On Meeting Management
In YArooms, every meeting management feature has been designed to care for and anticipate the needs of the users. From quick booking a room in 3 clicks and 3 seconds, to making recurring appointments that require shared resources, to exporting customized reports on room usage, YArooms can do it all. With the help of its user-friendly, intuitive interface, you simply get to tell the software what you need and it handles everything for you.
If you look up the word “meeting” in a dictionary (for example, Cambridge), you’ll see that this can mean both “a planned occasion”, and also “an occasion [...] that was not planned”. But how can you manage something that was not planned? And, more importantly, how can you empower people to manage their planned and unplanned meetings in a company, regardless of its size? Well, easy. You use YArooms – the room booking software manager.
1. Conflict Resolution
Double-booking a meeting room has obvious disastrous results – inefficient space usage, delays, lack of productivity, loss of profit, etc. But there’s also a bunch of less-visible consequences that might be felt over time, not precisely at the moment of dealing with the issue. These include the employees’ frustration over having to search for another space (and also all the resources they need), informing every attendee about the change, readjusting to the new environment, and so on. So avoiding double-booking is mandatory not only for efficiently utilizing the company’s resources (spatial, technological, human), but also to keep employee morale high.
This is why YArooms developed and is continuously updating its powerful conflict resolution system, which does not allow overlapping bookings to be created. The dev team has spent a lot of time perfecting it, making it one of the best available on the market. There is no means of escaping it. In no way will the system accept booking the same room in the same time slot. This applies for each component of a compound room as well – if part of a compound room has been reserved, the space as a whole will not be available anymore. It’s an impeccable method of preventing loss of time and resources.
The latest update brought to enhance the system is the attendee collision feature, which makes sure that users who have accepted a meeting invitation for a certain time slot cannot accept another one for the same period. The user is still presented with both options – accepting or declining the invitation, but hitting the Accept button will trigger an error saying that the user is already attending another meeting during the specified hours. Because if meetings can’t overlap in rooms, why should they for people?
2. Calendar Views
In this fast-paced world, especially business-wise, it’s vital to be able to check and grasp your schedule in just a quick look. YArooms incorporates features and settings that simplify a timetable, making it easy to read and understand. In the following, we’ll dissect two of these features.
2.1. Daily/ Weekly/ Monthly
It’s hard to believe that there are still calendars and room booking systems out there that do not have all three view types, but there are. Thankfully, YArooms does have all three of them – daily, weekly, monthly. Each view offers various pieces of information that, put together, paint the panoramic picture of your and your company’s schedule. For example, the daily view shows how your timetable looks for a certain day, broken down by hours and meeting room. The weekly view can be consulted to see the degree of occupancy for the rooms in a certain location; the monthly view is great for a bird's-eye view on all the available locations.
The cool thing about the daily view is that you can reschedule your meetings with a simple drag & drop. The Drag & Drop feature allows you to simply move an appointment in order to reschedule it. You can move it at an earlier or later hour, and you can change its venue, all with a simple click of the mouse. Of course, you cannot move it in the past or overlap it with another meeting.
2.2. Meeting Colours
Another helpful feature found in YArooms is that each type of meeting can be assigned a certain colour. For example, a recurrent “Daily Meeting” can be set as green, to signify its balanced nature (in occurrence, attendees, resources etc.), whereas a “Client Meeting” can be put in red, to show its utmost importance and urgency. A “Skype Call” can be given yellow, so whenever you see yellow in your calendar you’ll know to run a test on all the conference call equipment. And straighten your tie.
Assigning colours to meeting types gives a great overview on what appointments are marked down in YArooms. In one quick glance, you can see how many calls you have, how many development gatherings there are, or how many client meetings are taking place on a certain day (or week, or month) inside your company. The best part is that you can add as many meeting types as you want.
3. Book a Room
Whether you need to reserve a room in seconds at its door, or browse additional settings for setting up more complex meetings at your desk, YArooms is there to guide you through the process.
3.1. Quick book
The first thing a room booking software should do is that for which it has been created: book a room. With YArooms’ quick book feature, users can reserve a venue with a couple of clicks, in less than 3 seconds. This applies both for the desktop client and the tablet app – YArooms Door, except that for the latter, it’s a matter of taps, rather than clicks.
3.2. Advanced book
By going to the advanced booking settings when trying to set up a meeting, the system allows you to set recurrences, invite people to your meeting (be them colleagues or external attendees), or choose the resources you need. Once you’ve finished doing all the adjustments to your booking, all you have to do is hit the “Save” button and you’re done.
3.3. Room search
The room search feature comes in handy if you already know the number of attendees you’ll have at your meeting and the resources it will require, and all you need is a room. You can simply go to this feature in the menu, input the data you have – location, attendance, resources – and let YArooms find the perfect room for you.
4. Approval Queue
As we mentioned in a previous article about user management, YArooms allows its administrators to custom-define user types, with different degrees of permission. As a result, users can be permitted to create bookings with or without approval. For those who are requesting approval on a booking, and for those whose responsibility is to approve (or decline), YArooms designed the Approval Queue.
The Approval Queue is a section that displays a list of all the pending meetings – those required, for non-admin users, and those awaiting action (either approval or rejection), for administrators. Filters are in place to ensure smooth navigation through long lists; checkboxes help with bulk actions.
5. Own Booking Engine
Few of the available room booking systems available on the market can pride themselves in having their own booking engine. YArooms is one of them. Having its own booking engine translates to a series of benefits that sets it apart from other available products.
To begin with, YArooms does not depend on any other third party to function. It does not need to connect to third party calendars in order to manage a user’s schedule. It can still be synced to other external calendars (such as Google Calendar, Office 365, Microsoft Outlook and Mac Calendar), for accessibility purposes.
Secondly, running on its own engine means that it can process a very large number of requests simultaneously and in a flash. When multiple people want to book the same room and they’re making the request at the same time, it’s important to have a system that can process these requests swiftly. It’s also crucial when it comes to preventing double-booking.
Another thing brought by the autonomous engine is that it allows YArooms Enterprise clients to customize the product according to their needs. Enterprise users can commision bespoke features to be developed for specific scenarios, at a fraction of the cost involved in creating an all new software solution. As well as this, YArooms Enterprise is a white label product, which means that it can be seamlessly integrated in a company’s structure.
Last, but not least, having an independent product gives the YArooms users the ability to modify it, through ideas passed on to the team. Changing a product belonging to a giant company is almost impossible, due to its nature, but at YArooms the team is always happy to lend an ear to its clients. All suggestions are taken into consideration, and if they represent a valid improvement to the software, it is added through updates. The “schedule per location” element itself was added as a result of customer suggestions.
Meeting management goes beyond ensuring that a bunch of people getting together have all that is necessary for that certain encounter – such as a venue, office supplies, hardware etc. It’s also about having an overview of general and particular data, so that every resource pertaining to meetings is adequately used. YArooms was designed in such a way that all its settings and features are carefully gathering this data, leading to an efficient usage of resources.