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How to Create an Event Program Quickly (with Free Template)

Event programs serve as a valuable tool to guide your attendees and provide them with essential event information. While digital programs are popular nowadays, printed event programs offer a personal touch and serve as a...

Event programs serve as a valuable tool to guide your attendees and provide them with essential event information. While digital programs are popular nowadays, printed event programs offer a personal touch and serve as a keepsake for your guests. They also provide excellent branding opportunities. The best part is, creating an event program doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. With the help of an event program template, you can effortlessly design a program that meets all your needs.

What Does an Event Program Look Like?

At its core, an event program should include the event name, date, and location. It should also feature the event agenda and your organization's logo and branding assets. The purpose of an event program is to help attendees arrive on time, navigate the event venue, and ensure they are in the right place at the right time. Providing both a digital and print version of the program is good practice and offers additional benefits.

Event Program Template from Eventbrite Image source: Event Program Template from Eventbrite

Why Create an Event Program?

A well-designed event program concisely communicates the most important event details on a single page. It saves attendees from searching through emails for directions or performance times and minimizes the number of questions you'll receive on the day of the event. For larger events with multiple stages or complex locations, an event program with a map can greatly assist guests in finding their way around.

Man holding an event program Image source: Man holding an event program

Which Events Require a Program?

While providing a program is a good practice for any event, there are certain types of events where attendees can benefit greatly from a well-designed program. These include events with multiple speakers and program items, events with multiple locations or stages, and events with difficult-to-find or navigate locations.

How to Create an Event Program?

Now that you understand the importance of an event program, here are seven simple steps to help you create one that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

1. DIY or Outsource?

Decide whether you want to create the program yourself or outsource the task. Consider the costs and your design skills. If you choose to create it yourself, platforms like Canva offer a variety of templates to simplify the process.

Screenshot of event program templates on Canva Image source: Screenshot of event program templates on Canva

2. Start with the Basics

Begin by including the name, date, and location of the event. These details should be prominently displayed at the top of the program. Use icons to help attendees navigate the program easily, such as a map icon for the address.

3. Nail Down Your Agenda and Schedule

Finalize your event schedule before creating the program. Leave buffer time between items, provide time for attendees to move between locations, and keep segments engaging and varied. Guide attendees on when to arrive and be seated to manage the flow of arrivals.

4. Provide an Easy-to-Navigate Map

If your event venue is difficult to find, include an easy-to-read map or a QR code that links to their navigation app with the exact location. For events with multiple locations or stages, consider providing a map to help attendees navigate the venue.

Festival Site Map Image source: Festival Site Map

5. Get Your Branding Organized

Incorporate your brand elements into the program design. Use brand colors and include your logo, website, social handles, and event hashtags. Ensure consistency with your other marketing assets.

Event poster featuring sponsor logos Image source: Event poster featuring sponsor logos

6. Acknowledge Your Sponsors

If you have sponsors, include their logos in your program. Acknowledge their contributions and keep them in good graces for future events.

7. Include Additional Details

Consider adding emergency contact information, a list of vendors, frequently asked questions, speaker bios, or paid advertisements if space allows. Be mindful not to clutter the program.

Where to Find Event Program Templates?

Creating an event program can be time-consuming, but several resources offer templates to simplify the process. Eventbrite provides a free event program template, while websites like Canva, Venngage, and Adobe offer various templates (some require a subscription).

Example of event program templates on Venngage Image source: Example of event program templates on Venngage

Expert Design Tips to Make Your Program Stand Out

If you're creating an event program yourself without a design background, follow these expert tips to achieve a professional look:

1. Use High-Resolution Images

Ensure your program's images are high-resolution to provide a visually pleasing experience for your audience. Avoid using low-resolution or distorted images that may appear blurry when printed.

2. Don't Overload the Design

Keep your program design simple and clutter-free. Avoid busy layouts that can be overwhelming, especially when printed. Shorten text boxes and prioritize essential information.

3. Stick to Commonly Used Dimensions

Most event programs are A5-sized, which is half the size of a standard A4 piece of paper. A smaller format reduces noise, allows for easy storage, and keeps the program concise. Consider using a brochure or tri-fold format if you need more space.

Use an Event Program Template for Efficiency

Creating an event program doesn't have to be a daunting task. By utilizing a template and customizing it to your needs, you can streamline the process and ensure a memorable experience for your attendees. Remember to keep the design professional, focus on essential information, and align it with your branding. With these tips, you'll create an outstanding event program that impresses your guests.

Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning, management, and marketing platform. It offers various tools to reach a wider audience, automate email marketing, track event success, and manage ticketing and event pages.

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