Hosting an event can be quite stressful for most organizers. This is one of the reasons why you need a good plan to ensure that activities are executed properly. One way to keep your participants informed and involved in your plans is through a carefully made program. A program can be used to outline what you have planned so your audience will know what you have in store for them.
So in this article, let’s take a closer look at programs along with how they are made.
Elements of a Program
Listed below are the basic elements of a program:
1. Event Information: Think about what your audience might need from your program. The name, date, time, and venue of the event must be indicated clearly in the program to keep readers informed. Make sure to finalize details about your event before handing out your programs; otherwise, you need to ensure proper dissemination of information so participants are aware of any last-minute changes.
2. Logo Design: Most programs, specifically those for corporate functions, include a logo design which represents the organization behind its production. This is often added to build a brand’s image and boost recognition among viewers. This may be added to the program’s front cover or as a watermark of a page layout. It’s important that the event logo complements your text and design elements so that it blends in perfectly with the rest of your program.
3. Contact Details: Perhaps your guests have a few questions that they need to ask or concerns that need to be raised. Anything unclear to your audience must be addressed accordingly. Thus, you need to provide a way for them to reach you. This includes your phone number, fax number, email address, social media handles, and website URL. Your contact details must be visible enough for participants to find once they get a hold of your program. You may also see program outline examples.
4. FAQs Section: One way to respond to common questions and save everyone from the hassle is to include an FAQs section in your program. This is especially important for larger functions that cover a wider scope. Consider what your participants are likely to ask and provide clear responses to these questions. This will prevent any unnecessary traffic from filling your communication lines. This should respond to concerns in regards to registration details, payments, attendance, amenities, and the like.
5. Map: You might have guests coming in from a different city or state. Because some people might not be familiar with the exact location of your venue, you would want to add a map for guidance. Be sure to include landmarks that may be recognized from along the road as well as directions to your location. You may also see training program examples.
With the amount of time and money spent planning the event, a smooth flow of activities is one of the things to aim for. This is why you need a program to ensure proper organization. Follow the steps below to be guided:
1. Define your goal: Programs often differ in terms of purpose and content. If your goal is to simply relay key information about your event, a one-page program in the format of a flyer will do. You can also create multiple panels for your program to get a more detailed message across. Take note that your end goal with the program will shape whatever decisions you make for the medium’s content. You may also see program management examples.
2. Find a template: What’s convenient about templates is that you can simply edit the file you have downloaded, save it, and it’s good to go. Templates are specifically designed to meet standard requirements, so you won’t have to worry about the right format options to follow. All you need to do is look for a template that suits your purpose, download it, and customize the design to fit your exact needs.
3. Write your content: Make an outline of the information you wish to include in the program. This includes general information about the event, details that attendees might want to know, along with images that support your subject matter. Say for example, if your program agenda includes activities that have been done in the past, you can feature photos from that event to give readers an idea of what to expect.
4. Review and edit the program: Never proceed without proofreading the content of your program. Event details must be correct to avoid confusion. The program should also be reviewed for any spelling or grammar errors. Once you are satisfied with what you have, you need to choose a paper stock and finish for the physical product of your program. A high-quality program is sure to make a positive impression with your audience.
Tips for Designing a Program
Now that we’ve discussed the basic steps of making a program, let’s see how you can enhance your program in five simple tips:
Group similar items together: It’s always a good idea to group similar information together to make it easy for readers to find. The title, date, time, and venue of your event, for example, is usually positioned on the front cover of your program. This will allow participants to grasp the information that they need in a glance. Make sure to list them down in separate lines to keep the program readable as well.
Make it clear and coherent: Another way to maintain readability is to make your text as legible as possible. Choose a font that may still be visible from a certain distance. It’s also best to break down your text into manageable chunks so your pages won’t be filled with lengthy paragraphs. Use simple language when communicating information and avoid terms that might not be understood by the average person.
Don’t give out too much details: Although programs are supposed to be informative, you don’t want to tell participants every single detail about the program you have planned. Allow your guests to grow curious about what you have to offer by providing only the specifics about your event. You may also see workshop agenda examples.
Be creative: The best programs are usually the most creative. This will increase the visual appeal of your program and influence a viewer’s perception toward your event. Experiment with different patterns and styles to see what works best for theme of your program. Not only can this generate attention from your audience, but this may also help increase reader engagement.
Use quality images and paper: Unless you plan to upload the program on your website, consider the quality of your final output. Printed programs are a tangible material that may say a thing or two about the event you have planned. It’s also vital to choose images that are of a good resolution to maintain the quality of your program.
Types of Programs
Programs present an event schedule in a clear and organized manner, be it a business function with colleagues from different parts of the world or a social gathering with your closest friends and family members. The visual and written content of the medium will vary according to the specific kind of program you are making.
Seminars and Conferences: This is a common event held quarterly or annually by different organizations in an attempt to communicate relevant information about a subject. These events can last for a couple of hours to a number of days, depending on the scope of the subject tackled. Since seminars and conferences tend to be more formal in nature, using a program to cover these events is sure to guide participants.
Executive Retreats and Incentive Programs: Some organizations like to host executive retreats and incentive programs for employees to engage in various activities centered towards company morals and values. Because these events are set to last for at least three days, a program is made to inform participants of what to expect. Like a travel itinerary, the program contains a list of tasks and activities that have been planned out according to schedule.
Business Events: The growth and development of employees is of utmost priority to company leaders. Thus, training courses and orientations are held for the benefit of each member. The program would then state the purpose and objectives of the event, the subjects to be covered, and the schedule of activities.
Weddings: A wedding is a sacred celebration that can take months to plan. This is one of the reasons why wedding programs tend to be a lot more sophisticated in form. The program usually covers the flow of the ceremony along with the activities during the reception. These are sometimes handed out along with the wedding invitations to keep guests informed.
Birthdays: Although most birthday parties simply involve eating, socializing, and candle blowing, some birthday parties are more grand than others. If you’ve ever attended a bar mitzvah, quinceañera, or a sweet 16 party, you’ll see a difference in how they are celebrated. The celebration may involve various activities similar to that of a wedding.
Funerals: In a memorial program, you will find details about the deceased and the funeral service prepared for him or her. This includes the time, date, and venue of one’s service. The program may come in the form of a funeral brochure or flyer, depending on the amount of information you wish to include.
What is a program?
A program is an action plan designed to meet a defined goal through determining what needs to be done, by whom, and when. The resources needed to obtain those objectives are also depicted through the program’s content. Here, you will find an activity schedule of what is set to take place over the course of an event. This is usually tailored according to the type of event being held, such as a training program, convention, conference, workshop, wedding, funeral, and more.
What are the benefits of using a program?
Most participants come to an event not knowing what to expect. While surprises might be a good thing at times, it can also be frustrating for those who feel clueless about where to go or what to do as they stand in the corner of a room. By informing guests of the flow of events, they may actively participate in important activities, attend meetings that were organized for them, and learn a thing or two from the speakers you pulled all the strings to invite. A smooth flow of activities leads to satisfied participants, which is a clear sign of a successful event.
Programs are great for communicating the basics of an event to participants in an informative yet creative manner. So the next time you find yourself in need of a program, feel free to use the templates provided in this article.