A few good room booking tools

Managing shared meeting space is one of the biggest challenges you face in a nonprofit center. I’ve seen everything from custom room booking systems that use room occupancy sensors to cancel room reservations to room schedules kept using pen and paper. Virtually everyone wants there to be a technology platform that does it all, at an affordable rate, or better yet for free. With the explosion of coworking space, more room booking systems are coming on to the market. Here are a few that are popular across the network.

  • org Room Scheduler – The NEW.org system was specifically designed to meet the needs of a nonprofit center, as a low tech but flexible system available for a flat fee. The portal can be accessed by all of your tenants, and they can book rooms without going through a dedicated staff person. Contact the team at NEW to learn more.
  • Happy Desk – This full CRM system has a robust meeting space management system, in addition to a suite of other tools to help you manage your space. HappyDesk is a one stop solution for managing lease agreements, wi-fi access, door access, e-commerce, billing and more. Pricing ranges due to several different factors, but most typical NCN members would only need the free version or the first level of paid service.
  • Cobot – Designed specifically with coworking spaces in mind, Cobot can manage your room booking calendar, in addition to member management, involving, and payments. Pricing is based on the number of members who have access to the system, so as your community grows, so will your fees to Cobot. Something to keep in mind for groups that are experiencing rapid growth.
  • Nexudus – This coworking office suite includes many similar features to Cobot and Happy Desk, but it includes many marketing components as well, including a native website editor, newsletter support, and blog. When it comes to room booking, the Room Door App takes the Online Booking Calendar feature to the next level, by enabling you to mount iPads with the software outside your meeting rooms.
  • Google Calendar – If you don’t have $500-$1000 a year for a paid service, Google Calendar is a tried and true solution. Although it isn’t perfect, your building users can log in, access the calendars, and make reservations. It can be combined with labs to help prevent meetings from being deleted of otherwise mysteriously disappearing.

What does your space use to manage it’s conference rooms and meeting spaces? Tell us in the comments!

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