A top annual consumer spending event //

Late spring issues in graduation season  as folks gather to celebrate their high school and college graduates. We are expecting those celebrations to take place mainly outdoors as we will still be in the midst of the vaccine rollout and our path to herd immunity from Covid-19.

Consumer Insights

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual graduation gift survey shows that consumers spend strongly on the grads in their lives.

For the 30% of consumers that plan on spending on grad gifts cash is king followed by cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronics. 


Looking at 2020 Google search trends we can see that interest in “graduation gifts” started to climb mid April to a peak mid May.  Interest then slowly declined throug the end of June and lingered a bit in July for those still celebrating the recent grads in their lives.

Retail Promotions

During grad season retailers typically tout graduation gifts at attractive price points, party decor and party food. In 2020 with the pandemic interrupting life as we know it, a number of restaurant chains stepped up to offer a slew of free food to grads who had to deal with canceled ceremonies and parties. Chipotle offered a free entree with a grad-themed gift card purchase and gave away a $25,000 scholarship to high school students over 16. 


Marketing Resources

To help you pull together your promotional content and marketing materials quickly we’ve curated  some resources to inspire your planning.

Graduation Hashtags

Help your content get discovered on social media with relevant hashtags. Popular hashtags include: #graduating  #graduate #graduation #grad #diploma #classof #senior

Graduation Themed Pictures

There are a number of wonderful websites that offer free photos for both commercial and noncommercial use, one of our favorites is Unsplash. Below is a small selection of the images we have curated for graduation themed content. 

Click below to view and download free photos from our full Unsplash Collection. Find out more about their free to use license and how to give the photographer credit, not required, but appreciated.

Graduation Quotes and Sayings

Celebrate major life milestones and the promise of exciting adventures ahead with graduation themed quotes and sayings.


“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”– Albert Einstein

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”– Confucius

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.”– Helen Keller

“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

“Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”– Barack Obama

“Do all the other things, the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes…but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.”– George Saunders

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.”– Mark Twain

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”– Milton Berle

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