How to Create an Event Program: Our Top Tips for Success

Event planning is hard work—and successfully getting people in the door is only half the battle. You also have to consider how to inform and direct guests while they are attending the event. An event program or booklet is a tool you can use to help guide them through the featured activities, presentations, booths, or schedule of events.

Whether you are hosting a conference, trade show, or workshop for your company or planning a festival, museum exhibition, or lecture series for community members, you need to create an event program or booklet that informs and engages readers so they are more likely to enjoy your event.

What to Include in an Event Program

An event program, pamphlet, or brochure can have a significant impact on the success of your event. It includes vital information for guests and is especially a requirement for any event where attendees interact with different booths, listen to speakers, or need access to a schedule of events.

To create an effective event program, your goal is to develop a document that not only informs readers about the event but also catches their attention and encourages them to attend different activities or presentations. It requires a balance between educational and entertaining.

Start by making sure your program includes these essential elements.

An Eye-Catching Cover

A book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, but a program certainly will be.

The cover of your event program should be striking, interesting, informative, and attractive if you want readers to pick it up. It should include a noticeable title or headline as well as share your main message. Consider adding visual elements and using eye-catching fonts or colors to make it irresistible.

Company or Event Logo

Does your company or organization have a logo? Is your event part of a series with its own logo? In either situation, include the logo throughout the program to ensure readers connect your brand with the content they are reading.

The logo should be on the front and back covers as well as on various page elements, such as the footer, by the page number, or in the corner.

Event Information and Contact Details

Every event program must include relevant event information, including the date and location. Additionally, contact details for your organization—the brand name, website, email, phone number, address, and social media handles—need to be prominently displayed so readers with questions know who to contact.

Add a QR code to make it easy for people to access your company’s website or the event webpage.

Schedule of Events

The schedule of events is an important part of the design process. A schedule or timetable, often in a table format, should be clear and concise so readers can see what to expect during the event.

For some events, the schedule may span several days, weeks, or months, such as what days booths will be open during a trade show. Other events, like a lecture series or conference, will require a detailed list of times and locations for each presentation.

Maps or Floor Plans

A map or floor plan that is easy to read, accurately proportioned, and well-labeled is an essential feature of your event program. These maps not only help attendees navigate your event venue but also mark important areas such as restrooms, check-in booths, and concessions areas.

Use map icons, color code important areas, and include a key to make it easy for readers to quickly find the information they need. Some printers may even be able to create a pamphlet with a fold-out or removable map so attendees can access it quickly.

Speaker Bios

Event attendees want to know who they are going to hear from, so be sure to include a section about speakers in your program. Consider adding a photograph and short biographical description for each speaker as well as the title or topic of their presentation to drive interest in their lectures.

Sponsor Info

If other organizations or businesses are sponsoring your event, add a few words mentioning their support. You can even include their logo(s) to create more visual interest and clarify connections between your organizations.

7 Tips to Create an Interesting Event Booklet

If you want people to pick up and look at your event program, you have to make things interesting. To catch the attention of your readers and make the information you want to share with them memorable, you’ll have to do more than write some copy and send it off to the printer. An informative but plain booklet just won’t cut it.

As you are planning and developing your event program, follow these tips and consider how you can create an engaging, impactful document.

1. Focus on the Visuals

Without high-quality visual elements—images, graphics, illustrations, and photographs—your event program will just look like text on plain paper.

Insert graphics and photos that work in cooperation with your main content to share the theme and message of your program. Avoid stock images, which people can easily recognize and tend to ignore. Instead, make sure each visual you include has a purpose, whether that is to inform or engage your readers.

2. Play with Backgrounds and Shapes

Most programs use white or plain backgrounds. Make your event booklet stand out by using shapes, illustrations, graphics, or photographs as a background or text backdrop. As long as the background complements the text and your program is easy to read, you can create a lot of interest with unique backgrounds.

3. Think About the Typography

Use different typefaces to create visual interest—but stick with a maximum of two or three fonts to avoid going overboard.

If your company’s brand or style guide has a signature font, use it as a starting point. Then, you can select a couple of additional typefaces to make things a bit more interesting. And keep in mind that while serif fonts are the best fit for printed body text, you may be able to effectively incorporate some sans-serif fonts as headers too.

4. Use Lists and Block Text

Event booklets need to be able to share a lot of information with readers succinctly and quickly, so the ideal program is easy for people to skim. Since long paragraphs or walls of text are difficult to read, use white space, add lists, and break up information into blocks to help people absorb what they are reading.

5. Consider Color

Color requires a careful touch: Too many different colors detract from the design itself, and mismatched colors are an eyesore. Carefully consider what color palette will work well with the images you choose, the message you want to share, and the tone you want to set for your event.

Start by choosing a main color (which may be from your company’s brand color scheme or simply a color associated with the event itself), add a couple of supporting hues and shades, and then try throwing in a pop of color to shake things up.

6. Experiment with Unique Folds, Sizes, and Shapes

Half-fold and tri-fold programs are classic types of brochures that are well-loved by readers and designers alike. However, you’re not limited to these styles.

Experiment with different folds, like an accordion fold or gate-fold, as well as unique sizes and shapes. You could even incorporate cutout details to create a program that is truly one of a kind.

7. Add Interactive Elements

If you really want to engage your readers, add interactive elements to your event booklet.

For example, include stickers or other removable items they can keep or add 3D elements and pop ups throughout the pages. If you are creating a program for a gallery opening, you could add a removable postcard that guests can use later. Or, if you’re creating materials for the opening weekend at a botanical garden, why not include a scratch-and-sniff sticker that smells like flowers?

Print Custom Event Programs and Booklets at United GMG

United GMG is a one-stop shop for all your marketing, printing, advertising, and signage needs. Our experienced designers and printers can help you determine what type of event program you need, design eye-catching materials, and print your custom brochures with our high-quality machines.

Are you ready to advertise your next event? Contact us to get a free quote or call to speak to a United GMG representative today.

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