Distribution,  Ideas & TIps,  Planning

How to Throw a Distribution Event

By Nicole Hammond, Creator Studio Training and Content Manager

What is your school doing to celebrate the distribution of your yearbook?

Coming together to plan a yearbook distribution event that the entire school can participate in and appreciate, is a worthwhile project. A distribution event not only showcases all of the hardworking students who helped bring the publication to life, but it also celebrates the student body as a whole by sharing their memories and promoting the yearbook as a crucial part of school experience. 

Ideas that work for any distribution event:

Raffle Tickets and Prizes

Find local businesses to sponsor and donate items for a raffle prize giveaway! And, sell raffle tickets to students, staff and family who attend. This highlights and recognizes local businesses’ brands, while fundraising money for items the yearbook program needs. Don’t forget to create a big “thank you” sign for the businesses!

Signing Table

Set up an area where students can go to sign each other’s yearbooks. Have teachers and coaches stationed at the table, so students can receive their signatures also.

Yard Games

Create a fun hangout spot that no one wants to miss! Yard games are an inexpensive way to create fun. Ask students, teachers and friends to bring their own yard games and help set up a game area. 

Local Entertainment

Invite a local band or student entertainment group to perform at your event. This gains exposure for the group, and brings more people to your yearbook event.

Ordering Table

There will be students and other people who will realize that they missed out on ordering a great book!  Have a staff member at a table with a computer available so that anyone who wants to place an immediate order of the book will be able to! You might also consider having some blank sheets available for those students to gather friends’ signatures, and then they can slide those sheets into the book when it is delivered to them.

Slideshow of Photos

Let’s face it, there will always be photos that did not make the yearbook – there are just so many! Start a slideshow of all the photos that did not make the book. Students will enjoy seeing themselves and thinking back to the great memories from the year.

So it is time to let you in on a secret…all of these ideas for a distribution event WILL help increase sales for next year!

WHOA! Wait. Did we say use distribution to increase sales? Yep! What better way to make sure you capture new sales for next year, than to make a big deal of this year’s book and increase interest and desire?  

This is the single BIGGEST advertising opportunity of your year! At no other time will the entire student body be focused on the yearbook! Use this to your advantage and throw the party!

Stay with us – we are not suggesting elaborate or expensive party planning!  If you need supplies for the distribution event/signing party, consider reaching out to local businesses to donate: snacks, markers, games, etc. just keep it simple!

Use some, or all, of the ideas listed above to get all of the students together; and the students who didn’t purchase, will get their hands on a book (because, you know, they’re signing everyone else’s)!

Whether you are the yearbook staff that would be planning this event, or you are in charge of a yearbook staff, use the above ideas and suggestions to plan now for this year’s event or wait until next year, but it is never too early (or late) to start thinking!

And, if you want to plan the event around your yearbook’s theme, take a look at the following examples of signing party ideas using some of our Creator Studio themes.

Carnival Theme

Work with the PTO and/or local rental companies to get popcorn and cotton candy machines (and inflatables if you’re feeling bold!)

Have the phys. ed. teacher create fun “game” stations.

Ask the art teacher to create a spin-art or tie-dyeing station.

Building Block Theme

Hand out bags of building block candies!

Ask families to donate used blocks and set up building stations (after the party, donate the blocks)

Hold contests for tallest, strongest, etc. creations! 

Watercolor Theme or Doodle Theme

Have small Sharpie packs available with each book, so doodles can be colored, and books signed.

Get permission to create a mural for the school on painter’s cloth. Give the students a turn to draw a doodle and sign their names.

Or, use watercolors and allow them to create an abstract mural and then add character words to inspire their peers.

Download the cover template (from TheYearbookFiles.com) and allow them to design a cover for 2022. Then vote on the winners!

Social Media Theme

Set up a photo booth – use the cover colors for photo props.  Design and print signs that say “I’m in!” (like “in” the book), “I <3 this book”, “ #ourstory”, etc.

Create a hashtag unique to your school using the theme: #OurSHSstory, #OurstoryPHS

Encourage students to post their photo booth images and offer prizes for the funniest, craziest, happiest images (maybe Starbucks or Amazon cards as the prize).

Yearflix/Coming Soon Theme 

Host a drive-in movie night and show a movie about school: The Breakfast Club; Middle School- Worst Year of My Life; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Dead Poet’s Society; Kindergarten Cop; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; High School Musical; Freedom Writers; or, any other movie your community would like!  

Start the evening with coming attractions – the yearbook!  Film interviews with the staff; explain the theme for the year; acknowledge those who worked on the book; include a montage of images which didn’t make it into the book.

Have bags of popcorn and drinks available for everyone as they drive into the parking lot, and hand out refreshments and the yearbook!

This has been a memorable year, and the yearbook is an important part of that! Using any, or a few, of these distribution event ideas will keep people talking about your book all summer long!