Meeting room booking systems provide simple tools for reserving conference rooms and other spaces or resources within an office or shared workplace. This software ensures that organizers and attendees have the necessary accommodations for important meetings, and at the same time, office managers maintain an accurate, up-to-date view of how company resources are being utilized. Office managers can program these platforms with user permissions and other restrictions to ensure the appropriate usage of these valuable resources.
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What is Meeting Room Booking Systems?
Meeting room booking systems organize and streamline the process of coordinating meetings and reserving physical spaces for those meetings. While the category title may imply that these products only handle conference rooms, many solutions are also capable of booking spaces like desks, larger venues, or physical resources. Meeting room booking software also aims to consolidate all the aspects of organizing meeting spaces. Many products in the space will either integrate with or provide native functionality akin to visitor management software, venue management software, digital signage software, and calendar software to offer complete coverage of all the facets of booking physical spaces.
Key Benefits of Meeting Room Booking Systems
- Streamlines scheduling for meeting participants and booking physical spaces
- Formalizes booking items and spaces other than conference rooms
- Provides full coverage for all necessary meeting activity via native functionality or integration with relevant software types
Why Use Meeting Room Booking Systems?
A meeting room booking system could be the software solution you didn’t know your business needed. Despite their seemingly straightforward purpose, they come packed with features sure to keep an office organized and on track.
Efficient scheduling — It is possible for businesses to schedule and plan all the aspects of a meeting without investing in a meeting room booking system, but it almost definitely requires at least two different tools. Meeting room booking systems consolidate all the features any organization would need to effectively plan meetings into a single system. These tools even offer additional functionality that will certainly be helpful in managing a physical office space like providing meeting room displays, wayfinding, and productivity analytics.
Productivity insights — A meeting room booking system also serves as a dedicated tool for tracking how often and for how long spaces and equipment are used. This gives businesses utilization data to leverage when making decisions regarding office organization and optimization. Businesses wouldn’t have a way to collect this type of data without a dedicated system that has the capability to monitor metrics like no-show meetings and late starts.
Who Uses Meeting Room Booking Systems?
Meeting room booking systems are useful to any type of business that has an office with multiple conference rooms or communal equipment. While administrators establish rules and policies within the software, these tools are intended to be accessible to everyone in a business. Tool tracking software is also capable of tracking barcoded equipment but often doesn’t provide the same booking functionality offered by meeting room booking systems. Meeting room booking systems are also better for booking stationary equipment like desks or physical whiteboards compared to tool tracking solutions.
Meeting Room Booking Systems Features
At face value, one might think that meeting room booking systems are limited in their functionality. In reality, products in the space are incredibly thorough in the capabilities they make available to businesses. The list below outlines the basic features that meeting room booking systems provide, as well as less common functionalities that are significant enough to list.
Meeting arrangement — The main feature of meeting room booking systems is meeting coordination. This includes providing schedules for meeting participants and showing available rooms.
Room organization — To properly manage rooms, users have the ability to name rooms and organize them by the equipment within them, location, and capacity.
Automatic scheduling — If a meeting is recurring, the software will automatically schedule and book a room to accommodate availability.
Calendar — Scheduled meetings and their designated conference rooms can be viewed on a company’s or individual’s calendar. These tools will also integrate with outside calendar software for guaranteed visibility across solutions.
Visitor management — Meeting room booking systems will often provide built-in visitor management capability, including visitor sign-in and meeting scheduling functionality for external participants.
Room signage — Using the room organization system created by administrators, a meeting room booking system is capable of creating customizable digital signage.
Integrations — If features for solutions like visitor management or digital signage aren’t provided natively, meeting room booking systems offer integrations with popular solutions for a given software type.
Additional Meeting Room Booking Systems Features
Analytics and insights — Meeting room booking systems are capable of tracking data related to the usage of physical spaces and equipment. Insights can include metrics such as utilization, peak usage times, average meeting length, and average attendee count.
Monitoring — Some solutions notify meeting participants of upcoming meetings or remind participants in meetings of how much longer they have a room booked. Other products require participants to check in to a meeting, and meetings that don’t start are automatically canceled so the room can be freed up.
Administrative rules — Some meeting room booking solutions will come with specific administrative controls that allow administrators to approve or deny booking requests, create rules and policies for rooms or items, or give users and rooms specific tags.
Wayfinding — Some meeting room booking systems can also serve as office maps that show where conference rooms are located and which are currently available. Office maps can be presented via digital signage on TVs and tablets or by accessing the provided application on a desktop or mobile device.
Software and Services Related to Meeting Room Booking Systems
Venue management software — Meeting room booking systems and venue management software have some broad overlap in terms of functionality. Both types of solutions allow users to track booked rooms and ensure resources are allocated efficiently without overbooking. However, venue management tools are specifically intended for venue administrators that rent out spaces for parties and events. They provide other features applicable to this use case like billing and invoicing tools and more granular management capabilities for resources like tables, chairs, and onsite staff. In contrast, meeting room booking systems are intended for office spaces and are, for the majority of the time, used for internal use cases.
Visitor management software — While dedicated visitor management solutions are popular, the visitor management functionality found in meeting room booking systems can be robust enough for many businesses to opt for the latter instead. Because visitors to a business often warrant an allocated meeting space for their visit, it makes the most sense to have visitor management features paired with a solution that can efficiently book conference spaces as well. Since meeting room booking systems often facilitate visitor management as well, but the reverse is not the case, meeting room booking systems are an excellent option for businesses looking to bundle functionality.