Moving from paper calendar to a digital calendar is certainly a shift, yet one with many benefits. We recommend using Google calendar as it is free, and integrates with everything from smart phones to SpaceFinder! Some of the largest and most grand venues use Google calendar to manage rentals, so don't feel pressured to build a custom software solution for calendar.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to make the switch:
Start with an open discussion among your staff, ask yourselves:
- How often do we have to tell someone a space is not available?
- How much email goes back and forth over availability?
- How much of our space goes unrented?
- Do we have staff that need to collaborate on managing rentals?
- Do we have high turnover in the position that manages rentals?
- Do we have staff that feel confidant about working with a digital calendar?
- Do we often have double booking or confusion around rental times?
- What is our marketing budget to bring new renters in?
- How can being transparent about availability externally help us attract renters?
- How can being transparent about availability internally help us coordinate?
Create Google Calendar account and keep in mind:
- Create a calendar for each unique space within your venue that you would like to rent
- Title each calendar clearly (no abbreviations, it will help you keep track)
- Consider how color coding of events on the calendar will be most useful to you
- Create test events on your calendar, play and learn BEFORE migrating all of your paper calendar bookings into Google.
- Consider who should have edit permissions to the calendar, and who should only be able to view, share accordingly
Some final words of encouragement...Youtube is filled with helpful tutorials on getting started with Google Calendar, so we won't repeat any of that here. Fractured Atlas's SpaceFinder program has worked with hundreds of venues on marketing their rentals. We've even helped church groups move from paper calendar to Google calendar, and it increased their bookings on SpaceFinder by 50%. We won't say it's easy, no change is completely friction free, but we can say it is a game-changer and we encourage you to take that step. Good luck!