units per slot

one schedule, lots of bookings. - requires paid plan

How does it work?

For each booking profile, you can set a simple numerical limit on the number of bookings the system should accept at a given time. Think of this as a 'capacity' for your event, or - if you are allowing people to book resources - the number of identical units you have to offer. The system will continue to offer each slot until that number of events exist on the calendar side to block it out.

Why Do You Need It?

Perhaps you have the capacity to help more than one customer at a time. Or maybe you are organising tutorial sessions where up to 5 students can attend for each one. If you don't set a 'units per slot' limit, once the first person books a given time, other users would be blocked.

How to use this feature

The 'units per slot' figure fixes a limit or 'capacity' for the number of bookings you can accept at each time.

The default value is '1' which means that as soon as one of your times has been booked, we stop offering that slot as available. But if you set a greater value, we continue to take bookings until there are this many items blocking the time on your calendar.

For example, if you wanted to allow students to book themselves into tutorial sessions with you, five at a time, you'd set the units per slot to five. Or, if your office had three shared video projectors that colleagues could book for their presentations you would go for three units per slot.

The maximum number you can use here is 50.

Booking more than one unit at a time

You have the option of allowing each booking made to take up more than one of the available units. For example, if you were offering seats in an auditorium it might make sense that one 'booking' would be for two or more 'seats'. To make this possible, simply add an item to your booking form of type 'bookable units'. The user will see a dropdown showing the choice that they can book up to.

If you choose to work this way, it makes sense to quote the number of units taken in all the communication with the user. This would be done with the {UNITS} mail merge field. For example, you could change the text of the confirmation email to include something like "Thank you for reserving {UNITS} places for the session".

Each booking will appear as one event on your calendar. The number of units taken up by each one is controlled by a simple code in the event description. You are free to adjust these manually. Say if someone called to adjust their booking - they now only want to book 10 tablet computers, rather than the 15 that they originally requested. You would simply open up that event on calendar and change YCBM-UNITS-15 to be YCBM-UNITS-10. Our system will fall in line with this change.

Override

Sometimes you want to avoid people making bookings during your normal hours. When you aren't using the units per slot feature this can simply happen by adding an event to the underlying calendar at the time you don't want to be free. But with this feature, you would find that only one of your available units would be taken and the slot could still be available.

To solve this problem all you need to do is add the special key phrase YCBM-OVERRIDE-UNITS to either the name or description of the blocking event on the calendar settings.

Alternatives

There are other ways to manage sets of resources. For example, our teams feature is a good way to allow people to book one out of a collection of similar things. Here's how to decide when to use 'teams' and when to use 'units'. If all the resources you are allocating are essentially identical (i.e. it doesn't matter which individual unit each person gets) then consider using this units method; all the bookings live together on one calendar. But if the resources are in some way different (e.g. meeting rooms which each have different facilities) consider creating a separate calendar for each bookable resource and then offer them side-by-side using our teams feature.

Allow more than one person to book in to each of your slots. You can also manage a pool of resources and let people reserve more than one at a time, up to your chosen capacity.