YouthStream Media Networks, specializing in marketing to high school and college students, plans to host its first campus technology tour in October. Called the “ThunderDorm Experience,” it will feature a flatbed truck with an interactive dorm room that will travel to 15 college campuses.
“There has been a big increase in this demographic's activity in the technology market,” said Dennis Roche, chief operating officer of YouthStream, New York. “Students' relationship with technology is much more direct, and it plays a much bigger role in their lives than it did a few years ago. They have become the early adopters of a lot of things, and marketers and older consumers have begun to look to them to help decide what is going to be the next best thing.”
The dorm room will include the latest gadgets, including MP3 and DVD players.
YouthStream is hosting the tour with the Consumer Electronics Association. Other sponsors have not been chosen yet, though YouthStream expects to select some CEA members. Sponsors will set up tables at the tour and provide students with information on their products.
The campaign is scheduled to run for five weeks and target colleges with large enrollments and that are near major retail outlets. Matt Britton, director of event marketing at YouthStream, said it also would look to visit tech-savvy, wired campuses.
YouthStream and sponsors will host a contest during the tour in which they will collect students' names and e-mail addresses. At the end of the tour, the items in the dorm room will be given to one student selected from among the collected names.
“We want to let students experience the latest technology,” Britton said. “We also want to raise awareness of the sector overall and provide our clients with a great channel into the college market.”