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  • Pageant Program Printing: 10 Steps to Success

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    Booklets, Digital Printing

    Pageants are glamorous, and pageant program printing should reflect that. If you’re involved with a pageant at any level, you may have been given the task of pageant program printing. This is a big job, but you can handle it with the help of templates, free graphics, and some organization. So, take a deep breath, start planning, and get ready to read our best tips for creating great-looking pageant booklets.

    What Is a Pageant Program Printing?

    A pageant program is a schedule of events that take place during a pageant. Pageant program printing tells the pageant attendees what to expect during the event. They provide a list of events, starting times, and the approximate length of time that each will take.

    They also tell the story of the pageant, including its history and who’s behind it. Finally, the pageant program printing gives an overview of the contestants, with brief bios and photos. The goal of pageant program printing is to provide information, but it should also get attendees—and contestants—excited about the big day.

    Why Pageant Program Printing Matters

    Pageant programs serve many purposes:

    • They are a way to sell advertising to pay for the program and other pageant costs.
    • Audience members enjoy reading them.
    • They celebrate the contestants and allow them all to shine.
    • Pageant program printing highlights the arduous work your pageant team has done.
    • They give your pageant a glamorous and professional image.
    • Many family members, judges, and contestants keep pageant program printing to remember the big day.

    For these reasons, it’s important to get your pageant program printing right.

    Pageant Program Printing: Start Your Planning

    Do you know what to put in your pageant program? To get started, take a notebook or several loose sheets of paper. Jot down all the events you know you must include. Don’t worry about the order they happen yet—just get them down on paper to make sure you’ve covered everything

    When you start thinking about what to include, think in terms of someone who’s coming in cold and has no idea what’s involved in the pageant. Ask yourself:

    • When is the official “kickoff” of the pageant, and what event marks this? Is it a reception, a stage event, or an announcement? Make sure the program includes this information.
    • Who is the emcee (MC) for the event?
    • Who are the pageant organizers and sponsors?
    • What happens the first day? What times do these activities happen, and where can people find them?
    • What happens the second day? Ask yourself the same questions about the first day.
    • Is there a location designated as an “information/help” area where people can find out what’s happening and where to go?
    • Who are the contestants?

    As you start writing this information, you’ll see you have a lot of raw, unorganized information. Now, you can begin putting it into an organized form. For most pageant programs, the contents should include:

    • Welcome note
    • Introduction to the pageant and its history
    • Description of the organizers and chief sponsors
    • Schedule of events
    • Contestant photos
    • Final notes

    Assign the Work

    Do you have a team involved in your pageant program printing? If so, it’s time to hand out work assignments for the photographs, copy writing, and sponsorship information. If you’re a one-person operation, don’t worry, you can do this.

    Pageant Program Printing: 10 Steps to Success

    Once you’ve decided what’s going into your pageant programs, you can start putting them together and getting them ready to print.

    1. Start with a page count

    How many pages will you need? Since most pageant program printing is booklet-sized, it’s best to use a page count that’s a multiple of 4. This is a good time to decide what kind of binding you’ll use for your pageant program printing. The best choices are perfect binding or saddle stitch.

    2. Get your photos ready

    You will need photographs of the event organizers, judges, contestants, and the MC. You may already have many of these to hand. If not, begin compiling them now, or schedule some photo sessions to get them done. Using digital photography is easy and makes for a seamless transition to pageant program printing. If you’re printing in color, make sure all the photos are in color.

    3. Write pageant copy

    Now that you’ve figured out what you’re putting in the program, you need to know who’s going to write the program. If you’re in charge of pageant program printing, you may also be the one responsible for writing all the program copy.

    If so, focus on keeping your writing clear and simple. Use short sentences and divide your writing into clearly defined paragraphs. It may be helpful to use headings and subheadings to make your program easier to read.

    Whether you do the writing or assign someone else to the task, always finish with careful proofreading. Grammar and spelling mistakes will make your program look amateurish and unprofessional.

    4. Pull together sponsor ads

    If you have sponsors who have helped pay for the event or the program, gather them up. Ask your sponsors to send you printed or pdf versions of their ads.

    5. Do a paper mockup

    Before you start designing your program, begin by folding or stapling together several sheets of paper to create a mockup. Use the same number of pages that you determined you’ll need, keeping in mind that you can always change your mind.

    Look at each page, starting from the cover. Jot down what you want on each page, whether it’s text, pictures, or ads from sponsors. Once you have your rough layout on paper, you can start working on the actual design and layout.

    6. Use a template

    Ideally, your budget includes the cost of hiring a graphic designer. Even if it doesn’t, you can still put together a pageant program that’s attractive and easy to read. With the help of a customizable template, you just insert your text and pictures. You can get program templates from Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, Etsy, or Canva. Templates make quick work of layout and design, so save yourself time and headaches by using one.

    7. Choose artwork

    Artwork and illustrations will make your program come alive. You can find free and free-to-use artwork from several sites. Choose graphic elements that reflect your pageant’s brand and colors. Be creative, but don’t cram too many images onto each page. Keep your layout clean with a few well-chosen graphic elements.

    8. Insert the ads

    Don’t forget to include sponsorship ads. They paid for this placement, so treat the ads they’ve submitted with care. Make sure you include their business cards, if you have them, and their company logos.

    9. Create your first rough draft

    Working with a template makes it easy to insert your photos, text, illustrations, and ads. When you browse the available templates, you’ll find dozens of usable, professionally designed layouts and color schemes. One of them is perfect for your pageant program.

    Work on your template until you have a rough draft. Print it out, so you can get a good idea of what the final booklet will look like. Now, you can make any changes or corrections.

    10. Get your programs professionally printed

    Once you’re happy with the final design, it’s time to print the programs. Although your budget may be tight, you should never skimp on printing. Professional printing will make even the simplest, most basic programs look sleek and professional.

    Tips for Gorgeous Pageant Programs

    • Create an eye-catching cover. Your cover should stand out with a visually arresting image or photograph. Choose a rich color to give your program the glamorous look that’s fit for a pageant.
    • Make it shine. Glossy paper is an excellent choice for a pageant program because it gives a look of luxury.
    • Thank your sponsors and attendees. Set aside a page to thank everyone who made the pageant possible. Emphasize how much you appreciate their support.

    Wear the Winner’s Sash

    When it’s time for pageant program printing, you deserve the winner’s sash of great customer service, affordable rates, and a personal touch. You get all that and more at Dazzle Printing.


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