Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Improve your banquet program

There's no excuse for an ugly or expensive banquet program, menu, or agenda. Look at what you're giving now and see if you can do it in-house with better quality, significantly less cost and/or more creativity.

A recently-married colleague noted his wedding had programs (pictured) made with bordered card stock, with silk flower and ribbon from craft store tied onto each. It made them beautiful.

Here are a few other ideas:

1. Personalize with pictures. Even if you use Microsoft word, photos are easy to add.
2. Upgrade your paper stock, look for designs or try glossy paper. Makes a huge difference.
3. Less is more. Challenge yourself to fit everything onto a single page, or single fold. Do you really think people read page after page - in the dark? Or take it home?
4. Check out the local craft store. Unique ribbons, silk flowers, stickers, scrap-booking art, and who knows what else may completely transform your brochure.

5. Templates can be your friend. Software programs have many options already available (e.g., Publisher), or search for/buy a pre-designed template online for a low fee.
6. Personalize the ribbon. Add the name of the association, the incoming officer, the theme. And tie that.

Other thoughts:

1. It's easy to copy/paste sponsor logos and meeting logos where YOU want them;
2. Your in-house copier may provide much higher quality results than you'd think;
3. Saving money. Don't have staff time to tie flowers onto programs as hundreds attend your event? Ask volunteers at ANY meeting you have if they'd stay after for an hour and help ... or bring in a temp for a few hours.

Anything you've done that changed-up your banquet programs?

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