Event Timeline Template

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Creating an Event Timeline Template

Planning successful events is all about timing! Putting proven processes in place at the right time allows for the effective execution and deployment  of each and every little  piece of the puzzle. Preparing an event timeline for your live or virtual event will give you guidance and ensure you won’t let the smallest details fall through the cracks.

Just like a great recipe, planning any event requires preparation for success. The amount of time it will take is often determined by outside forces and there is less time to plan than we’d like.  That’s okay!  You can use this event timeline to outline the pieces and then combine them into a custom event timeline.  

It takes a village to plan a successful event.  Bringing your team together early in the process is a great way to create the event timeline that best suits your events  needs.  Event planning doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  It takes all the talent from human resources, marketing, communications,  IT and operations to make the event happen seamlessly.

Event timelines allow you to create tasks and make assignments with due dates to keep your project on track.  Utilizing a project management platform like Asana, Basecamp, Monday or Smartsheet to help you manage your event timeline and prioritize tasks is key. This enables you to quickly refer to your event timeline and check off what’s completed and what still needs attention.

Where to Begin

Regardless of when you begin and how much time you have to pull it all together, focus on the essentials.  Decide where the event will take place and who you will partner with for larger responsibilities like audio visual and a virtual platform.  Additionally you’ll want to book entertainment and keynote speakers well in advance.  

Many times it makes sense to choose your audio visual partner in advance of a venue selection.  Your partner can assist you in site selection by looking at your space to ensure the venue is capable of bringing your vision to life.  They can also help remove 

With this event timeline template download, we’ll show you a way to pull off an event in as much as 12 months,  or 6 months, and in a crunch, as little as 12 weeks. 

The whole process can be broken into 3 parts: (1) the lead up (2) the event, and (3) and after the event. Each stage of the process requires careful attention. In this post, we will build an event timeline template so that you understand the process more clearly.  We will be focusing on the lead-up, which takes the most preparation. 


12 Month Event Timeline Template

12 to 9 Months Prior to the Event 

  • Identify your event goals
  • Decide on your budget
  • Select your Dates
  • Complete analysis of your previous event
  • Schedule demos with different virtual platforms
  • Identify your stakeholders
  • Designate Roles and Responsibilities
  • Select Major Vendors
  • Select Venue
  • Choose Travel Partner


8 to 6 Months Prior

  • Identify key elements to include in your event
    • A conference may include education, live engagement and networking, entertainment, exhibits, and sponsorships.
  • Evaluate virtual event platforms and software providers
    • Think about the key elements you want to include for your event when evaluating event platforms.
    • This will help determine eligible software providers based on the features of the platform
    • Choose Your Event URL 
  • Create graphics around your theme
  • Review demos and select your virtual event software
  • Recruit Speakers
  • Select a registration platform if you don’t already have one
  • Design graphics and wireframe for the event website and event platform
  • Develop and publish your event’s website
  • Begin event promotion

Don’t wait too long to begin your event promotion. Get the word out ASAP using social media, targeted email campaigns, and promoting to your key stakeholder groups to increase registrations

  • Create your sponsorship packages
  • Create your event agenda
  • Create a call for proposals for presenters
  • Solicit Sponsors
  • Open Registration & Room Block

5 to 3 Months Prior

  • Solicit proposals from printers
  • Create Signage graphics
  • Create a list and order supplies needed on-site
  • Solicit  proposals for florists, dj’s, photographers and remaining vendors
  • Book Travel

1 to 2 Months Prior

  • Schedule training for staff
  • Schedule training for speakers
  • Solicit your speaker’s presentations
  • Finalize your sponsors
  • Finalize show floor for exhibitors
  • Send another email, calling for content for your speakers.  Trust me, you’ll need to do this a few times. 
  • Order giveaways 
  • Create Run of Show timing

3 weeks Prior

  • Finalize Audio Visual needs
  • Update vendors on attendance counts
  • Finalize rooming lists for guest speakers and VIP’s
  • Finalize Delivery Times for all contracted vendors
  • Finalize Pick Up times for airport transportation

2 weeks Prior

  • Schedule rehearsal for presenters & Keynote speakers
  • Final call for content/updates on presentations and exhibitors
  • Ship supplies and signage to event venue
  • Create Production Document with contact information and load in/out schedules
  • Create Slide Decks

1 week prior

  • Final Walk-Through 
  • Rehearsal with speakers
  • Finalize Slide Decks
  • Print badges
  • Finalize meal counts
  • Finalize transportation schedules
  • Close online registration

Event Day

  • Set up on-site office
  • Open onsite registration desk
  • Post Breaks and Meal schedules 
  • Distribute conference guide or Display QR Code for conference app
  • Check meeting room set up and audio visual 2 hours before start time
  • Make sure your green room is open and a technician is present
  • Make sure sponsors are recognized and event changes are communicated

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