When I think about work meetings, I think about “The Office.” The Dunder Mifflin Scranton team spent a lot of time in the conference room in meetings.
In the Future of Meetings Report 2021, Fellow reported that people attend an average of 11-15 meetings per week, with director-level team members having the highest number of meetings per week. So, maybe you aren’t sitting in a conference room singing an alternate version of “Seasons of Love” to Michael Scott, but you might be spending a significant amount of time scheduling meetings in a conference room.
Planning and organizing meetings is a lot of work. And as the workforce continues to embrace hybrid work, one thing is for sure — it’s more complicated than it was before to book meeting rooms. The good news is that there’s a quick fix to make it easier. Meeting room booking systems take the hassle out of scheduling meetings (including individual desk reservations, parking space reservations, and virtual front desk assistants to greet visitors).
Read on to learn more about meeting room booking systems, five benefits of using them, and eight software solutions out in the market to explore.
What are meeting room booking systems?
Meeting room booking systems are what they sound like — tools for reserving conference rooms and other shared spaces within an office or coworking space. These systems help ensure that meeting organizers and attendees can secure a meeting space and the accessories or accommodations they need for their meeting. Many users use meeting room booking systems to plan and schedule meetings, one-on-ones, collaborative brainstorms, confidential meetings, and other important announcements. Some booking systems provide digital signage features to display outside of conference rooms. System administrators, such as office managers or administrative professionals, can generally modify permissions and meeting details.
Many meeting room booking systems integrate with calendar software and email software to simplify things further. These integrations allow team members to glance at the time and location of their meetings in one place and send electronic invites via email.
5 benefits of meeting room booking systems
Not sure if you’ll benefit from another software system? There are several benefits of leveraging meeting room software. Below are five benefits worth noting:
1. They eliminate double-booking frustrations.
We all know how frustrating it can be to book a room for a meeting only to find that someone else planned to use the same room at your scheduled time. One of the major perks of using meeting room booking software is eliminating double bookings and conflicts. Meeting room booking solutions eliminate conflicts automatically because these tools show real-time room availability and don’t offer the option to book an unavailable room (unless you are a system administrator). This ensures that team members can start their meetings on time and won’t feel distracted by minor meeting space hiccups.
2. Team members can easily book rooms to fit their needs.
Have you ever been new on a team and booked a meeting room for two only to find you mistakenly booked a large conference room? (I’m guilty of this, too.) With meeting room booking systems, administrators can provide room size details. When users book meetings, they can find a room that’s appropriate for their group size. No more two-person meetings in large conference rooms (unless that’s the only meeting room left!)
3. These systems help distribute booking responsibilities.
Before, meeting room booking duties sat with office managers and administrative professionals in charge of helping the day-to-day run smoothly. While this might be a suitable strategy for smaller businesses and offices, as teams and spaces grow, it can be a lot of work for one person to manage all scheduling duties. Self-service meeting room tools reduce the burden of one person having to do it all. It also gives employees more control and easy access to update their meetings without depending on someone else to do it.
4. They make it easy to plan for additional items.
It’s not uncommon to need screens, video conferencing tools, and other meeting supplies, particularly for larger team meetings or collaborative brainstorms. A nice thing about meeting room booking software is that the meeting organizer can request meeting accessories and accommodations when reserving a room. Simplifying this process into one step is a time-saver for meeting organizers and those responsible for gathering the ordered items for the meeting.
5. You’ll have better insight into how people utilize spaces.
By using a meeting room booking tool, you’ll be able to gather insights and data around which spaces individuals utilize and how often. Maybe there’s one meeting room that’s a staff favorite and another that team members rarely use. It’s beneficial to understand how team members utilize spaces to ensure you’re making the most of the real estate you’re paying for. Particularly in the world of hybrid work, offering collaboration spaces for employees to take advantage of to make their in-office time meaningful is critical.
8 meeting room booking software solutions
If you’re ready to explore meeting room booking solutions, look no further! There are many options available in the market. We’ve rounded up eight solutions in alphabetical order to help you start your search. You won’t find pricing information below since most of these solutions require contacting the sales team for more information and custom pricing options. Explore the tools for yourself by scheduling a demo or signing up for a free trial.
But first, let’s cover a couple of terms that might pop under the features for these platforms. The first is hot-desking, or first-come, first-serve use of desk seating. The second is hoteling which refers to reserving unassigned seats in advance, similar to booking a hotel room for a trip. Now, let’s dig in!
Calling all Microsoft Outlook users, this one is for you! AskCody is a meeting management platform built specifically for Microsoft. It includes workplace scheduling and room booking functionality, meeting services, visitor management, desk booking, and workplace management insights. It’s user-friendly, ISAE 3000 certified, and GDPR compliant.
Condeco offers digital scheduling tools that enable collaboration, optimize capacity, and create positive office experiences. Users can book desks, workspaces, and meeting rooms. The product also includes visitor management, which highlights features, including a logbook, workplace security, identity management, health screenings, guest badges, and more. Condeco seamlessly integrates with Okta for identity management, Microsoft Outlook for calendar syncing, Microsoft Teams and Zoom for virtual conferencing, and Microsoft Power BI for data insights. Use Condeco’s mobile app, web platform, or directly through the Microsoft Outlook calendar integration for ease of use.
With Kadence, teams can book desks and rooms, have insight into when others plan to be in the office and manage visitors easily with simple visitor booking. Admins can control office capacity and access, review occupancy data, and optimize space usage with insights provided by the tool. Kadence integrates with many apps to offer calendar and directory syncs, and single sign-on (SSO) capabilities. Platform users describe Kadence as “simple, intuitive, and valuable” and “productive, essential, easy.”
Meetio is a one-stop-shop solution for an efficient workplace. With Meetio, users can visualize and schedule meeting rooms, view an interactive room display of the office, access meeting rooms and resources on a mobile device, and it makes hot desking simple. You can even use the mobile app for wayfinding on the go when you arrive at the office. Booking meeting rooms is easy with Meetio because it uses the universal traffic light system (that’s green for available, yellow for occupied soon and red for occupied) to convey room availability. The system can cancel room reservations automatically if attendees no-show (administrators can customize these settings). The tool integrates with common office favorites like Office 365, Exchange, and G Suite.
Businesses use Robin to manage hybrid work effectively with desk and room management, workplace safety and health, space management and mapping, and workspace data insights. Users can reserve meeting rooms in a few clicks, and administrators can set maximum meeting lengths, limit access to restricted areas, and enforce room check-ins as needed. Teams at Toyota, Mailchimp, and Peloton (to name a few) use Robin to manage their office spaces. One perk of Robin is that it offers a full-spectrum experience for hosting both teammates and guests alike in the office.
Skedda is a Capterra and G2 award winner that recently received seven G2 badges for spring 2022, including the Momentum Leader badge. Features include calendar booking, platform automations for time savings, insights and analytics for effective space management, interactive maps, user management customizations, and payment options. Users can choose from various calendar views for calendar booking, including Day View, Month View, Grid View, and List View. The tool integrates with office favorites like Google, Outlook, iCloud, and more, to see all of your calendar events in one location. You can also connect Skedda to communication tools like Slack, Trello, Basecamp, and Mailchimp for more seamless integrations.
WorkInSync is an all-in-one SaaS platform for managing hybrid workspaces and includes meeting room booking, desk booking, and parking management. Employees can provide their work preferences (so if in-office Wednesdays are your jam, your colleagues can all plan to come in on Wednesdays), book their desks and meeting rooms, and sign in to the office with a QR-based Digipass. Administrators can set up the workspaces with interactive floor plans, override existing bookings when needed, and monitor employee and visitor access in one centralized location. WorkInSync integrates with other favorite workplace technologies, including Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Assistant, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and more.
YAROOMS is a platform that enables team members to quickly reserve desks, conference rooms, and parking spots. The software solution enables effective hybrid workplaces by centralizing the booking process, offering hot-desking, promoting workplace safety and wellness, and informing decision-making through workplace analytics. The YAROOMS digital reception assistant is a neat feature that helps manage visitors and provides a hassle-free check-in. You can also customize the digital reception UI with your organization’s branding. YAROOMS Mobile is available for Android and iOS.
Go forth and book your meeting rooms
The future of work is sure to include in-person meetings. Make scheduling meetings more effortless in the hybrid working world with meeting room booking software solutions. Meeting room booking tools provide a solution for booking meeting rooms and other shared spaces in offices and coworking spaces. They eliminate double booking, distribute coordination responsibility amongst the office, and offer insights that can help drive future decisions about a space. There are many different types of platforms available, so be sure to request demos or sign up for free trials to find the best one for you.