Meeting rooms are a handy amenity that can help you attract prospects to your space or increase your alternative revenue stream while offering a valuable resource to people from within your community.
You’ve succeeded in the challenge of planning your meeting rooms and have already chosen the right ones for your coworking space.
Now the question is: Are you making the most out of your meeting rooms? How do you measure their usage? Can you increase bookings somehow?
Finding answers to these questions will give you valuable insights on how well your meeting rooms are performing, so you can use this information to evaluate and improve their usage.
There’s a number of key metrics you can monitor to measure meeting rooms usage including how often they’re booked, for how long, which meeting rooms are used the most, average bookings per day, week or month, peak or quiet hours, etc.
The steps you can take to improve the areas which underperform depends on your business model – do members pay additionally for using meeting rooms or they are included in the plans you offer?
Improving usage of paid meeting rooms
Paid meeting rooms are usually popular in Serviced Offices (Executive Suites) and in some Coworking spaces. Two main factors lead to this:
- This happens in places where a lot of business meetings happen. Usually, members meet clients, partners, future investors and making the right impression is really important.
- Business meetings happen sporadically. Paying for a meeting room when the necessity comes fits your member’s needs (and wallets!) better than adding to their plans meeting rooms credits which, sometimes, they might not need.
Here’s what you can do to improve the usage of paid meeting rooms:
Attract external audiences
A successful approach to improve usage is to market your meeting rooms to the public. There are plenty of reasons why meeting rooms in coworking spaces are better than in hotels so there’s a natural interest towards them.
One idea is to take advantage of marketplaces where you can list your meeting rooms. Of course, you would also like to optimize your website for search engines and fill it up with enough information and great photos to present your service properly.
Providing an option for online booking that shows live availability is another way you can attract more customers.
Read more about how to market meeting rooms: 6 Tips on How To Market Your Coworking Space Meeting Rooms.
Identify underutilized time slots and offer promotions
Time slots in the range of 2-5 pm are in most cases fully booked. It’s the time when most meetings happen – both internally and with external partners/clients.
Of course, every flex space is different, so you should find out what the trend is in your space. An analysis of usage will again require a dedicated solution, but it will be invaluable to have this data so you can know where to focus your efforts:
Once you identify the periods which are underutilized in your coworking space, you can think about offering discounts during those times.
Also, think about allowing bookings during non-business hours and setting lower price rates for them. After all, one of the coolest things about coworking is its flexibility, so giving your community members the opportunity the use your meeting rooms whenever they need, is an excellent thing to do.
Bundle free credits in recurring memberships
If your members have a membership plan, but they have to pay additionally for meeting rooms, there’s a real chance they’ll sometimes avoid it and go to the near cafe or use the open area in case they have an informal meetup.
However, if you bundle free credits for meeting rooms in their membership plan, they’ll be more willing to book and use a meeting room, as they won’t need to pay additionally for it.
At the end of the day, they do pay for it, but it’s the psychological aspect that’s important here.
Think about (discounted) prepaid credit bundles
Offer bundles of credits and give them at a lower price if people prepay for them.
It’s a win-win situation – your members receive a discount, you get a commitment for another 5 hours, for example.
Add discounts based on booking length
A great thing to do is to lower the price rate for longer bookings. An example structure would be to provide members with discounts for half-day bookings, full-day bookings, etc.
Of course, such flexibility will add some additional complexity to your everyday operations. You can eliminate such complexity with the help of coworking apps such as OfficeRnD which will help you manage meeting room bookings, billing, etc.
Improving the usage of free meeting rooms
Free meeting rooms for coworking members are widely popular in coworking spaces for various reasons.
It might be that your space is located in the suburbs of bigger and smaller cities and is not exposed to huge business traffic, so your members would usually have regular internal meetings (and making them paid will just be an inconvenience for them).
Or you might be focusing on memberships and increasing the amount of time a team or a member stays with you, and bundling in a free meeting room is a key differentiator.
But when members do not pay additionally for using a meeting room, there’s often a difference between what’s been booked and what’s been actually used.
How’s “booked” different from “used”?
Sometimes people book a meeting room but eventually don’t show up. Such ghost bookings can be very expensive for your coworking space. Another scenario you would like to avoid is rooms that aren’t used at their full capacity or are used for a shorter period than was actually booked.
Once you build a certain customer base, monitoring that on your own will be too much overhead, so you might think about turning to technology for help.
Make sure that the solution you pick has an easy to handle process both for you and your members – for example, allowing them to self-service themselves and control their bookings. Here are some ideas you could consider:
Member check-in to confirm a booking
This can be achieved with a tablet or a dashboard located at the entrance of a meeting room. If no one checks in 15 minutes, the app will automatically remove the booking from the system, so other members can use the room.
Notifications and reminders
Use some kind of push notifications/reminder to the mobile app, which pings members before the meeting. Sometimes people forget to remove a booking when their meeting has been canceled. Sending them a push notification right before the booking with an easy way to cancel it is a possible approach.
Take advantage of IoT
Installing beacons in your meeting rooms which track movement, for example, is a good way to track what’s the actual usage of your meeting rooms (not only if people come, but how long they actually stay there).
Again the same logic can apply here if you connect such beacons with your booking software – it can automatically delete a booking if no one shows up in 15 minutes.
If you want to learn about designing top-performing high-tech meeting rooms, check out our webinar on the topic.
Meeting rooms are one of the most important assets of your coworking space, regardless if you require people to pay for them or you offer them for free. But to make the most of them, effort should be invested in maximizing their usage.
It’s important to have the right data. This will give you valuable insights into how well your meeting rooms are currently performing, which will help you understand where to focus efforts to improve their usage, member satisfaction and eventually – your revenue.