Meetings between colleagues, clients, and partners will always be a significant part of how businesses operate. Whether for collaborations, project planning or negotiations, the conference room is a vital hub in any organisation. There are, however, plenty of niggles that can arise around sharing these spaces and gaining maximum utility from them.
We have some great tips to help you improve your conference room booking management so that everyone in your company can get the space they need, when they need it.
Tip 1: All meeting room facilities should be the same
While it's only human to develop preferences, you should avoid creating spaces in your office that are more desirable than others. It's an indicator that facilities are unfairly distributed, and it's possible that your staff feel inadequately supported in terms of available infrastructure. That's why it's important to keep technology consistent and well maintained in each conference room –– employees should be able to enter and plug in, following a standard procedure, rather than battling to adapt to disparate technologies across your site.
Tip 2: Name your conference rooms for easy location and make use of digital signage
Give each of your conference rooms a unique name so that employees or guests can be quickly orientated in the right direction when heading to a meeting. Installing digital signs outside each conference room can assist in notifying others about the event taking place inside and providing the organiser’s contact details. This enables colleagues to have a direct line of communication if the room is shown to be booked but is, in fact, empty––for example, due to a cancelled meeting. This will help others to know if it's okay to take over the room since the original bookers won't be turning up.
Did you know …
Conference room occupancy sensors can detect meeting no shows and automatically release conference rooms for re-booking after a certain period
Tip 3: Create a conference room booking policy and include it in your onboarding
To make sure your conference room facilities are utilised fairly and to their full potential by all team members, it's important to have a policy that standardises how these collaborative spaces are reserved for meetings. To make sure there’s no confusion, communicate your booking process to new employees to ensure continuity of conference room booking best practices.
Tip 4: Optimise your space by using occupancy sensors
Organisations encounter problems with their conference room management purely through a lack of insight into their meeting space requirements and the current utility derived from the spaces they have.
A room occupancy sensor can help you to find the answers to questions like:
- Does my office have enough meeting space?
- When are meetings most likely to occur?
- Are your conference room facilities a match for the needs of the occupants?
- Are some conference rooms more popular than others?
Once you have the necessary data to answer these questions, you can take a more proactive approach to optimising these spaces. Understanding usage will help you create the right kind of conference room booking management system for your organisation’s particular needs. It all starts with observing footfall, congestion, dwell times, and under-utilisation.
Your findings may indicate a need to evaluate your total real estate requirements, or you may even identify a health and safety risk that's occurring as a result of overcrowding. Rooms that are getting used frequently and continuously are perhaps not providing your cleaning staff with enough of a gap to perform necessary hygiene maintenance. Your occupancy sensor will be an essential tool in not only identifying these issues but also in being part of the solution. Jump down to 'Tip 6' to see how.
Tip 5: Integrate occupancy sensors with your centralised conference room booking software
Not only will your occupancy sensors have a role to play in helping you understand what's affecting your conference room user experience, but they'll also be able to integrate with your smart building's operating systems, including your conference room booking software.
This will enable individuals to see in real-time whether a space is used and help to prevent "ghost" bookings if someone's decided not to turn up for their allotted slot. Placed at the room entrance, these IoT sensors can automatically update your booking software, so the data shown is always up to date, and colleagues can quickly snap up their desired room when it's available.
Tip 6: Integrate your occupancy sensors with a cleaning schedule
We touched on this earlier, but it really deserves a stand-alone section in this article because health and safety concerns will be at the top of everyone's priority lists for the foreseeable future. Meetings can involve a large number of people, and if the room is to be used multiple times throughout the day, it's essential to have a highly effective sanitisation strategy after each use.
The Irisys True Occupancy solution uses sensors to anonymously measure people movement and occupancy levels throughout your building. Real-time utilisation data can be integrated with your conference room booking system or other software to help notify your cleaning crew that a room is now vacated and ready to be sanitised. You'll save time and money, firstly by only cleaning when the room has actually been in use; secondly, your cleaning staff can work more efficiently throughout the day by focusing on areas that require their services.
Enhancing your conference room booking management is just one aspect of your building's overall operation strategy that could benefit from the installation of occupancy sensors. We invite you to download our free guide and learn more about occupancy sensors and how they can transform the running of your organisation's building, or alternatively, Request a demo with one of our experts.
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