Constructing the Itinerary

Posted on 22/07/2013 by Chloe

An event itinerary is a step by step walkthrough of your event in its entirety. In chronological order, from the moment the first person steps on site to the moment the last steps off – every element of your event is pulled together to create an itinerary, which provides easy to follow guidelines for those involved in teh organisational process.

It’s your power document – your guide through the event so at any moment you can view what's being done at any time. The document should be circulated around your event team, the location and suppliers so everyone literally works from the same sheet.

Producing the itinerary just after contract will enable you to see future tasks that need to be actioned and will also throw up questions all involved may have. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I prefer queries and problems to arise prior to any event so they’re considered and sorted before the day. It’s all about preparation, preparation, preparation when it gets to this stage.

Below, is a sample Itinerary I use for events as soon as the venue has been contracted:

[Name of Event] Itinerary
[Location]
[Location Address]
Key Contacts:
Location
Suppliers
[Date] 
Time Description Room Layout Numbers
06:30 Event Team Arrival Reception NA 5
Notes 
06:45 Event Setup Library Cabaret  100
Notes 

Once your document has been created you can start inputting the information. Creating the backbone of your itinerary is the event brief. Include any additional elements that have been agreed since the initial brief.  From the point of confirmation keep the document open when you’re working on any aspect of the event so you can update it with amendments from the venue and supplier as they occur. The whole idea is to incorporate all essential components so you have all information to hand at all times.

There are many different ways to organise and maintain this live document but personally I colour co-ordinate the text in a very basic way so that everyone involved can identify with the document. Confirmed elements are in black and information to be confirmed or queries in red. Throughout the whole organisational stage, any queries you have or think about can be incorporated into the itinerary.

Once the core elements have been incorporated into the document, armed with a pad and pen take time to think from your guests’ perspective and run through the event jotting down any additional queries and actions. For instance, if accommodation is being provided and you have delegates arriving from overseas having perhaps had an early flight is there a way to check them into their rooms early subject to availability? Convert each query into an action on your itinerary i.e. request early check-in for a few rooms – cost implication?

As the logistics, menus, accommodation, numbers and organisational elements are finalised these will need to be incorporated into the document.