Why Your Arts Organization Needs Digital Program Books in 2023

As we reflect on 2022, I think everyone in the performing arts industry can sum it up in three words: back to normal. BUT, those three words come with one big caveat. If you thought ‘back to normal’ meant going back to old habits, you probably had a massive wake-up call.

At the risk of sounding biased (but backing up that bias with some critical insights from tons of actual data), one of these old habits we have to break in 2023 is the printed program book.

With budgets and staffing dramatically reduced, pressure to reduce carbon footprints building every day, and inflation rippling through the economy, performing arts organizations that started the transition to digital program books are clearly on better footing going into 2023.  

We don’t have to tell you the obvious: program books enhance the audience experience at your performances. Not only do they provide audience members with important performance information, but they can also be a valuable source of revenue through advertising and sponsorships, helping to alleviate the budget issues mentioned above.

And you already know that traditionally, these program books are printed and distributed to attendees at the performance. But these program books are both a labor-intensive time-suck and an endless money pit, to put it lightly. And the problems were compounded in 2022 because of the staffing and inflation issues mentioned above. 

However, in today’s digital age, there is a better way to provide performance information to your audience: digital program books.

Reduced Costs & Reduced Carbon Footprint

One of the main benefits of using digital program books is the huge reduction in labor costs and carbon footprint impact. Imagine seeing your labor costs plummet by over 90% and your carbon footprint reduced by more than 94%.  With traditional printed program books, you had to worry about the cost and environmental impact of printing, storing, and distributing materials to patrons. But digital program books eliminate these issues because they can be accessed electronically by anyone with a smartphone or other mobile device.

A More Immersive Experience

Digital program books also provide your audience a more immersive and interactive experience. With traditional program books, the performance information is static and can only be accessed during the event. Digital program books, on the other hand, can include interactive elements such as videos, audio recordings, and links to additional information. This creates an engaging experience that your audience will relate to and remember. 

A Powerful Marketing Channel

Imagine knowing everyone sitting in your seats for any performance–what could you do with this insight? Once only a far-off wish, is now a reality when your digital program book is delivered through text message or email. This is the real power of making the transition to a digital program book, but in particular Audience Access with this powerful marketing channel built right into your dashboard.

Publish From Anywhere In The World

And best of all, digital program books can be easily updated and managed from anywhere in the world with a simple-to-use dashboard. Need to sell last-minute tickets? Simple to do. Changes to the line-up? No worries! Last-minute additions? No problem! Digital program books give you the flexibility to roll with the changes and communicate more personally with your patrons. This is particularly useful for organizations that host multiple events and need to constantly update their program book content.

One platform that offers all of these benefits and more is Audience Access. Trusted by top performing arts organizations across the United States, Audience Access allows you to create a sophisticated digital program book that delivers exclusive access to your events in new, intimate, and interactive ways. With tools for incorporating advertisers and sponsors, as well as SMS marketing to engage with your audience, Audience Access provides everything you need to create a truly unique and immersive experience for your attendees. 

So, the next time you’re planning an event, consider ditching the traditional printed program book in favor of a digital solution. Your audience, and the environment, will thank you.

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