When it comes to keeping track of several retail companies and two non-profit organizations booking conference rooms at the Centre of Health & Safety Innovation (CHSI), there is a real need for an online booking system to streamline the process of both internal and external reservations. Located in Mississauga, Ontario, CHSI has 27 rooms in total including training rooms, boardrooms and large conference spaces, along with trade show halls that can hold 12 to 288 attendees.
Two internal non-profit partners, the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, located in the CHSI building, book rooms through the Corporate Event Centre primarily for education and training purposes. Larger external corporations will reserve meeting rooms for several reasons like launching new products or renovating their workplaces.
With all these factors coming into play, Murray Parr, guest services manager at the Corporate Event Centre, has his hands full keeping track of room bookings. In a moment his booking system could go amiss if one thing goes wrong. His solution to meeting room management is Rendezvous room booking software by NFS Technology Group.
Parr investigated many software products and chose Rendezvous because it is easy to set up, and only takes about four to six weeks to fully implement. He and his staff were trained to use the program in two days through teleconferencing. Thirty people in the building were trained and have access to Rendezvous to reserve meeting rooms. Administrators book the meeting spaces for managers in the building. The Corporate Event Centre, managed by Parr, oversees the entire reservation system and can override any reservation at any time.
“I keep track by assigning everybody a color code, yellow or orange — confirmed or tentative,” Parr said. Parr designates the color yellow to one internal CHSI partner in the building and orange to another in order to keep things running smoothly. Parr uses different colors to keep track of external companies. Moreover, Parr uses a completely different color for personal use and maintenance of the rooms.
“Larger companies have their own meeting rooms but sometimes have run out of space and need additional rooms or require offsite meetings, announcements etc. so they book with us,” Parr explained. He states if one of the larger retail companies has a special event, such as the rollout of a new program or are renovating its office space, the company will book rooms in his team’s building – sometimes for months.
Rendezvous offers a booking system which gives him the choice to input different price points for non-profits. “NFS Rendezvous allows us to set up different price points and register clients with different account numbers. Non-profits receive a lower price point than our retail customers,” Parr says.
“I open up the calendar for the year in June. The two organizations in the building book their training sessions for the year. Then some bigger clients book their rooms. In August I open the rooms up to the public to book.”
Rendezvous has been used by Parr and his employees for over four years. A couple of aspects he appreciates within the system is it’s easy to use in regards to reporting, audit trails and invoicing.
“Since CHSI has so much space and so many types of bookings it is imperative that they have a robust, yet easy to use and web-based solution like Rendezvous,” states Natalie Appleton, VP Americas, NFS Technology. “They also need to move things from time to time and be able to easily change a reservation – this has been something they do often with Rendezvous.”
Parr explains how easy it is to go online or call NFS and get assistance with the Rendezvous program. “NFS has always answered our questions – they are cooperative and get us answers,” he says. “I highly recommend NFS Rendezvous. It is the easiest to set-up and I know because I’ve used and researched other software programs that do not compare to Rendezvous.”
Getting in touch with the correct stakeholder at NFS is easy, as opposed to other operations in which employees are spread out over three time zones. Parr says obtaining help has never been an issue while using Rendezvous. He stressed this is an important aspect of the operation, as all of the company’s information is invested in the Rendezvous program. If anything ever happened to the program, Parr’s operation would be akin to flying blind. However, with his color-coded system, great customer service from Rendezvous and close attention to detail, an emergency situation can be avoided.
“Nothing is off the shelf, ready to use when booking meeting rooms, but Rendezvous comes close,” states Parr.