By Cyrena Hillyard
What makes a great event book? Well of course it all starts with the information. You can’t have an event book full of pretty pages without any real details. Once you’ve gathered the content, and it’s likely to be a LOT of content, you will want to make sure it’s easily readable and the content is searchable. You may have 20 pages or 200 pages, but if they aren’t separated clearly and thoughtfully into sections with visible dividers, you’re going to spend a lot of time searching for that one vendor contact or park opening hours. When you’re getting pulled in a million different directions on event day, having answers to all of your questions in easy-to-find places will make the day run that much smoother.
We recently worked on a project where we produced 59 events on one day and executed 30 of those. That’s a lot of event books, and a lot of pieces of information to wrangle! To create the most useful tool, we worked through the following steps:
- Created an outline of all the content available, including contact information, schedules, vendor information, tent orders, table and chair counts, site layouts and more.
- Grouped similar content into relevant sections.
- Created a branded, visually pleasing but easily printable design.
- Created title page dividers with a stripe of color down the right side, so that even if we didn’t have old school tabs in a binder, there was an obvious visible break in the content to find each section.
- Included a master table of contents, plus each divider page listed what was found in that section and key notes about that info.
- Made sure the most important piece of content for a particular section is what was placed first in that section.
- Made sure the most important content overall appeared earliest in the book: Imagine handing your event book to an event day volunteer who wasn’t involved in any of the planning and didn’t have time to read it all. What would they need to know?
- Used color for accents and to call out important information and reminders.
- Created both digital and printable formatted versions. Everyone has a different idea of what will work best for them.
With these few steps, we found our event books very useful. It took a little testing and practice to make sure we had a format we liked before we dove in and created 59 of them!
Spending that little extra time at the beginning and thinking carefully about how the visuals could support the information went a long way to making an event book anyone could pick up and have an idea of what they’re looking at and how to use it.