The Perfect Blend: Exploring the Hybrid Model for Performing Arts Program Books

Do you wish you could offer the easy access of digital program books while still sharing the tangible enjoyment of a paper program book? With a hybrid performing arts program book model, you can do exactly that. The hybrid model allows you to blend the best elements of both formats, creating an unbeatable offering for your audience members. Let’s explore the features and benefits of both formats below and take a closer look at exactly how a hybrid model can be achieved.

The Advantages of a Hybrid Program Book Model

A hybrid model includes a digital program book element at its core. This brings several advantages: easy, convenient access to the program book via text message, always up-to-date program information, and an interactive audience experience. For example, audience members can click on links and options that interest them, complete feedback surveys, and even access personalized promotions. 

Printed program books bring their own unique attraction as well. They serve as a keepsake for that special performing arts event, a physical memento that audience members can cherish and share. Many people even collect the program books for the entire season or for a favorite performer. Those paper pages serve as a tangible reminder of that special memory. 

The hybrid model then combines the best of both worlds by presenting a well-designed digital program book complemented by a short, streamlined paper program book. By pairing the two together, audience members receive all of the benefits of digital content design, presentation and delivery, combined with the tangible keepsake that is the paper program book. This comprehensive approach can enhance audience engagement during performances. The digital component provides additional context and enriches the experience.  And the printed piece contributes to the overall engagement and creates a sense of connection.

Designing the Digital Component of a Hybrid Model

Preparing the digital program portion of the hybrid model is extremely important because this includes so much more than just sections of text and links. You can explore interactive features that will engage, educate and entertain audience members like integrated multimedia content (like videos, audio clips, and image galleries), interactive timelines, artist profiles, and behind-the-scenes insights. Thoughtfully placed feedback surveys and questionnaires will also increase audience engagement while providing valuable audience insight.

Complementing with the Printed Piece

While the digital program book showcases the performance and engages the audience members virtually, the hybrid model adds the printed program book component to round out the experience. This piece complements and supplements the digital portion. So, you don’t need to recreate the whole program! Keep it short and simple, no more than a well designed tri-fold, or at the most, an 8-page traditional size program book. The goal is to provide a memorable keepsake that not only serves as a physical guide but also adds some extra details for a memorable experience. 

Practical Strategies for Implementing Hybrid Digital Program Books

As you consider implementing a hybrid model for program books, it may help to have a broad strategy or set of goals in mind. Think about some of the high level aspects like content creation, design, and technology integration.  The Audience Access platform, for example, provides a dashboard for managing content, design, and delivery for digital program books. Then, divide the initiative into manageable steps that you can tackle in phases, stopping for feedback and change as you go. 

Making the Hybrid Model Work for You

A successful hybrid program book model relies on crafting just the right blend of digital innovation and printed tradition. So, when you’re ready to take the next step,  sign up for our Free Community version of Audience Access, where you can try these features in the real world.  We also invite you to stay connected with our blog for more exciting updates on performing arts innovations.

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