1 Sep 2021

Best practices for conference room booking systems

by Joan

According to the Harvard Business Review, “meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years, to the point where executives spend an average of nearly 23 hours a week in them, up from less than 10 hours in the 1960s.” These meeting stats don’t even include the ad-hoc meetings that are undocumented.

With meetings taking up so much of our days, it’s high time to start taking the meeting room booking process seriously. How much time is wasted while employees search for available meeting spaces? How much real estate is underutilized from no-show or well-below-capacity meetings?

This article outlines some tips to make your meeting room booking process run as seamlessly as possible.

Challenges with managing and booking conference meeting rooms

The workplace is full of stress triggers and meeting rooms are no exception. When managed poorly, they can be a drain on a company’s efficiency, manpower, productivity, and more.

Here are some challenges with booking meeting rooms:

Not cancelling meetings that never happen

Some managers may preemptively book a meeting room on the off chance their team might want to get together. Reasons for scheduling the meeting may include product updates, team updates, company news… etc.

Occasionally, a manager will either decide against the meeting or completely forget they’d pre-booked a room. The room schedule will show the room as booked, whether it’s being used or not, leaving the space unavailable for other teams in need.

Recurring team meetings monopolizing rooms

These days, companies value managers who foster team spirit, comradery, and community. In response, managers strive to match these expectations: to be what the Harvard Business Review refers to as “good soldiers.”

Whether it’s to look good on paper or to put forth a solid effort, many of these managers book weekly recurring team meetings in the same meeting room, whether the team shows up or not. Again, these unattended meetings withhold valuable real estate from teams searching for available meeting spaces.

Squatters using booked rooms

If you’ve worked in an office space, chances are you’ve found squatters in your reserved meeting room at least once. By the time they’ve gathered their belongings and left the room, your meeting is late. Remote workers have given up hope and left the call, plus the unexpected hindrance has thrown you off guard.

Not to mention, the squatters have to relocate, wasting time searching for another meeting space. Not only does your meeting start off on the wrong foot, but both parties lose valuable minutes in the mixup.

Discoordinated meeting room booking tools

If you’re investing in meeting room booking tools, they must be fully compatible with your in-place systems. Your booking system should sync seamlessly with your inplace resources.

Advantages of using software for booking conference rooms

There are many advantages to implementing a meeting room booking system in your workspace. Here are a few:

Simplification

The main point of a meeting room booking system is to simplify the meeting room booking process so employees can focus on their jobs. Meeting room booking systems offer simplicity through easy-to-use user interfaces, room schedule displays, on-site booking, and more.

Transparency

Meeting room booking systems collect data to show you how each meeting room is used, how often, by how many occupants, and tons of other statistics. Your meeting room booking system should offer room utilization analytics, giving you the information you need to improve your meeting room setups.

Additionally, the best meeting room booking systems offer wayfinding tools, laying out the floor plan, including desk layout, for any employee to see.

Reliability

A meeting room booking system must keep each room’s availability up to date. This synchronization helps keep rooms from being double booked.

Additionally, the best meeting room booking systems work seamlessly with your office’s calendar. Whether you use Office 365, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or another scheduling tool, the best meeting room booking systems will sync up.

Efficiency and productivity

Meeting room booking systems are designed to mitigate meeting no-shows, squatters, double bookings, and more. With these hindrances out of the way, employees waste less time hopping from meeting room to meeting room for their impromptu meetings or scouring meeting room reservations in the conference room schedules.

Main features of conference room booking systems

Here are some standard features every room booking system should have:

Real-time schedule

Every meeting room booking system must offer real-time availability. This means they should update regularly, showing any changes in room availability.

Consider the Joan meeting room booking system: the app and online presence updates in real-time and even the low-power, sustainable, e-ink displays update every thirty minutes.

On-site booking

Even if squatters manage to locate an available room, there’s a chance it’ll get booked while they’re using it. To get those ad-hoc meetings on the schedule, a meeting room booking system should enable users to book a room on site.

The Joan 6 touchscreen enables users to book a room directly from the six-inch display.

Wayfinding

Every room booking system should come with wayfinding tools. In particular, users should be able to pull up office floor plans from their mobile devices. Not only do these wayfinding tools help new employees learn the layout, but facilitate hot desk setups.

Check in

A good meeting room booking system will have an easy check-in option, whether from an app or a touchscreen display. This check-in option helps improve space utilization. Read on to find out how.

No-show meeting cancellation

The best way to mitigate unused scheduled meeting rooms is to implement a no-show policy. For example, if there are no check-ins within 10 minutes from the start of the meeting, your booking system will mark the room as available. This way, the room is accessible to other teams.

Calendar integration

A great meeting room booking system will sync with the most popular calendar platforms, such as G Suite, Office 365, and Apple Calendar. Choose a system that won’t tie you down to just one calendar, in case your company ever wants to swap platforms.

Meeting room capacity stats

It’s important to know how many people can comfortably and safely fit within each meeting room before you book it, especially with COVID protocols in place. Therefore, a good meeting room booking system will display each room’s capacity.

Data and analytics

Even efficient office spaces can always get better. Therefore, make sure your meeting room booking system offers room analytics with insights including average room occupancy, usage, number of unattended meetings, total time spent in meetings, and more.

Best practices for conference room booking systems

Sleek. Sustainable. Practical.

The Joan displays don’t disappoint. The Hague Tech, a company that offers co-working spaces, uses multiple Joan displays throughout the building, impressing visitors and frequent customers alike.

When guests first walk into the building, they’re faced with Joan 13 digital signage: a wireless device that can run up to one year on a single charge. Further into the space, there are Joan 6 devices outside every bookable meeting room. These Joan displays help users with wayfinding and also facilitate space booking.

Perron038, an innovative manufacturing company, uses Joan displays to organize their flexible workspaces. Marius Woldberg, the quartermaster of Perron038, picked Joan because of the device’s simplicity: no wiring, easy-to-use interface, and a no-fuss implementation.

Takeform, a signage and design company, mitigated their squatter problem by implementing the Joan meeting room booking system. The Takeform workforce had been hindered by spontaneous meetings, causing conflicts and delays in the workplace. After installing their meeting room manager, the company has found that “Joan greatly reduced meeting room interruptions and conflicts.”

Choosing the right conference room booking system

Choosing the right conference room booking system can be tricky. When in doubt, make sure your conference room booking system offers all of the main features:

  • Real-time schedule
  • On-site booking
  • Wayfinding
  • Check in
  • No-show meeting cancellation
  • Calendar integration
  • Meeting room capacity stats
  • Data and analytics

While you’re searching, book a demo with Joan and find out what our solutions can do for you.