23 Dec Why do you need an event timeline?
even for an experienced uk event planner, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start when planning an event. one of the very first tasks on our to do list is to create an event timeline. in the event planning services, we think a timeline is a must do for any and every event. luckily, we have provided some useful tips on how to create one and why they’re so important.
what is an event timeline?
an event timeline is a checklist, which works best in chronological order, of all the stages and steps involved in planning your event. it is usually long-term and depends on the nature of your event, and its size. for a smaller event such as a team building activity, the planning timeline might be just one or two months. for a large event like conferences with thousands of attendees, the event timeline could be 12 months in advance or longer.
what should you include in an event timeline?
an event timeline encompasses all aspects of the event, from initial conception through to the timetable for the event day itself. no matter how exhaustive your event timeline is, there’s always going to be something that you can’t control such as, a keynote speaker cancelling last minute or a lost delivery. it is therefore important to make a list of contingencies and consider building time for these into your timeline.
the first step in creating your timeline is to establish your event goals. we like to put together insights about a client using their website, social media or company values. this will support you when analysing the event objectives that the client has given you. after this, your event timeline should include all deadlines that need to be met, even after the event. from supplier deadlines to payment deadlines and venue site visits to the delegate invites, the more detailed your timeline is, the more useful it is.
an event timeline for the day of the event should be a meticulous timetable for you and your team. you could list when to arrive at the venue early for setup, what time entertainment arrives or when food should be served. this should also include delegating roles such as, what time your security should start registration or your team’s break times. as a uk event planner, covering every step in the planning process, in the right order, is essential to running an excellent event.
why is an event timeline so important?
events are never a one-person job. the event timeline will set expectations and deadlines for each individual involved in the planning process so they are all ready to go at the right time. without it, your internal and external teams will be confused and could make mistakes that means your event will suffer. in event planning services, effective collaboration with suppliers is crucial. it ensures a good relationship on the day of the event and that everyone who’s working on the event knows what to do when they arrive at the venue, without feeling stressed and micromanaged.
this is an obvious one! a good event timeline should include all deadlines, whether urgent or flexible. this will ensure you have a reference place and know how to prioritise tasks. we also like to use our delegate management system which is an easy way to meet deadlines with the event attendees directly such as reminders for registration and flight booking. in event planning services, you are always looking for ways to manage your time better and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
on top of your contingency plan, the event timeline is extremely useful if something goes wrong. by identifying potential problems and then integrating buffer time and alternatives into your timeline, you’ll be able to help prevent them from happening. having a timeline will also make sure that anyone in the team can deal with an incident even if the main event planner isn’t available. you should always be prepared to incorporate any necessary additions or changes and having an event timeline will ensure they won’t negatively impact the event.
stick to the budget
event expenses can easily add up and without proper organisation you can quickly go overbudget. however, your event timeline will help you to stick to your event budget, both for individual aspects of the event and the event itself. this is mainly because it will prevent any additional costs that are a result of poor planning such as, missing deposit deadlines or forgetting a crucial cost like additional av equipment.
ultimately, creating and following a detailed timeline will make planning your event easier for you and everyone involved. it gives you a guide to follow and ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
this is just an insight into how and why we use an event timeline but if you have a brief you want to discuss, get in touch today. we are experts in virtual and in-person events so call us on +44 (0) 207 659 4430 or get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.