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    Using Meeting Space Effectively – Meeting Room Booking Systems Gaining Traction

    Following the social trends to embrace diverse work styles, more companies have allowed their employees to work in a style that is not restricted by time and place and take advantage of practices such as telecommuting and flextime. As employees work more flexibly, one of the challenges for companies is making effective use of unused space in the office. In this column, we would like to focus on meeting room booking systems, as they can help your company make more efficient use of conference and meeting rooms.


    There is supposed to be a meeting taking place according to the scheduler but there seems no one in the meeting room. A 1-hour meeting has ended earlier than scheduled but the room is still occupied on the scheduler so it cannot be booked. The meeting organizer is on leave, so the meeting cannot be cancelled. There are never enough meeting rooms, so more need to be made. Workers have to spend a lot of time carefully managing and rescheduling these events, resulting in floods of unnecessary updated meeting invitations.


    Sound familiar? These kinds of problems are sure to frustrate employees trying to find a room and those in charge of managing the bookings alike. If this continues unresolved, this can also lead to a decrease in employee motivation, and thus, productivity. If your company is facing such challenges, a meeting room booking system could be a solution to ease those troubles.


    Meeting room booking systems can be used just as we use Outlook calendars, but additionally, they can automatically cancel “no-show” meetings. The display mounted on the wall near the room entrance shows the booking details of the meeting, such as Time Remaining and End Time, as well as information about the next scheduled meeting. A new meeting can be directly entered from the device too. Furthermore, the system collects usage data and generates statistics. This enables you to get better insight into the usage pattern of the meeting rooms. You can analyze the statistics to plan future improvements to current rooms and also design new rooms more optimally when relocating or renovating the office.


    “RoomView” by Crestron, and “Evoko Liso” by Evoko are the some of the examples of globally-marketed meeting room booking system solutions that come with display hardware.


    Let’s take a closer look at “Evoko Liso – The next generation Room Manager”.


    At a client site


    We previously helped a European game developer install several units of Evoko Liso (pictured above) in their new developing center in Shanghai as a part of their relocation project. Evoko Liso is usually installed and used in combination with display hardware and a server application calledEvoko Home”. You can use Evoko Home’s standalone booking system in a web interface or use it in combination with third party applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Exchange 2010/2013/2016, IBM / Lotus Domino, and Google Apps for Work.


    Evoko provides functionalities such as remote management, multi-site support, user management, monitoring, and statistics. The system can also search for a room that meets your needs based on the criteria you input when making the request. Such criteria includes, but is not limited to, number of participants, location, and equipment required.


    When a person walks up to the Evoko Liso device (pictured below), it automatically switches the display and shows more details about the meeting. The display also emits colorful red and green lights, which brighten the atmosphere of the space and leave a sophisticated impression. You can book, end, or extend room reservations both on the device directly as well as via the software. Both desktop and smartphone versions are available. The smartphone app is called “Evoko Get a Room”.


    Photos by Evoko


    The reason that Evoko Liso gained lots of attention in Europe is not only that the product won the “German Design Award” and the “European Product Design Award” (both in 2017), but also that it uses a one-time purchase model, as opposed to subscription-based one. The initial investment may seem high, but after about two or three years, it may prove to be the more cost-effective option.


    A Project Manager on the systemsGo Workplace Technology team says, “Once a meeting room has been created and setup, it is important to understand how it is being used. It can be valuable to collect statistics on the room’s purpose and frequency of use. In Hong Kong, for example, land is very expensive and having several meeting rooms can be a huge investment. Cases like these are causing more and more companies worldwide to seek meeting room management systems.


    If this article has piqued your interest, please feel free to contact us. We can help you find the most suitable meeting room booking system based on your needs, expectations, and budget.

    (First published February 27, 2020. Last updated December 8, 2021)