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Festivals Toolkit: Strategic Planning: Time Schedules

Once you have developed a full plan for the festival, then you need to put together a timetable of what needs to be done when, to ensure that you have sufficient time for all tasks. You can find a sample timetable in the Related Documents section of this page.

List all key areas of work and tasks that need to be completed prior, during and after the festival. Remember to think about the following key aspects (if appropriate):

  • Set dates for your festival as soon as possible, so they can be advertised at an early stage;
  • Plan a timescale for setting and reviewing your budget and a fundraising schedule, as most funding bodies take several weeks or months to consider your application, and will discount any expenditure incurred prior to confirmation of their award;
  • Plan your marketing and publicity campaign well in advance as some magazines have very long lead times.

Flow Chart
A simple flow chart can help you to think about all the tasks that need doing, and in what order.

Gannt Chart
A Gannt chart, which can be downloaded from the Related Documents section of this page, is a useful tool for working out when activities should begin, how long they will take, and which tasks can be carried out concurrently. They can be drawn up on paper or using a spreadsheet.  You can also purchase specific project management software, which will help you produce Gannt Charts. The basic format is to have time along the top using an appropriate scale (days, weeks or months), and activities down the side. You need to work back from the date of your event, and fill in when each activity should take place, and how long it will take to complete. You could begin with a chart covering the 12 months leading up to your event, with general activities marked. As you approach the time of your event, you could draw up another much more detailed chart covering the last few weeks, and then a final chart covering the last few days.

Read more on the use of Critical Path Analysis (CPA) as a scheduling tool, a more advanced version of a Gantt chart by viewing the document in the Related Document sections of this page.

Related documents

The following document is in Word format. You can download software to view Word documents for free from the Word viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.

The following documents are in Excel format. You can download software to view Excel documents for free from the Excel viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.

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