Quick Guide: Event Programs

Quick Guide: Event Programs

Generally speaking, events fall into one of two categories these days: in-person or virtual. Regardless of the format of your event, programs are a valuable asset. They act as a schedule that everyone can benefit from – the guests, the hosts, the entertainment, and especially you, as the planner. 

Programs are going to look different depending on the format of your event. 


While all programs need to be visually appealing, it is especially important when it comes to an online event. As the programs for this style of event are likely delivered via Email you don’t want them to be mistaken as junk mail because they are too flashy. 

Designing your program as a photo and inserting it into an email is the easiest way to have free reign over your design. This way your design won’t be misformatted through the various email portals and formats of your guests’. 

When emailing a program you must also keep in mind things like subject headlines and your own email portal. If you choose to send out your program through your own email be sure to BCC your guests instead of CC-ing them – this keeps your guest lists private. Your subject heading should address what your event is and label the email as a program. While it may be tempting to use a flashy subject line if it’s not immediately recognizable there is a good chance that your email will get tossed into the junk folder. 


If your event is in person aesthetics are still important and should match the theme and decor of your event. When choosing your colors and fonts be aware of the lightning in your venue. If the lighting is poor or dim text against a high contrast background will be easier for guests to read. Printed programs should be no more than half a size of a standard piece of paper. Anything bigger and they take on a flyer format. 

Tip: A standard sheet of paper folded in two becomes a four-page program! 

When printing your programs be aware of how many you are printing. While it may be tempting to print more than enough for your guests, you often don’t need to. Not all guests will want a program and many will come in pairs or groups. You can avoid the awkward shuffle at the door for programs by placing one on every other chair. This method saves on paper and printing fees!

TIP: Stationing a few programs around the venue in addition to the ones placed on chairs is convenient for guests.

Events are fun, but they can be chaotic without a schedule of some sort. A program gives an event structure. Whether your event is as long as a wedding or as quick as a short presentation, guests will appreciate knowing what is happening when. A program with a scheduled start time (that allows for mingling) also acts as a deterrent against late arrivals with a window of time for guests to arrive.