How to Import Events from CSV Files

Share This Posts

With a Timely account, you can import events from CSV files into your Journey calendar from any external source using our CSV import tool. Here’s a guide to creating a CSV file with your events.

CSV import is geared towards users who are technically savvy and understand how CSV files work. If this is not you, we recommend you import events using an ICS feed instead.

In the CSV file the field value separator is a comma (,), and the field value delimiter is a double quotation mark (). To import from CSV, you must specify the correct field names as the first row:

At the minimum, your first row should have these fields:


  • TYPE is always “vevent”
  • UID is the unique ID of the event
  • DTSTAMP is the time when the event was created
  • SUMMARY is the title of the event
  • DTSTART is the start time of the event
  • DTEND is the end time of the event

Each field value is assumed to be in strict RFC2445/5545 format. For example, date fields (DTSTART, DTEND, etc.) may be prefixed by TZID or VALUE DATETIME/DATE parameters.

For more information please see this GUIDE and download the following ​sample CSV file to structure your own CSV file.

Sample CSV

Please refer to this link to view and/or download a Journey Sample CSV.

print screen of the Journey Sample CSV file opened in Microsoft Excel.

Adding Other Fields To The CSV File

Other fields can be added but they must use strict RFC2445 property names. We perform extra parsing on certain fields to accommodate for common use cases.

  • DTSTART/DTEND: These can be either DATE or DATETIME values. The examples given on the linked pages are quite clear. It is strongly advised to specify a time zone, otherwise you may end up with unpredictably offset date and time values. Important: If you import a DATE, the event will be considered to be an all-day event. If it’s a DATETIME, it will be considered as not all-day.So, for example, if you have an all-day event for January 27, 2013, you should provide the value TZID=Europe/Rome:20130127 (assuming it is configured for the Rome time zone).
  • LOCATION: If the location field is in the format Venue @ Address or Venue – Address we detect this and import the fields accordingly. So Atomic Bar @ Via Felice casati 24 imports Atomic Bar as the venue and Via Felice Casati 24 as the Address. If the location field does not match this format but contains a comma (,) it is considered as an address; otherwise it is considered as a venue.
  • X-TICKETS-URL: This property is used to populate the Buy Tickets URL field.
  • X-COST: This property is used to populate the Cost field.
  • CONTACT: You can use this property to provide Contact Name, Phone, E-mail and External URL (contained in the Organizer Contact Info pane). To do so, you must separate the field names using semicolons (;). For example: Nicola Peluchetti; 00393347557225;; would turn Nicola Peluchetti into the Contact Name, 00393347557225 into Phone, into E-mail, and into External URL.
    Any of the above fields are optional and they can be provided in any order. If a value contains an @, it is considered an e-mail address. If it contains ://, it is considered a URL. If it is numeric, it is considered a phone number. In all the other cases, it is considered the contact name. If no CONTACT property is specified, we default it to the value of the ORGANIZER property.
  • RRULE: These fields allow you to specify recurrence rules. They would be imported in the “Repeat” part of the event. You would use this to specify an event that happens, for example, every Wednesday, or every second Friday of the month. They can be quite complex. A reference can be found here.
  • GEO: this field is used to specify a location for the event. You must specify valid latitude and longitude, separated by a semicolon. For example, 18.4444464;14.777777. This would be imported in the latitude and longitude fields, and the “Input coordinates” checkbox will be checked for that event. A reference can be found here.
  • CATEGORIES: a comma separated list of categories, if the category is not present it will be created.
  • X-TAGS: a comma separated list of tags, if the tag is not present it will be created.

​Please see this page for a reference to other iCalendar (.ics) properties which can be added to your csv as fields.

Adding Images to Events

To add an image as the Featured Image, add the field X-WP-IMAGES-URL to the CSV file and inform the image URL.

To add images to an event description, add a HTML img tag with the image URL inside the DESCRIPTION field. For example, <img src=imagelink.png />.

print screen of a spreadsheet with some import fields

print screen of the detail of the image field in a spreadsheet

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Many users report CSV import problems that can be easily avoided. Please take the following points into consideration when generating a CSV:

  1. Use double quotes to enclose all textual data. This will allow you to use a comma inside the textual data. If you don’t use double quotes, the import might fail or result in an incorrect import. Remember, these are Comma Separated Values (CSV).

  2. Inside those double quotes, there are certain characters that may not work.  You must use their HTML special characters counterpart. For example, you must use HTML special characters for colon (:). If this is not inputted correctly, it will result in part of the data not being imported. For a complete list of HTML special characters that you can use, you can have a look at this reference.

    Note: if you want to use double quotes as one character of the data, you must end it with a backslash (\). Please see attached CSV for a complete look at how to avoid these common pitfalls.

If you receive warnings, check the correct use of double quotes and the use of HTML special characters. It will solve most –if not all– errors.

Using Outlook CSV export

Currently, we are unable to import  CSV file exports from Outlook. To overcome this, you can convert your Outlook exported CSV into *.ics (iCalendar file format used by Google and Apple) using this online converter tool. It will generate an *.ics file for you to download. Upload this newly converted *.ics using our upload tool, instead of the original Outlook exported CSV file.

Uploading The File

To upload the file go to Import Events > Upload tab. There you will see a page with a form where you can choose and upload your file.

print screen of the import CSV/ICS File form in Timely dashboard

After choosing the file, then the import options will be available.

print screen of the import CSV/ICS File form with file selected and options displayed in Timely dashboard

After you successfully upload the file, a popup will appear with the following text: “File uploaded successfully. We are processing your request. This might take a while, but you will receive a notification when it is done. You can close this window now.”.

print screen of the popup message to inform that the file upload was successful

After the file has been processed you can check the status of the file in the notifications area, located at the top right corner of the dashboard.

print screen of the status of a file successfully uploaded in the notifications area of the Timely dashboard

 Possible errors

When you upload a file that contains errors, you will receive an error notification. View this message by navigating to the notifications panel, in the upper right corner of the Timely dashboard.

Possible errors include:

  • File is invalid or contains malformed data. In this case, please review the csv format, and if the issue persists, please contact our support team.

print screen of the notification of events that were not imported due to malformed data in the file uploaded

  • Conditions not met. For example, if you try to upload a file that contains only past events, and the option “Import upcoming events only” is checked, then no events will be imported. If you want to upload these events anyway, please make sure to uncheck the option “Import upcoming events only”.

print screen of the notification of events that were not imported due to the option “Import upcoming events only” being checked and the file containing past events

Still Having Trouble?

If you are still experiencing issues with CSV import, send a priority support request to our support team.

For more user guidance, please go to our Help Center. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, do not hesitate to contact us by opening a support ticket from your Timely account’s dashboard.

Once you got all your events importes and settled, start selling tickets the right way.