September 1, 2011 / The Big Event

Share Your Promotion Ideas

Written by Idea File Staff

The best ideas for a successful distribution party come from advisers just like you who have held events in the past. Read what these advisers have to say.

“Yearbook delivery is a big deal at Chanute High School.  We save the signing party for our seniors’ last day.  Students congregate in the commons area to acquire their yearbook and to get friends, teachers and other staff members to sign.  We serve popcorn, it is a big party to celebrate our seniors. Prior to the big event, poster-size copies of the yearbook index pages are posted in the commons area with a big sign that says, ‘What page are you on?’ This sparks interest and sales!”
– Submitted to the Walsworth website

“Senior supper in June for them to receive their books first and have fun doing it with dancing and food.  They usually honor a teacher as well that night.”
– Submitted to the Walsworth website

“We are creating magnet fliers to put by the PA system in each class. This way students will look at it while announcements are being read!”
– Submitted to the Walsworth website

“Have a day where the yearbook staff is promoting yearbook and the principal is talking on the stage. Then the cops come and take her/him away and as she/he is getting arrested, the yearbook staff pops out of the curtains and starts taking pictures.”
– Jillian Arian, Center Middle School, Covina, Calif.

“We do a simple ‘Get it Early’ party each year. $5 gets you your book on the Friday before distribution week, unlimited soda, otter pops (both donated) and a nacho bar (we trade a quarter page ad for culinary and they prepare and staff it). We make enough each year to fund a few scholarships to yearbook camp and it lessens the lines at regular distribution dramatically.”
– Dave Beal, adviser, Windsor High School, Windsor, Calif.

“Two weeks before distribution we copy our index, paste it into Word, enlarge the font size to 48 pt. and print the whole index out horizontally on brightly colored paper (which matches our color theme for our distribution party–staff shirts, posters, etc., are all the same color). We then cut apart each student’s name and pages strip and tape them up ALL over campus–ceilings, walls, railings, everywhere. The students go crazy finding their names and seeing what pages they’re on–the anticipatory buzz all over campus is incredible!
– Joanna Burns, adviser, Westlake High School, Westlake Village, Calif.

“Taos High School Yearbook sponsors a Talent Show.  In between acts we play ‘Minute To Win It’ type games, or share ‘Stupid Human Tricks.’ After the Talent Show we have lunch, then distribute yearbooks.”
– Submitted by Taos High School

“Don’t give the yearbooks out too early… the signing party should be late in the afternoon and close to the last day of school or the yearbooks seem to be a big distraction. Children enjoy it even if you just call it a party and let them get together with all other students who purchased the yearbook. The others will buy one just to be included in the afternoon of signing… just about an hour seems to be good.”
– Submitted to the Walsworth website

“I like any idea that involves the least amount of work or expense on my part. So the yearbook signing party at my school is hosted by our director of alumni relations. If your school doesn’t have one, it probably has a parent’s club or an alumni president. Our director sends out postcards to all seniors announcing when the yearbooks will arrive, she buys the ice cream and toppings, she reserves the commons, she buys the pens, and she gets parents to serve. All I do is bring the books and insert a special bookmark with information on how to stay in touch with the Alumni Office.”
– Matt Hallauer, adviser, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (Overland Park, Kan.)

“I had my staff create handmade invitations. In 2010 we cut puzzle piece shapes out of scrapbook paper with a Cricut (2010 pieces). Last year, I had them splatter paint poster boards which we then cut up to make the invites (we had a water color visual theme in our book). I organized all of the invitations by homerooms and the students came by at lunch the day of the Distribution Party to pick up the invite. I also promoted through announcements and the TV announcements.”
– Jessica Brantley, adviser, Burke County High School (Waynesboro, Ga.)

“Ours isn’t really promoted, we just build it into the school calendar. The high school and the middle school each host their own party, and the high school yearbook staff spends the day making sure everything is set up and all of the yearbooks are where they are supposed to be.  We have a fall delivery book, so it’s a great time to ring in the new year and look back on the previous year.

“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that, like everything else in Yearbook, an autograph party is a ‘checklist’ event.  Make a list, check it thrice, and keep yourself organized.  If you can manage to get the yearbook staff out of class for the day to work, that will really help get the job done.  We haven’t had food or drink at ours, because it’s really short (an hour) and I feel like Coke and paper don’t mix well. Even without food and drink, a good sound system and some student-chosen music (if you trust your students) helps set the mood for a good time.”
– Andy Clinton, adviser, Saint James School (Montgomery, AL)

  • Mandy Cross

    I sell majority of my books within the first week of school by placing an order form I create in our “first day folder” that goes home with every student. The folder has every form students are required to return sign by parents. I also son’t give them the option of namestamping and icons. I automatically build it in the price, and include it for “free” up until Christmas break. People get sidetracked and frustrated with all the options, so I simply make the yes decision for them. We still make money off of them and it is much easier to track.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.