Cutting Costs: Why Transitioning to Digital Program Books is a Smart Financial Choice for Performing Arts Organizations

As every performing arts organization knows, the need to cut costs is never-ending. Many organizations are starting to adopt a powerful new cost-cutting measure that brings instant savings, positive environmental impact, and happier patrons: switching to digital program books.

Cutting Costs in Program Books by Going Digital 

Digital program books provide an instant connection between you and your patrons, allowing you to interact with every audience member through their mobile device. They also cost significantly less to produce than paper program books. Instead of needing expensive printing supplies and extra space to store all those paper copies,  digital program books are created, reviewed, distributed and modified online by a few core team members. And best of all, the environmental impact is reduced because you don’t have to use reams and reams of paper for printing (or reprinting!) or drive all over town to pick up and deliver paper program books.

Convenience and accessibility are also important aspects of this digital experience. Patrons often pick up a paper program book only to later throw it away or leave it behind. Digital program books are always with you, always at your fingertips, and easy to access with a single click from the comfort of your own mobile device. No QR codes, no apps to download or install, and no confusing instructions to follow. Digital program books make performance content accessible and enjoyable for everyone, while still costing less to produce and distribute than paper programs.

How to Transition to Digital Program Books

Transitioning to digital program books should follow your timeline and your team’s availability. But rather than ‘flip the switch’ and aim for 100% digital content on day one, a better approach is to do a small run of digital program books in parallel with your paper content until you feel comfortable with the process. You can train a core group on the design and content upload steps and the distribution workflow. You can eventually adjust the program mix until your mainstay is digital content.

While saving money is a major factor, many find the flexibility of digital program content is an added benefit. In a recent interview, Jim Kelly, the President and CEO of the [Bethesda-based National] Philharmonic, noted they had been spending roughly $20,000 a year on printing programs for their concerts. They found the shift to digital programs offered appealing flexibility…. ‘If there’s any mistake [or] a last-minute change … we can do that literally moments before the concert starts,’ Kelly state

If you’re ready to consider transitioning to digital program books, or just want to learn more about how they work, contact us today. We can take you through the process and answer any questions, and help you get started with digital program books of your own.

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