After getting used to remote meetings, the need for meeting rooms and the need for meeting room booking software could have decreased, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

According to Microsoft Workplace Insights, the number of 30-minute meetings and meetings with 2 or 3 participants is going up, which may very well lead to an increase in meeting rooms booked. This will in turn lead to a need for more meeting rooms. [1]

With organizations redesigning offices to fit with a remote-first or hybrid work model, now is a good time to ask yourself if your office needs a better solution for scheduling meetings.


Why not just use Outlook as your meeting room booking software?

Using Outlook instead of a dedicated meeting room booking software means that employees need to remember the names of each meeting room, where they are located, how big they are, and what equipment is available in each one.

This is fine for most organizations in the early stages, where the task of managing meeting rooms isn’t as big. But as soon as you begin expanding the number of meeting rooms or the services and equipment provided by each room, you will need to start using a dedicated room booking solution.



5 challenges you can solve with a meeting room booking solution

When you schedule a meeting, booking the right room can be a challenge. Unless one of your primary tasks is to book meeting rooms, it’s unlikely that you know the specific names of each room, where they are located, what kind of equipment is available in the different rooms, as well as the number of seats in each room.

When it comes to scheduling and meeting room booking there are five primary obstacles that most people struggle with:

  1. The amount of time you spend finding an available room.

  2. Figuring out if your chosen room has the appropriate equipment for your meeting.

  3. Informing the reception about any external participants and sending out invitations.

  4. Notifying service providers such as catering and cleaning staff what room you will be in, and what services you will need for your meeting.

  5. And lastly, if you need to move the meeting to another room, you will have to go through the same procedure all over again.

The first four obstacles are simply time wasters that can be removed by integrating the tasks into the initial booking of the meeting room. This can be achieved with most meeting room booking software. But the last obstacle can be a source of confusion not just for the person booking the meeting, but for everyone involved.

If things like catering and external invitations aren’t an automated part of your meeting scheduling process, cancelling a meeting, or changing its time can mean a waste of both manpower and resources as receptionists await external participants that will no longer show up or the kitchen staff serves lunch or coffee in the wrong meeting room.


What you can do with a dedicated meeting room booking software that integrates with Outlook

Booking a meeting room is more than just making sure its status is set to “occupied” in Exchange, and this is also why your Outlook meeting room booking procedure often comes up short.

You need to make sure the room is the right fit for your meeting, after all there’s no benefit to having different meeting room sizes, if the biggest rooms are always being used for 1-1 meetings.

You also need to make sure the room contains the right equipment for your meeting. Especially after remote and hybrid work becoming the norm, getting a room without a wide-angle webcam and a proper microphone/speaker setup can be a complication for a meeting with some remote employees.

And that is where integrating Outlook with a meeting room booking software comes in.

A meeting room booking software such as Pronestor Planner lets you connect each phase of planning a meeting room, which allows for a much smoother scheduling process.

But the real benefit of a dedicated meeting room booking software comes from two very specific features; 1) Rescheduling of every resource related to your meeting, and 2) meeting room utilization data.

The connection between scheduled meetings, booked rooms, and services, means that if you change the time, date or location of your meeting, everything connected to the meeting, such as invitations, notifications to the reception, and catering or other services will be updated too.

While this seems like a rather small benefit, it can end up saving you up to 20 minutes per meeting scheduled in your organization, when you factor in the time spent finding rooms, booking services and equipment and maybe even moving meetings from one room to another.



While the benefit of spending less time managing meetings, meeting rooms and service can be huge, it will often pale in comparison to the benefit of knowing exactly how your rooms are being used, as this allows you to grow your office size in relation to the needs of the employees.


Integrating Outlook with a meeting room booking system will let you find out if you need more meeting rooms

If your job includes meeting room or facilities management in any capacity, there’s a pretty good chance you often hear employees mention that there aren’t enough meeting rooms, or that the “the big meeting rooms are always booked”.

And if you are constantly being told that all the meeting rooms with a capacity of 8-10 people are always booked, it may lead you to the conclusion that you need more meeting rooms with room for 8-10 people.

But unless you have access to room utilization data, you won’t know for sure, and this could lead to spending money on something you don’t need.

What is often the case is that employees prefer meeting rooms for reasons other than their sizes. It could be natural light, design, or proximity to the kitchen. But this means that the knowledge that “meeting rooms for 8-10 people are always booked” doesn’t actually mean that you need more meeting rooms for 8-10 people.

And that is worth considering, before you start setting up more meeting rooms in that size bracket. It is also one of the top reasons why you need to consider investing in a meeting room booking software that provides data insights – it could save you a lot of money.





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