Conference room booking software – a modern solution to an old problemAnyone who has managed a project knows the value of conferencing and collaboration spaces. And anyone who has managed a project also knows the frustration of not having a space available. Not only does inconsistent room availability delay initiatives and meetings, it also erodes cooperation and patience with other teams and departments. Even when a space has been innocently double booked, the result is a lot of frustrated people. The goal, then, is to strengthen room oversight and make it easy for teams to reserve a space. Conference room booking software is the way to that goal, multiplying an office manager’s capacity for overseeing and maintaining rooms. But what exactly is the software and how can it help?
1. Booking software gives users a powerful at-a-glance interface – Managing one room is tough enough, but most companies that operate out of offices have multiple conference rooms for employee use. This complicates things. With multiple rooms, it’s not enough to rely on paper scheduling systems. An A/V solution is needed.
There are dozens of conference room booking software models, and the best among them keep the interface simple and powerful. The most important feature of booking software is its scheduling and calendar functionality, as they allow any user to get an immediate look at all of the company’s meeting spaces. Booking software can let teams know what rooms are available, when they are available and where they are located. This ensures that teams never set aside time only to have it go to waste.
Booking software also allows for long range planning, as reservations can be made months in advance. Such long range planning is practically impossible without a digital interface to keep it all sorted out, and gives companies another dimension in encouraging collaboration.
2. Booking software lets teams take charge of their own reservations – It’s not efficient for teams to pass all of their reservation requests through a single human gatekeeper. Requests will be forgotten or never recorded. Double booking is a real possibility and teams have to rely on a single office manager to send out meeting reminders.
Booking software’s second major feature is allowing for online room booking. Online booking can be done with any kind of space, whether it’s a conference room, a studio or a tennis court. The critical point is that other users, like project managers, can access the online booking feature and reserve a space on their own. They don’t need to get anyone else involved prior to making the call.
Although every piece of conference room booking software is different, the best versions allow users a lot of space to relay important details. For example, a conference room may be fitted with a ton of A/V equipment. When booking that space, the user can specify what technology they need to execute their meeting or collaboration session. That way, the company’s technical personnel can be ready to support the meeting if there are any technical needs.
Ideally, the booking software’s online booking function would be tied to its calendar and the visual side of its interface. This way, all a user has to do is scrub through the calendar and pick out a day and time that works best. And if a booking has to be canceled, it would be best if the cancellation could also be done through the online booking function.
3. Booking software keeps teams on the same page – Even the most fastidious project manager will occasionally forget to get everyone involved in a reminder e-mail chain. Booking software can circumvent a manager’s forgetfulness or lack of time by handling the reminder process on behalf of the user. As the meeting date and time approaches, anyone involved will get several e-mails, so if the meeting’s manager loses track of time, at least the booking software won’t.
4. Booking software is designed for accessibility – Clearly, conference room booking software must be easy to use. Fortunately, this software is characterized by its simple use, and for its ability to store user preferences and permissions. The online booking feature doesn’t work unless managers can quickly pop in and out of the software, but it still has to be secure enough to keep unauthorized people out.
Booking software requires users to set up a simple name and password, or they might be able to log in by linking a social media account to the software. Users can be given permissions to set up their own meetings using available spaces, and users can even be grouped together so that managers can assign many people to the meeting at once.
5. Booking software is flexible – Of course, no two companies run the same exact room layouts, so the booking software should allow for deeper customization on the backend. Things like seating capacity, available technology and custom time windows allow office managers to set up their conference rooms exactly how they see fit. These details are relayed to users on the front end so that they know how many people they can fit and what media options they can expect during the meeting.Conference room booking software is an elegant solution for a problem that every company faces from time to time. Haphazard meeting room organization will result in haphazard meeting quality, but an office manager doesn’t have to rely on archaic systems to keep everything in order. Armed with booking software, office and project managers can extract every last bit of value from the company’s meeting spaces.