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4 Ways to Keep Your Event Program Out of the Trash

Jan 1, 1970

When it comes to association conferences and events, an attractive, user-friendly program book may be the single most important material you give attendees. Done right, the event program will be a valuable resource that attendees will refer to throughout the event and maybe even keep as a guide when they return back to their office. Done poorly, however, it may go right in the trash bin.

Here are four ways to take your event program book to the next level and keep all of your hard work out of the garbage.

Choose the Right Size and Content

Program books must help rather than hinder the attendee experience, so consider usability from all angles. Size is crucial—if the program book is too cumbersome or heavy, the attendee probably won’t use it. That’s why we see associations increasingly opting for pocket sized booklets. This way the information stays close as a quick reference guide and doesn’t become a hindrance. Make sure that the booklet isn’t too thick and ensure that it can actually fit in a purse or pocket.

It’s worth noting that you may have to whittle down content to only the most necessary information and imagery. Since you will be paying per page when printing, trimming down unneeded content will pay off in more ways than one.

Design for Brand and Location

When designing the program, it’s important to create and adhere to a theme. Choose images and colors that compliment your brand and the location of the event. Is your association visiting a sunny coastline or an industrious city? Search for imagery that fits the spirit of the location, create a color palette that compliments the brand, and make sure the theme is spread tastefully across all material to create a unifying and set-like appearance. We know from experience that your program book is a great opportunity to create a connection between your association’s brand, the location, and the event’s overarching message.

Communicate Purpose

There are a few basic elements common to most program books: schedule, speakers, maps, etc. The best programs, however, take the opportunity to communicate the purpose of the event, what attendees should get out of it, and the best ways to engage. For example, we like to include a greeting page that lays out the intentions for the event in a kind and engaging way. Attendees will immediately feel included and involved, as if receiving a personal message from an industry leader or the host.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

There is nothing worse than noticing an error or typo after your program has gone to press. This is especially important if you include member companies or attendee names in the book. What is the one thing that people look for first? Themselves! Don’t risk an unhappy member by printing an error. To catch these mistakes, we like to involve as many people in the proofreading process as possible. Don’t let this crucial task fall on just the designer or the marketing department. The more eyes the better. 

It is imperative to make your association’s next event program appealing and easy to use. Ideally, it will become a symbol of an unforgettable experience for years to come. At The Markens Group, we believe it’s always worth the extra time to make it great. Happy designing!

Need help designing your event program?

The Markens Group has been delivering unforgettable events for associations, professional societies, and non-profits since 1988, and we would be happy to help! Call us to discuss how we can assist with your next event.

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