What is a program? It actually refers to a number of things. It can be a computer software or it can also be a list of activities in a specific event. In this article, we will be discussing the latter.
We have provided some program templates that you can download for free. We have also provided simple tips that you can use when you will be creating your own program.
Listed below are the elements of a good program. Make sure to include all the elements so that you can create a detailed and effective program.
1. Event name: The event name should be mentioned in full and not abbreviated. That way it will be clear and easily understandable to your guests.
2. Event date: The date is one of the most important part of the program. How will you have any guests or participants if they do not know when the event is happening? List down the full date, including what day of the week, and time.
3. Location: Location plays an important role in a program. Similar to the event date, the location should still be listed in the front face of the program. Directions to the location should also be listed, albeit in a different page if the program has multiple pages. You may also see program outline examples.
4. Event logo: Images are usually noticed first rather than the text. Therefore, it is important to add the event logo so that people will see it first thing and recognize it for what it represents. Putting it at the front, top center of the program is most strategic.
5. Social media handles: Social media is everywhere and is being used all the time nowadays. It is only fitting for you to use social media handles to advertise your event; it is also where people can contact you if ever they have inquiries. Insert your social media profiles or handles (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) at the bottom of the program or directly below the event name.
6. Website: The website is also similar to social media handles but it only applies if your program has its own website. Insert the website beside or below the social media handles.
7. Schedule of events: The event schedule is probably the most important element in a program. The guests need to be informed on the activities if they will be attending an event, especially if the event will be held on multiple dates. When creating a list of events, list down the time and date of the event as well as the activity that corresponds with the said date and time. Be careful when listing down the schedule as the guests might attend the wrong activity due to the mistake in the schedule.
8. FAQs to answer common attendee questions: Listing down FAQs is not necessary when creating an event program. But you can include it if you are hosting a large event to be attended by hundreds of guests. With that large of a number, there will surely be guests who have concerns on the event such as the schedule and location, so it is advisable to include a list of FAQs.
9. Map of the venue: A map of the venue in the program is highly advisable if you will be holding the event in a location that is unfamiliar to your guests. This will at least guide them and to avoid them getting lost.
Here are some very simple tips to help you so that you can create an excellent program layout.
1. Group the event title, date, and location together: These three information should always go together and should be located on the first page or cover page of the program. The event title should be listed at the center of the program, followed by the event date, and lastly the event location. Even if your program has multiple pages, those three information should never be listed in the succeeding pages.
2. Schedule of events should be detailed: The schedule of events is also another important element of a program. The event schedule can be listed in the succeeding pages of the program and should be detailed; you can make a program outline for this. The last thing you want is your guests to miss some activities in the event because you listed the wrong details. Follow this format when creating an event schedule: time (and date) in one column and the activity in the corresponding column. There is no need to list down the date if the event is only for a single day.
Example 1: January 1, 2019 – 7:30–8:30 am – Assembly and Registration of Guests – Conference Hall A2
Example 2: September 23, 2019 – 4:00 pm – “The Effects of Global Warming to the National Economy of Wakanda” by Dr. Michael B. Jordan – Wakanda Institute of Technology, Room 15
3. Always include graphics: Similar to a brochure or a voucher, graphics always bring another dimension to any form or type of document or design. Graphics exponentially increases the visual appeal. When incorporating graphics, make sure the graphics, images, or pictures you choose should be related to the design you are creating.
4. Print using special paper: The last tip involves the material you will use for the printing of the program. Most of the time, programs require a physical copy since they will be given to guests who will be attending the event. Make sure to use special paper for the printing of the program. Special paper adds to the aesthetics and special feel of the event program and event itself.
Remember, you don’t have to invest heavily on paper. There are hundreds of cheap and affordable paper that also exude high quality and design. Use the budget instead for the event activities and other expenses related to the operations of the event.
Here are the steps to designing a good program. Creating a program is not difficult as long as you follow the steps we provided as well as the tips listed in the previous section.
1. Pick a format or size: Before creating a program, you should first decide on a format or size. You may choose from brochure formats (bifold, trifold, or z-fold) or paper sizes (A4, 8.5×11?, 8.5×13?). The brochure format is suggested if you will be incorporating numerous of text and other details (map, FAQs, social media handles etc.) in the program. A paper size is meanwhile suggested if you will be incorporating less design and text in the program. Additionally, you can also fold the paper into two and make another copy of the program, thus making it very cost-efficient.
2. Select a design template: There are hundreds of event program design templates available online. We’ve listed the best ones here so that you won’t have to look in other websites and sources. But remember when choosing a design template, it should match the theme or concept of your event. You don’t want to use Christmas designs when you will be creating a program for a Chinese New Year event.
3. Lay out your content: After choosing a design template, it’s time to lay out the content. Slowly fill the program with text and images. You may also see training program examples.
4. Choose your paper and finish: When you’re happy with the content, choose your paper before you print the program and distribute to your guests. Find a paper that is sturdy and works well with vibrant colors and large photos. Again, don’t invest heavily on paper. Choose cheap yet quality paper, which can be bought in most art and school supply stores.