Programme booklet

Your programme booklet can be anything from a single sheet of paper with some minimal information to a 40-page volume. In fact, you don’t even need to have one at all, but it is a nice thing to have - useful at the time, a souvenir that people can keep and a record for future events.

How long it is and what gets put in it depends on what you consider its purpose to be, but at any rate, a programme booklet that doesn’t give attendees an easy way to find out what’s happening when is not worth the effort - so make that a priority.


Put key information, that people will need to refer to often, towards the front and the back of the booklet.

The two middle pages - if the programme booklet is saddle-stitched, which is most likely the case - are also a good place to put key information, because the booklet will natually fall open at these pages.

Contents can include:

  • a description of talks and speakers
  • maps
  • code of conduct
  • sponsor advertisements
  • an at-a-glance listing of sessions - this is best placed in a double-page spread across the final page and inside back cover, or across the two middle pages
  • contact information
  • thank-yous


If you’re not already familiar with your printer’s requirements, or indeed with print industry standards, find out exactly what you need to supply well in advance, and don’t assume you know what it is until you do.

For example…


Likely most of the images you supply and work with are in RGB colourspace; printers work with CMYK.

RGB images will be a little duller and darker when printed, and there may be some some strange anomalies. Things that might appear identical on screen can look remarkably different in print.


Usually printers will want to be provided with files that incorporate a bleed width of around 3mm. The simplest way to do this if you’re not using professional-level software for preparing your materials is to use custom page or canvas sizes that incorporate the extra bleed width.

Number of pages

A printed booklet must have a number of pages divisible by four, including its inner and outer covers.

Send a draft version to test the process

You don’t want to be dealing with unexpected glitches when you have a print deadline, so send your printers a draft version of the programme booklet two months before the event starts. You’ll soon find out whether there are any problems looming, and you’ll also discover how helpful and friendly the printers and willing to spend time solving your problems - an equally important thing to know.


Any mistakes you make will be in print forever. Just saying.