Create an online room booking system for your organization
Follow this tutorial to learn how to create an online room booking system for multiple meeting rooms at your organization. You can adapt these guidelines to match your individual requirements.
This tutorial is an example of a single resource schedule with multiple resources. This type of schedule works great when you have only a few resources and you want to accept bookings on a single schedule, for example, managing the availability of three meeting rooms and a projector in your office.
If you need to manage multiple resources and automatically coordinate many schedules together, for example, 15 meeting rooms, 10 projectors and 12 white boards, etc. you can create individual resource schedules connected together from a single service-type schedule with the help of our “Service schedule” tutorial. If you’re looking for a group event booking system to organize events, training sessions within your organization, then the “Capacity schedule” tutorial would be a more suitable option for your requirements.
Creating a room booking reservation schedule
In this example, an online meeting room booking system is created for a small organization which allows users to book one of the three meeting rooms and a few additional tools like projectors, white boards, extension cords, etc. along with their booking.
This tutorial demonstrates the following customizations:
- Using the SuperSaaS booking system as a simple room reservation tool
- Sending customized email confirmations and reminders to users
- Limiting the access of the schedule to specific teams
- Adding buffer time between bookings
You can view the end result of this room booking calendar on the Meeting Room Booking demo page.
Setting up the schedule in 6 easy steps
Use the build and test cycle to ensure your room booking system works exactly as required from your user’s perspective.
Setting up the basic schedule using the New Schedule Wizard
Before you begin
In order to set up your online booking schedule, you need to have an account with SuperSaaS. You can create your free account with a valid email address. Click on the login button to reach your SuperSaaS Dashboard.
Select your schedule type
Select the New Schedule button in the menu on the right side of your dashboard. The system will redirect you to the New Schedule wizard which will help you determine the basic settings required to setup the meeting room booking system.
The first choice in the new schedule wizard is to select whether you require a resource, capacity or service type schedule.
Select the Resource type schedule for your room booking system, where a meeting room can be booked by one person at once.
How can users access the schedule?
For this type of meeting room booking system, you would not want anyone with the schedule link to sign up and add a reservation, then choose Log in always required: Users need to log in before they are allowed to see the schedule and make changes If you accept commercial bookings for your meeting rooms, then choose Log in to make changes: Anyone can see the schedule, but they must log in to make an appointment.
Add your meeting rooms and resources
In this tutorial, we consider you have 3 company meeting rooms which you want to schedule. You can add fewer or more resources to the list. In step 3, the system will ask you to list all the resources you want to schedule. Select More than one option when you have more than one meeting room to schedule concurrently. You can select the option One when you only want users to schedule a single meeting room or resource.
After you select the More than one option, you can list all your meeting rooms and resources that users within your company can book. Enter “Meeting Room 1” and click Add. Repeat this step for all your meeting rooms and resources. Once you have added the required resources, simply click Next to move to the next step.
Adding a name to your meeting room reservation schedule
The name of your schedule in combination with your account name will form the URL of your meeting room booking schedule. We recommend you to provide a short but descriptive name such as “ABC Meeting Rooms” and click Next.
It is possible to change the name of your schedule (as well as your account name) at a later point. However, changing the account name or schedule name will change the schedule’s URL and you may have to communicate this change to all of your users to ensure they land on the right page.
Manage who can see and change the schedule
In the last step of the New Schedule Wizard you can specify who can see and change the schedule. Select Log in to change option so anyone with the details of the schedule with the web address but to add a room booking they need to log in to the system. The No log in option is convenient for your users because they can easily add a booking without creating a login. However, this option is always prone to the risk of someone finding your schedule and vandalizing it. If you want to achieve a higher level of control, you can select the Always log in option. In this option, the system requires users to create an account to log in before accessing the schedule.
Trying out the schedule to see if it works as expected
You can test out your meeting room reservation system as an administrator by clicking on the Use button in the menu box. You can only view this button when you’re logged in as an administrator.
Regular users within your organization will see the same schedule with fewer options. You can also find the Use button by going to your Dashboard.
When you enter your meeting room booking system for the first time, you will see a completely empty schedule. SuperSaaS is a very flexible and affordable appointment booking system. SuperSaaS can be easily customized to meet your specific requirements via the tabs under the Configure option.
Create a booking on your room booking schedule
Create your first sample booking by clicking anywhere on the empty schedule. A New Reservation box will appear on the screen. If this window appears to be in an inconvenient location, you can simply drag the window to a more suitable location on your screen.
To add a booking for a specific date, you can either click on the date on which you want to create the booking or click anywhere to pop up the new reservation box, and edit the When option to navigate to the required date. By default, the system only asks for a name and a phone number. You can customize standard fields, add additional custom fields or attach custom forms with the booking to request specific details. The New Reservation window will also display a drop down menu which allows you to select which meeting room you want to book.
Click Create Reservation, button to add the booking on your schedule. The schedule will automatically update and show the space in the schedule as occupied. You can edit the appointment by simply clicking on it to modify the details. Don’t forget to clickUpdate Reservation to save the changes before closing the dialog box.
Adjusting the booking configuration
You now have a basic appointment schedule for your beauty salon and can begin configuring it to suit your requirements.
You can customize the schedule to match your individual requirements by clicking on the Configure button in the main menu. The Overview tab also allows you to temporarily block or delete your schedule entirely.
Configure the resource parameters
Resources tab allows you to define your resources that you want to schedule in your room booking system. Note that Resources tab looks different when you’re using the capacity schedule or a service schedule.
In our case, the three meeting rooms are the resources we plan to manage with our schedule. You can easily add more rooms, for example, another conference room to the schedule. It is also possible to add other resources like projector, conference room displays, connecting wires, etc. However, when you want to allow users to simultaneously select more than one resource or a combination of multiple resources, then we recommend using the service type schedule
Customize your terms
Under the section Term used to describe an entry on the schedule you can define how the system refers to your bookings. In our room booking system, the term “meeting” is the most suitable. This term is used across dialog boxes, help text and email confirmations.
The term used to refer to your “users” can also be customized under the “Layout Settings” tab on your dashboard.
Define user booking limits
The section Limit per user allows you to limit the number of bookings per user at a given frequency of time. You can customize how many online room bookings can be created by the user on the same day, in the same week or during the same month. When the user reaches the limit of bookings, they’re only allowed to change or delete their existing bookings. You can configure the system to take previous bookings into account or only calculate the total upcoming bookings in the future.
Determine length of your room booking reservations
You can configure the default length of room bookings on your schedule. The system allows you to customize 3 options:
- Arbitrary booking length: The users can select any arbitrary time length duration of the slot, for example, 12 minutes, 56 minutes and so on. This may seem a little weird for the other users. Hence, to have better control you can specify the minimum and maximum time duration of a booking. For example, minimum time duration should be at least 15 minutes and maximum up to 4 hours.
- All room bookings have the same fixed length: You can set a default fixed length for all room bookings on your schedule.
- Users select a predefined booking length: Allow users to select the booking length from the list of predefined options. When you select this option, a selection box is displayed below the option. In this box, you can simply follow the instructions listed there to enter the time slot options.
The room booking system can be used for multiple purposes, so we allow the users to choose the start and finish time of the booking. In order to avoid weird start and end times, we add timing constraints in the next steps under the time constraints section.
Configure the pricing options
The practice of renting out your meeting rooms to external users is slowly gaining popularity. If you’re managing a meeting room or a collaborative space that you’re planning to rent out, you can configure the pricing options in SuperSaaS. SuperSaaS offers a broad array of payment options for your room booking system. This includes working with manually collecting credit card details, managing online payments via PayPal, Stripe, Mollie or ePay, creating a credit system, adding pricing rules, and setting up discounts and promotions.
In this section, you can decide if you want to charge a fixed price, determine the prices based on the list of options you provided or configure the system to calculate the prices based on date, length, resource or several other factors. The payment method can be configured on the Payment Setup section on your dashboard. You can follow the steps listed under our payment setup tutorial, to configure payments.
In our tutorial, we’re setting up the meeting room booking system for internal use and hence, do not need a payment settings to be configured.
Manage time constraints
Under the time constraints tab, you can specify the default length of your bookings, add buffer time in between reservations and add start-time constraints for your bookings.
In the previous step, you chose to allow users to select their own time duration. However, to keep it user-friendly, you may want to set the default time duration to 30 minutes. You can change it to any value that suits your requirements. Next, you want to specify the minimum and maximum length of bookings permitted on your room booking schedule. Adding minimum and maximum length of booking ensures that a wrong appointment does not block the schedule for other users. In this example, we set the minimum length of reservation to be 15 minutes and maximum to be 120 minutes. Adding time constraints will restrict the length of each booking within the defined limits.
If you set the buffer time to zero, then the room can be booked back-to-back without leaving any room for adjustments and cleaning up after the meeting. Adding a buffer time between meeting ensures a smooth transition between meetings. For instance, this time could be used to clean the room between bookings or accommodate time required to set up and test any equipment for the next meeting. The buffer time is applied at the closing time of the previous appointment. In our case, we assume a 15 minute buffer time before the next meeting is scheduled in the meeting room.
In the Constraint Start Times field, you can restrict the start times to certain intervals. When you don’t enter any start time constraints, the bookings on the schedule can begin at any random time interval like 3:09 pm or 11:32 am and so on. If you do not add any start time constraints, then your bookings can potentially start at any time leaving your room booking system with a lot of gaps leading to ineffective utilization.
You can close these gaps by constraining the start times to start every 15 minutes. You can enter *:15, *:30, *:45, *:00 in the constraint start times box. This would ensure that any appointment starts at a time interval of 15 minutes only, for example at 3:15 pm, 11:45 am and so on.
You can further close the gaps on your room booking schedule by rounding off the end time to nearest quarter hour. This would round off end times like 3:52 pm to 4:00pm, 1:07 pm to 1:15 pm, and so on.
You can further limit your availability on your room booking system by adding your opening hours and special holidays. You can click on the Change opening hours text or edit your opening hours via supervise screen and opening hours tab of your schedule.
It is possible to have different availability for each meeting room/resource you’re managing in your schedule.
Customizing your schedule process flow
In addition to the resources tab, you can customize other aspects of your room booking system with the Access, Process and Layout tab. These tabs allow you to control who accesses your schedule, send automated email/SMS notifications and reminders and customize the appearance of your schedule. You can view the detailed information in our Support documentation
Define the user process
You can easily customize the booking flow on your room booking system. Under the process tab, you can first customize the fields you want the user to enter with each reservation. You can request additional details like special requests by adding a custom field with the Customize link. You can also attach custom forms along with your booking and allow users to create a repeating booking on the schedule.
Create your own cancellation policy
You do not want appointment cancellations to leave a gap on your schedule. You can create your own cancellation policy and stop the users from making any changes at the end moment. Specify how far in advance can a user add, change or delete their reservations.
As an admin, you are not subjected to these rules and hence, you can add, delete or modify the booking at any point of time. You also have the option to change your time zone, if required.
Send automated email/SMS confirmations
Send automated confirmation and reminder messages to your users by configuring these settings under the Process tab. You can always send a confirmation email or allow the users to select if they want to receive the confirmation emails. In our case, we would always like the users to know that their appointment has been confirmed on the schedule.
If you want users to reach a landing page or website information page after the booking confirmation, you can also add a redirect URL. This is a helpful option when you’re renting out the meeting rooms to external users and want to redirect them to your website to explore further.
Next, you can manage the frequency of reminder and follow-up emails. Select the Send an email reminder option to always send a reminder message via email. You can also send reminders via SMS. Share further instructions on how to leave the meeting room for the next user in an automated follow up message. You want to send this follow up message just before the meeting ends, probably 5 minutes before the end time of the appointment. You can select the send follow-up email option and enter a negative value to send a follow up email before the appointment end time. You can personalize and customize each of these email notifications under the Layout tab of your schedule.
As an admin, it would be a good idea to receive an overview of all the bookings once a day. You can add your email address or phone number under the Should we notify anyone else of a new or changed reservation? to receive an overview once a day.
Monitor booking statistics
Keep a close watch on your booking statistics. You can view the booking statistics under the Reporting tab of the supervise screen of your schedule.
Controlling who can access your schedule
You have complete control over who can access your schedule. Under the Access Control tab on your dashboard you can control the global settings for your account. You can fine control access for each schedule under the Access tab of each schedule. In addition, it is also possible to provide special access to users on your team and to limit access of certain schedules to certain user groups.
Assign user roles & responsibilities
Provide special access to certain users on your team by adding them as superusers and control what superusers can do on your schedule. You can also modify who can see the schedule, who can add new reservations and who can update or delete entries on the schedule. You can hide the details of each booking from external users if required.
It is possible to limit the access of all your schedules under the Access Control tab on the dashboard. You can specify who can create a login name on your schedule. If you’re using the schedule internally within your organization, you may want to allow only the users containing company domain name to create a login name.
Create user groups
Enable fine-grained control over your schedule access with the help of our user group feature. Create groups for individual departments like a marketing department, finance department and so on. Next, add users to their respective user groups. After you have created your user lists, you can assign schedules to each group. This feature proves helpful when there are certain meeting rooms and resources which are only accessible to a certain department while the others are accessible by all. It is also possible to assign multiple user groups to the same schedule.
Testing the schedule from a user’s perspective
You need to test the schedule from your user’s perspective to ensure everything is working as expected. A schedule appears different to an admin and to a user. Hence, we recommend using the build, test and repeat cycle.
A quick way to test the schedule is to copy your schedule URL in the incognito mode of your browser. You can then use one of the browsers to login as a user and the other to stay logged in as the administrator. Alternatively, you can also install a second browser and test out the room booking schedule in the second browser.
You can find the schedule link under the overview tab of the configuration screen of your schedule. Once you’re confident that your booking schedule behaves as expected, you can start accepting bookings by sharing your schedule link. Every schedule has its own web address, which the users can click to start creating bookings.
Please note: New users may need to create a login ID and password the first time. Next time, they can simply login with their existing ID to add or update any bookings, as per the system configurations. A quick way to make it easy to create bookings on the schedule is to share the schedule link via multiple channels.
Sharing the schedule link with your users
Once you are satisfied with your room booking schedule and you have tested it successfully to ensure it works as expected, you can start sharing the schedule link to allow users to add booking on the schedule.
Here are a few ways to share your schedule link with the users:
- Add a link to your SuperSaaS room booking system via your own website
- Embed the room booking page on your own website inside an iframe
Explore more about how to integrate your schedule in your website.
Your SuperSaaS booking schedule can be easily accessed across multiple devices \anytime and anywhere with its schedule link. You can also create your own custom domain name and white label the software to make it completely your own.
Sync your appointments with existing work calendars
You can make it easier for your users to add the appointment details to their
calendar by exporting the appointments. Add
$ical magic word under your notification
settings under the layout tab of your schedule’s configuration screen as shown below:
Here’s an overview of how your confirmation message will appear to a Gmail user:
Please note: The email might appear in a different format for different email providers. However, the iCalendar file will always be attached to the email irrespective of the email service provider.
Customizing the schedule appearance
You can use the space above the schedule to share further booking instructions for end users. You can easily customize and personalize your message and notifications with details like name, credit level, direct link to modify the booking, etc. Read our blog post to learn how to personalize your emails with SuperSaaS.
Using SuperSaaS in day to day life
Now that your room booking system is fully functional, you can find useful tips to help you on working with your schedule in day to day life.
You can create your own workflow with SuperSaaS, and discover some advanced features like adding a secret supervisor field, creating a custom drop-down menu, using URL extensions to enable several hidden options, and much more.