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Jan 12, 2015    Views: 4580    By admin

The End of the Program Book?


With so many competitions using our DCG Events app, we are beginning to wonder - are program books becoming obsolete? Your initial reaction is most likely ‘No, they are not.’ But when you look at the big picture, the history of similar trends, and compare the two options, your opinion may change.
Our Opinion.

Program books aren't going anywhere. People want program books because they want something they can hold and take home from a competition as a memory of the experience. This will likely never change. The DCG Events app is designed to work alongside the program book to enhance the experience of it, and also provides a number of benefits that aren't even related to it. In the years to come, we will likely see the majority of competitions offering an app. These competitions will also offer a program book, just as they always have. 
With that being said, let's dive in and review the situation from a deeper perspective.
What is the purpose of a program book?
A program book is used for a few key reasons. It displays the competition schedule, provides an area to record notes and results, and is a nice memento to take home from the competition. It also provides other benefits such as judge bios, articles on past title winners and advertisements of other locations or vendors. Can an app really replace these items? Let’s look at the top 3.
1. Competition Schedule – Yes, an app can display this and in a better format. The schedule in an app is updated as the schedule changes where as a printed schedule is not updated and can become outdated quickly.
2. Record notes and results – Yes, an app can record notes and completely removes the need to write down results because the competition can publish these into the ‘Results’ section at the end of each award ceremony.
3. A memento to take home – No, the app can’t cover this. But it can keep a record of photos, videos and results from a competition location that you can view years down the road. 
What are the limitations of program books?
Program books are costly to print, expensive to buy and don’t provide updated information. The content is limited and not interactive. 
What does an app do differently?
An app is free to add content to, costs less for the spectators to purchase, and provides updated information. The type of content and features are endless and can be made interactive. An app can host contests, allows the audience to vote on awards (like the DCG Events apps People’s Choice Awards), display live photos and videos, track results, and even form a communication tool between the studios and the event staff via announcements and push-notifications. This is a step in the right direction in a world growing more social.
Will offering an app affect dance competition revenue from reduced program book sales and advertisements?
This is a common question we get asked while discussing the app with dance competitions. Dance competitions are businesses (including non-profit) and require revenue to survive. They make money from selling program books and don’t want to loose this revenue. Will an app take this away from this revenue? No it will not, and here is how it will increase it. A program book is costly to print, and this means they are sold at a higher price. An app can be sold for less to the customer and maintain a higher profit margin then a program book. This is a win-win situation. The customers pay less and the competition makes the same amount of profit. On top of this, the customer is getting much more value with the extra features the app provides and live content. This could result in an increase in sales. This increase in readers is better for advertisers. The result is an increase in revenue, not the opposite.
History does tend to repeat itself.
Years ago, when our registration software came onto the scene, we heard similar screams. Today, in 2015, if your competition doesn’t offer online registration system it is hard to compete with those that do. Dance studios and dancers expect online registration because it has so many benefits for them. This could be similar to what will happen to dance competitions and program books. Will your competition be one of the innovators and standout from the crowd? Or will you be a late adopter and catch-up with the others down the road?

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