3 March 2020

How to increase your meeting room occupancy

How to achieve an excellent employee experience? By using all the possibilities smart building solutions offer. In a new blog series, I will highlight some solutions that will help you improve your employee experience. Today’s subject: how to improve your meeting room occupancy by getting rid of no-shows?

Why do we have no-shows in the first place?

It happens. People schedule a meeting, then forget to cancel it. In fact, a recent study showed that for the surveyed organizations ‘the average meeting room no-show rate [was] a staggering 40%.’

Why does this happen? In some cases, people inform the attendants the meeting is cancelled but simply forget to cancel the reservation in the tool, be it Outlook or TOPdesk. In other cases, it is because it concerns a recurring meeting that does not always take place. Maybe the person who booked the recurring reservation no longer even works there. Or – and I must admit I have done this too – people book a meeting room ‘so we have a room in case we need it’. It’s like the office equivalent of reserving a pool seat for the day by getting up early and throwing your towel over it.

Implementing rules and guidelines on how to book rooms might help a bit. But no-shows will continue to be a problem. No matter how many guidelines you set and communicate, some people will continue to display this behavior. Technology helps you to make better use of your meeting room capacity.

Here’s two TOPdesk-integrations that help you deal with no-shows.

Integrate TOPdesk and Outlook

Many organizations use Outlook to reserve rooms. Mainly because everyone in the organizations already use Outlook for email and ‘hey, it’s easy to use’. Great solution when you don’t demand much from your reservations tool. But when you want to offer services that are a bit more complex, Outlook no longer satisfies.

Organizations that want more reservations functionalities than Outlook offers, often start using TOPdesk for this. The two most-heard reasons for switching are the option to add additional services to a reservation – such as coffee, lunch, or a projector – and the possibility to report on your reservations and rooms.

The thing is: even though you might have switched to TOPdesk, your customers probably haven’t. They still book meetings in Outlook. They invite people via Outlook. They cancel their appointments in Outlook. And specifically the latter is an important factor why you have no-shows. When people cancel the reservation in Outlook, it will disappear from the attendants’ calendars – but when they forget to adjust the reservations in TOPdesk, the room will still be registered as ‘reserved’ in TOPdesk.

The Outlook Room Booker, developed by Scope4Mation, will ensure that all meetings in Outlook and TOPdesk are synchronized. Always. So, if a meeting is cancelled in Outlook, the meeting will be cancelled in TOPdesk and the room will be available for someone else. This integration allows you to use the best of both worlds: your organization can continue to book rooms via Outlook, and can make use of the added functionalities TOPdesk Reservations Management offers.

Want to know about the integration between Outlook and TOPdesk? Check out the Outlook Room Booker in our marketplace. Or sign up for the webinar which will take place on 25 March in English and on 26 March in Dutch.

Reservation info screen

Another way to make better use of meeting rooms is installing reservation info screens next to the meeting room doors. This has a few advantages. 

For starters, it allows you to see whether a room is booked, by whom and for how long. This is practical when you’re looking for a room to have a spontaneous meeting in. Or when you and your colleague arrive at the room the same time and argue who booked the room first.

When the room is free, the Room Reservation screen enables you to book a last-minute meeting on the spot. You simply book the meeting by tapping the information screen next to the meeting room, and you tap the screen again when you leave to indicate you’re gone.

In addition, the screen will improve your occupancy reports. How? When you enter a meeting room (whether you made a reservation or not), you always tap the screen. So if, say, a meeting room has been booked from 10 AM, and after 10 minutes no one has tapped to the screen to indicate they’ve arrived, TOPdesk will automatically cancel the meeting and indicate that this room is available again – until the next meeting has been planned, of course.

If you want to know more about this solution, check out the Room Reservation Screen on our marketplace. Or sign up for the webinar which will take place on 7 April in English, and on 9 April in Dutch.

Sign up for a webinar

Want to know more about the Outlook Room Booker or the Reservation Info Screen? Sign up for one of our webinars!

Webinar Outlook Room Booker:

Webinar Reservation Info Screen:

Hope to meet you there!

Nienke Best

Nienke Best, Product Owner Customer and Partner solutions