Setting a Stress Free Timeline for Your Program Books!

Creating a program book is very time consuming and can be daunting! Setting due dates for yourself, the studio owner, and for ad submissions will make this process much easier and less stressful. The biggest benefit, along with your sanity, is giving time for parents to submit “star” ad requests and businesses to advertise to make your programs truly profitable.

1. To make your timeline, start by marking your calendar with a Printing Submission Due Date (PSDD). Many online printers will give free or reduced delivery if ordered 2-4 weeks in advance. This is definitely a time to be an early bird! Contact your printer to see how long printing/delivery will take. From there, work backward from your recital date, leaving at least 1-2 weeks extra for a buffer.

2. Once you have determined your PSDD (Printing Submission Due Date) you will need to set a date to send out Parent Ad information along with their due date. This can be 1-2 months before your PSDD, always leaving at least 1 week for any late submissions along with time to create and set the ads in the program before the PSDD.

3. Next, set your own due dates to keep you on track.

- Cover Page: We suggest designing your Recital art work/logo as soon as you pick your theme. This can then be used as the art work for your Cover Page. This is so important to have a truly cohesive theme to your show. This artwork can be used for all communications with your parents for the show along with tee shirts, teddy bears, etc. that you may be selling.

-Student Names are checked for correct spelling: This should be checked from the time students register but we suggest printing the cast list and have parents double check the spelling and then teachers check that all students are listed. This should be done 4-8 weeks before PSDD

-Routine lists/order: We all know this is hard!! Setting this up is daunting but when it is done, everything falls into place. We suggest having this done no later than 4-6 weeks before PSDD to allow time for teachers to review for any issues.

-Studio Pages: Studio pages consist of cast lists, routine lists, Acknowledgment Pages, Thank you pages. This due date should be 2-4 weeks before the PSDD. You will need to time for proofing and any editing that may need to be done.

-Program Draft: This should be 1-2 weeks before PSDD. It can take time to proof program books. You want to set this date to allow yourself time to proof not only the initial program draft, but the final program draft.


By having your due dates BOLDLY marked in your calendar, you will stay on time and stress free! If you are using a service to create your program book. We recommend contacting them as soon as you decide on your Theme and PSDD so that you can work together making a truly beautiful and profitable program book!

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