There’s nothing more frustrating than booking a recurring meeting series, only to have the request declined due to just one or a few conflicting instances in the meeting room. Thanks to the new Resource Central feature, it’s now possible to know if all meeting rooms are available for all recurring meetings.
Even if a meeting room is not available on all the requested dates of a meeting, you can still book the room for the available occurrences. When you try to book a new meeting room, the conflicting dates will all be listed and viewable at a glance. The order form will show the approved dates for booking the meeting room, so you can still book catering to be delivered to that room for those dates.
Exchange settings make all the difference with this new feature in Resource Central. Your organization’s Exchange settings will determine whether booking will be declined if even just one instance is not available in a meeting series.
By default, Exchange settings allow for 0% conflict in a meeting series, but these settings can vary on different resources. For example, you could allow 50% of conflicts or 10 conflict instances. That means you would be able to book a recurring meeting with 10 instances when there are up to 5 conflicts. If you aren’t over the limit, you will get a list of the 5 available dates and be able to book them. The booking will be declined for the 5 dates when the room is not available.
If, on the other hand, you book a recurring meeting series with 30 occurrences but there are 15 conflicts, your booking would be declined because the number of conflicts exceeds the limit of 10 instances. Resource Central handles these rules so that you don’t have to worry about all these rules.
When you book a recurring meeting in Resource Central, you’ll see two new icons. A red icon is displayed if the booking conflicts with your Exchange settings and the resource is unavailable for your series. A blue icon is displayed if you can book some of the meetings in your series.
If no icon is displayed, you will be able to book the whole series. Simply mouse over the icons to get a list of the conflicting occurrences.
You can also organize recurring meetings from the Outlook® Add-In, which is displayed in the same window as Outlook®. Our tool automatically sorts resources based on their availability. It lists the resource with the highest availability first. You can click on the area that says “Availability” to get a list of conflicting dates. When you select a resource, the conflicting dates will be displayed.
Currently, this feature is available for Outlook® Click-to-run for Windows and Outlook® 2019 for Windows. This feature will be available on Mac as soon as Microsoft releases the API version for this platform. Click here to view a list of supported versions.