In today’s episode of Event Ninja News I answer Marcus’ question, “How do I create an event timeline?”
Watch this week’s episode for my full description or keep reading for a quick overview.
Great question Marcus!
An event timeline or project plan, is a really important step in the event management process, but one that many event managers struggle with.
For me, it’s a TWO STEP process…
I use good old trusty excel and create 4 columns along the top:
- Task – a brief description of the task
- Details – more detailed information about the task
- Assigned To – who is responsible for the task
- Due Date – when does it need to be completed by
Then down the page I create a heading for each section of my specific event, for example Venue, Catering, Printing, Speakers, etc.
These headings will serve as a prompt to start filling the tasks that need to be completed. Start with the easy stuff… plug in the dates you know,like when does the caterer need final numbers?
Then for the bigger tasks, work backwards from your event date. You’ll need to take your time and do some research, like calling suppliers (printers, graphic designers, etc.) to ask them how long you need to allow for them to complete their portion of the larger task.
Don’t worry if you don’t have everything in there from the start, keep building your event timeline as you go and eventually you will create a great template to use for future events.
For me, I like to enter my tasks into a calendar (rather than a Gantt Chart). If your brain works in a Gantt chart kind of way (mine doesn’t!), then go right ahead and create one. If you’re more like me though, let’s have a look at what I do in step 2.
Here is a link to an example of how I go about creating my finished timeline. I have left a few prompts within the example to get you started.
It has 6 columns along the top:
- Day of the Week
- Assigned To
Then I just fill in all the details from Step 1. Now, the only problem you have is sticking to it (or getting other people to stick to it!)!
Do you have any tips creating an event timeline? I’d love to hear your ideas. Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply.
Keep running events, connecting people and changing lives.
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