09 Aug 2021

How to simplify conference room scheduling: A fast guide

by Joan

When scheduling meetings, everything helps from tools to technology. Nearly every meeting has hiccups, even if you don’t know it at the time. Often the hiccup comes as an eye-opening revelation after your meeting when you realize that, although it went well, it could have gone better.

Meetings are about sharing thoughts, ideas, agendas, and overall collaboration. Although it’s best not to enter meetings with a closed mind, some pre-planning can help eliminate problems and improve employee productivity.

Below are some tips for getting the most out of your conference room booking.

Steps to simplifying room scheduling

Below are a few simple steps to simplify room scheduling in your office:

Start with a list of participants

Making a list of participants can not only make sure no one is overlooked, but also inspire you to invite less direct players who can also help.

Marketing leads will hand off some tasks to their team members, so why not invite those teammates? The same goes for developers, PMs, and nearly anyone else you’d invite to your meeting. Don’t forget to consider the “little guys” when scheduling your meetings.

Clarify meeting objective

Many employees hone their objective minutes before the meeting takes place, if at all. However, clarifying a meeting objective in advance can leave time for your meeting agenda to grow into something innovative.

Often, the best way to review your work is to leave time between read-throughs so you can edit with fresh eyes. The same goes for meeting objectives and agendas. Set your objective early and leave time to ruminate on how to achieve the objective.

Evaluate availability of meeting room facilities

Every meeting room has peak hours, making the most popular rooms hard to nab during the best hours.

For example, studies have shown that it’s not ideal to book meetings…

  • Too early in the day
  • Too late in the day
  • Too early in the week
  • Too late in the week

In fact, the most optimal time to book a meeting is 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday: a time when everyone and their dog will be booking a meeting.

Depending on how widespread your list of attendees is, 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday is not a good time to book a meeting with an interdepartmental team. Chances are, many of your coworkers will have previous engagements.

It’s up to you to discover the next best time to host your meeting.

Identify your equipment needs

Unfortunately, some meeting rooms are overlooked because they lack essential equipment. With many companies offering hybrid work these days, a lack of technology can seriously hinder a meeting.

The best office managers use meeting room metrics to improve and optimize meeting spaces. Knowing how a room is used can help companies improve the efficiency of the room.

Get rid of your paper conference room calendar

There are multiple reasons why you should forgo paper conference room calendars. Here are a few:

Out of date calendars

To put it simply, paper conference room calendars are unreliable. Unless you have a secretary updating the paper schedules every 30 minutes of the workday, paper calendars are rarely up to date.

Sustainability

Another reason to abandon paper calendars is sustainability. Offices around the world are moving toward sustainable practices. Printing one unreliable calendar per meeting room per day doesn’t help save the trees.

However, does investing in a high-energy LCD monitor really make a room sustainable? Instead try an e-ink display, such as the Joan 6 touchscreen display. The Joan 6 Pro lasts up to six months on a single charge, making it one of the most sustainable options available.

Picking the right software

Room booking software isn’t only about replacing the paper calendar on the wall. The best booking platforms have the power to simplify meeting booking, smooth out the process, and help employees navigate to and from their meetings.

Below are a few key benefits of good room booking software:

Simplify the booking process

By integrating one centralized room booking system into the workspace, employees know exactly how to reserve rooms. There’s no confusion; no questions; no doubt. 

Employees can either use the office’s calendar tool to book a meeting, such as Office 365, or, in many cases, book a room via the room booking system.

Booking on the spot is where the Joan 6 e-ink touchscreen interface comes in handy. With a few taps, employees can book the meeting room directly from the display mounted outside of the room.

Eliminate double bookings

The simplicity of a good meeting room booking system leaves little room for error. Keeping everyone on the same booking system, not to mention having the booking system sync with the office calendar, keeps rooms from getting double booked.

Intuitive digital display

If there’s no calendar outside of the meeting room, you risk squatters or ad-hoc meetings taking over reserved spaces.

Most room booking systems have some form of digital signage outside the room that shows room availability. These displays keep spontaneous meetings from settling in your reserved space.

Not to mention, wall signage helps ad-hoc meeting participants discover free rooms and minimize the time the team wastes room hopping.

Furthermore, a digital touchscreen display enables users to check-in when they arrive at the room. This check-in feature not only helps with room analytics, but also transitions the room to “available” if no one checks in within a set period time.

Sync with your office calendar

Meeting room booking systems are not designed to change how your office is run: they’re designed to improve it. Therefore, the best meeting room booking systems integrate seamlessly with the planner tools your office already uses.

Whether you use Google Calendar, Outlook calendar, or any other tool, make sure your new room scheduling system syncs with your calendar software in real-time. For example, Joan is one of the few room booking systems that work with Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook 365, Teams, Exchange, Slack, and Amazon Alexa.

Available wayfinding tools

Starting in a new office can be disorienting. Not to mention, most companies like to name their meeting rooms after a common theme: the last names of great inventors, the hot points in the city they overlook… The point is, sometimes our brains mix up “Tesla” and “Gates” and we still don’t know which meeting room is which, no matter how long we’ve worked at the same office.

One indispensable resource that comes with most room booking systems is a virtual floor plan. For example, Joan’s user-friendly UI offers a floor plan, which is available on mobile devices and can also be shown on a Joan 13 display for employees and visitors.

Improve office spaces with analytics

The best room booking systems offer you a wealth of analytics. For example, Joan’s meeting room booking system provides analytics on 

  • Room utilization rates
  • Tracking the number of meetings and meeting hours
  • Viewing weekly meeting patterns
  • Identifying popular rooms
  • Locating underperforming rooms
  • Seeing who books the most meetings
  • Seeing how many meetings are ghost meetings/no-shows

Analytics, such as the ones listed above, help office managers optimize space utilization in the office. Effective workspaces help offices capitalize on real estate costs.

These features just scratch the surface of what a good meeting room booking system can do for you. Not only do they replace the paper on the wall, but they are powerful tools to improve the entire meeting booking experience.

Are you looking for a solution to simplify room scheduling and don’t know what to choose?  Joan’s meeting room booking system helps you to make meeting scheduling easier, streamline the process, and assist employees in navigating to and from meetings. Learn more about it here