Hiring a performing arts program book partner to handle your season program books is an important decision. You want to make the best possible impression on your patrons, while also making the best decisions from a business perspective.

There are many important questions that you need to ask a potential program book publisher before you hire them to print your program books.

Below are 10 questions you should be asking when making this important decision for your performing arts organization.

Do you specialize in performing arts program book publishing?

Performing arts program books have a distinct look and feel. You want your patrons comparing your program to that of the most prestigious events they have attended, not the local middle school play. Having a performing arts program book publishing partner that has expertise in this area will ensure that your patrons are presented with exactly the information they need in a way that is familiar, easy to access, and professionally presented.

How and who will be selling the program book advertising?

Performing arts program book advertising sales is an important part of covering the costs for a print run. Doing all the work of lining up advertisers and accepting their advertising agreements puts a lot of extra responsibility on your plate that could be better spent on your performance. A good performing arts program book publishing partner will handle all the advertising for you, so you can focus on putting on the best performance possible for your patrons.

Do we get to keep our own branding, or do you use a template?

Your brand is important. You’ll want a performing arts program book publishing partner that can provide you with a customized program book that is built around your branding and not a generic template.

Do you offer a digital as well as a printed product?

Consumers today almost always have a digital device on them. Many prefer to consume content on that device rather than in printed form. A good performing arts program book publisher will provide you with a well-crafted mobile version of your program book so that your guests have the choice to consume the information in the way that they prefer. The mobile app should also be provided at no additional cost to your organization.

If you offer a digital product, can you data-mine your users for marketing purposes?

A good digital product of your performing arts program book will provide the opportunity to get valuable information about the type of people who visit your venue and attend your events. You’ll want to ask a potential performing arts program book partner if they are able to provide this information and how it can help your marketing efforts.

How flexible are you with deadlines?

You never know what unforeseen circumstances will crop up during a performance season. Will your potential performing arts program publishing partner be able to handle last-minute changes and quick turnaround times? You don’t want to wait until it is too late to find out that your publishing partner isn’t flexible.

What is your proofing process like?

Getting a proof and submitting revisions is an important part of the process. How many revisions does your potential performing arts program book publisher provide? Do they require the changes in a specific format? You’ll want to find a program book publisher partner that makes the process of going from first proof to finished product as smooth as possible.

What is your customer service like for us as well as the advertiser?

You’ll want a performing arts program book publishing partner that is available and prompt when problems or questions arise regarding your program book. Equally important, you’ll want them to provide that same level of top-notch customer service to the advertisers that are putting their money into your program books.

What is your delivery process like?

On time delivery is important to your performance. You’ll want to make sure that the performing arts program book publisher you deal with will not only get you your program books to you on time but also be able to answer questions about the delivery directly, rather than refer you to a third-party.

Do you offer digital signage for a total audience engagement package?

Your program books and mobile app are just two avenues to engage your patrons. Digital signage engages with your patrons in a way that your program books, your app, and printed posters throughout your venue simply cannot. They also give your venue an added level of professionalism. A performing arts program book publisher that offers digital signage, as well as printed program books and an app adds significantly to the value of your partnership. Good Selling!

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