possible.

        Gone are the days of having a single attendee cohort. Even when we do manage to put a bow on the global pandemic and see a return to live events there will continue to be a need for a virtual portal for attendees to access. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

        While we’ve said before it’s worth mentioning again. The great virtual migration that took place in 2020 wasn’t merely a trading out of one environment (live events) for another. In reality, it was a massive undertaking that saw eventprofs in the higher education space bringing on new tools, developing new strategies and building new audiences to ensure their events and communities felt supported, connected and cared for.

        The reality is many of those people may opt to continue to attend school virtually for a variety of reasons. In the future we’ll see people who are immuno-compromised opt to keep a safe distance. Additionally, there are likely new and old community members from across the globe who were able to participate in your events for the first time because the virtual option provided attendance opportunities without the challenges of bridging the distance between.

        One of the many areas we’ve heard positive feedback around is our event planning clients who work with the alumni communities at their schools. Traditionally, getting alumni to attend events required getting them to clear their schedule, spend money on travel expenses, and take time away from their loved ones and professional life to participate. With a virtual photo booth, alumni can engage in Homecoming or Giving Day from their laptop at their homes around the globe or from their mobile phone at the live event on campus!

        Studies show “90% of alumni professionals admit they do a “a poor job” or “need to do more” to attract and engage their young alumni.” In planning to offer a hybrid solution for all of your events moving forward, you’ll ensure the opportunity for everyone in your community to continue to show up and engage with their university community long after their campus life experience has come to a close.

        We offer turnkey virtual photo booth packages for schools and universities that you can book directly through our website. We also offer virtual photo booth software (called PixiWeb) for professionals who have an ongoing series of events that they are looking to manage on their own. Either way, Pixilated has you covered!

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        Long Term Photo Booth Rentals and Leases, Virtual Booth Software Licensing, and more…

        If you’re one of the many who have read this article and thought “I wish there was a way for me to use photo booths and virtual photo booths for all of my on and off campus events” you’re not alone.

        While many of our higher education institution clients opt for a la carte photo booth rentals and virtual photo booth websites there are other options Pixilated provides that allow universities to use these tools and strategies on an ongoing basis. To learn more about these options and how your school or university can win in using them send us an email to learn more. We can be reached at team@pixilated.com :)

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