Category Archives: Scheduling

How to Plan Your Perfect Eating Schedule

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As wonderful as eating is, it takes a lot of time. Planning your meals can give you more time to enjoy your food, as well as more time to get things done. 

Meal-planning is not just about figuring what to eat. Eating at the right time can boost your energy, keep you feeling full throughout the workday, and cut down on your snack intake. 

We’re wired to think about eating in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The trouble is, the same eating schedule doesn’t work for everyone. What if you work the night shift? What if you need to spend your lunch break running errands?

The solution is to find eating times that work for you. Here’s how to do it: 

1. Keep tabs on your productivity.

Everyone has their own daily rhythm. Some people are most productive in the morning, while others crank out their best work in the afternoon or at night.

To figure out when you should eat, think through your peaks and troughs. If you usually take lunch at noon but always feel groggy afterward, try a different time. Eating earlier in the day could keep you from crashing as hard. 

2. Monitor your hunger.

Hunger is your body telling you to feed it. Even if you’re in your groove at work, don’t ignore it. 

Try not to think of hunger as a binary. Are you hungry enough for a full meal, or would a granola bar be enough? There’s nothing wrong with putting a 3 p.m. snack on your schedule, as long as it’s truly a snack. 

Realize, too, that our body isn’t great at distinguishing hunger from thirst. Practice mindful eating: Sometimes, a drink of water is what we really need. At other times, our body might be responding to a nutrient deficiency rather than a lack of raw calories. 

3. Snack responsibly. 

Snacks can be part of a healthy diet, but they should not be arbitrary. Plan out your snack times so you don’t overeat, and so that you can focus on your work. 

Try to combine snacks with other break-time activities. Maybe you bring a bag of trail mix along with you on a walk. That way, your sole focus isn’t shoveling food into your mouth.

If you struggle with snacking, get an accountability partner. At home, encourage your spouse to say something if you grab the bag of chips right after dinner. 

In the office, social norms can keep people from speaking up. A good alternative is to ask your office manager to choose healthier snacks, which are both less tempting and less harmful if you do decide to binge. 

4. Consider when you exercise.

Planning meals around your workout schedule can be tough. If you prefer to exercise first thing, then you need to think through your morning routine: How are you going to wake up, work out, shower, eat breakfast, and still get out the door in time for work?

If you want to exercise after work, be sure you get a bite to eat 2-3 hours in advance. Depending on when you get off work, this might mean taking a later lunch than people typically do. And because making dinner takes time, it might also mean eating supper later in the evening. 

As important as exercise is, don’t let it dictate your meal schedule. Find a balance: Perhaps you work out earlier than you otherwise would so that you have time for a filling breakfast before heading to the office. 

5. Factor in your sleep schedule.

Most people have trouble falling asleep on a full stomach. Especially if you exercise after work, avoid eating dinner so late that it gets in the way of your sleep. Popping into the kitchen for a midnight meal is almost never a good idea.  

One exception? If you’re so hungry that you can’t sleep because of it, feel free to grab a late-night snack. Just be sure to practice portion control: Especially when you’re tired, it’s easy to overeat. 

6. Keep it consistent. 

Eating at regular times in the day keeps your metabolism stable. That, in turn, prevents swings in your mood and energy levels.

Be proactive: If you worry that you’ll be so busy tomorrow that you won’t have time for lunch, then it might be best to work a little more before you leave the office today. If you need to wake up early one day, postpone breakfast until your normal time. 

What about special occasions? Events like office parties and birthdays may require you to eat at odd times. That’s OK, as long as you get back to your routine afterward. 

Don’t let eating be a haphazard activity. Prepare healthy meals, choose the right time to eat them, and listen to your body afterward. For finding your ideal eating schedule, self-awareness is key.

Top Appointment Apps For Scheduling Your Business

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Schedule

Are appointment apps and calendar software a necessity? They are if you want to schedule and track appointments, accept online bookings from clients, and send appointment reminders automatically. The top appointment apps and calendar software programs are also useful in blocking off internal meeting times, organizing your schedule, and even accept deposits or prepayments. As a result you can save time while increasing revenue.

Here is our guide for what makes up an appointment app, why you should use an appointment app, and what to look for when you decide to add this tool to your business. We’ve also selected the top ten appointment app solutions for this year and into the future.

What is an Appointment App?

An appointment app is a convenient way for your clients or customers to schedule appointments. The application may also be referred to as online scheduling software or mobile booking software.

Many of today’s appointment apps go beyond just a basic scheduling portal. They now offer comprehensive business,  calendar, and time management capabilities that add efficiencies for your clients, team, and business as a whole.

Benefits of Using an Appointment App

There are many compelling reasons to add an appointment app to your business:

Around-the-Clock Scheduling

Rather than only be able to take appointments during business hours because you rely on staff to create the schedule, you can use an automated scheduling system that can make appointments at any hour and any hour. Customers may not always be able to reach you during business hours. Or, they may prefer to make an appointment without having to call and then be placed on hold.

With 24/7 scheduling through an appointment app, your customers and prospects can schedule their appointment when it’s convenient for them. Doing so can help you attract and retain more customers.

An Enhanced Experience

The traditional appointments process can take a lot of time, with multiple back and forth communications about the best day and time. Even then, the appointment may not be set and require more time to reschedule. It can start to feel like a real hassle for your customer.

With an appointment app, your customers have access to a simple scheduling process where they can see the available time slots and reserve a time that fits their needs. They can also get reminders or use the system again to easily reschedule the appointment.

Increased Search Visibility

As a service business, attracting local customers may be your top priority. It’s important to have a strong online presence and appear in front of prospects on their search queries. Appointment apps can help you do that by integrating with search engines through Google Search and Maps so you appear when those customers look for your service..

More Business Insights

Appointment apps often include data analytics tools so you can learn more about your audience, such as your most popular service or the busiest days and times each week for your business. You can then take this data and make better business decisions about when to schedule employees, types of promotions, and more. A physical appointment book will never be able to reveal such business insights.

Time and Cost Savings

Removing a legacy appointment system that uses paper processes and consumes significant amounts of time can be a real savings for a small business. An appointment app eliminates paper costs and reduces manual processes, saving both time and money. Those savings can be applied to other parts of your business, allowing you to focus more on service as well as use the extra money to grow your enterprise.

Less Risk of Human Error

Humans make mistakes. For example, when scheduling an appointment, one of your employees might have transposed the numbers in a phone number or they added the customer to the wrong time slot. Multiple people could be using the same appointment book and double-booked in a time slot. Those human errors create dissatisfied customers.

An appointment app reduces those human errors by automating the scheduling process. The customer puts their information in while the app sends reminders and only schedules open time slots. Fewer human errors mean happier customers.

What to Look For in an Appointment App

Those benefits all lead to greater business success. The only problem is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of appointment apps and calendar software to choose from. Here are some factors to consider when you researching the ideal appointment app for your business:

Ease of Use

It’s important to have an appointment app that your customers can immediately feel comfortable using. It’s got to be simple and convenient, including a clear process for scheduling an appointment with the fewest amounts of clicks and screens to navigate.

Booking and Attendance Features

The appointment app solution should include features designed to ensure that customers compete the booking process and actually show up for their appointment. Look for features like rescheduling, appointment confirmations and reminders, and waitlists.

Marketing Tools

The appointment app should also be able to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts. Features that can help you do this include a shareable booking link, search engine booking tools, and social media booking buttons.

Staff Capabilities

Along with customer service and marketing, you also want an appointment app that can help oversee your team. It helps to have an appointment app that can support multiple users so other team members can see or change anything in the app as well as plan the employee schedule for the week or month.

Payments

Although it is not a must, being able to integrate payment processing with your appointment app adds a new level to your customer experience and further reduces the labor required for your service business. It is especially beneficial for those businesses that take deposits at the time of booking, often used for late fees, cancellations, and/or “no-shows.”

Overview of Best Appointment Apps

Although our list of appointment apps may not include all these factors in every solution, you can’t go wrong with the following 10 solutions for 2020 and beyond. Here are the top ten appointment apps we selected and why each one stands out as an ideal tool for your business.

  1. Appointment: Appointment app with longest track record of success
  2. Calendar: Appointment app with powerful technology like machine learning for intuitive assistance
  3. 10to8: Appointment app with integrated payment processing
  4. VueMinder: Appointment app made for Windows users
  5. Setmore: Appointment app with a live call answering service
  6. Grapple: Appointment app for scheduling meetings
  7. Calendarwiz: Appointment app for sharing schedules with groups, teams, and clients
  8. Evie: Appointment app that automates your entire meeting schedule and calendar management process
  9. Square Appointments: Appointment app that embeds social channels in your scheduling process
  10. Bookeo: Appointment app with text notifications

Now, dive in deeper to each of our top appointment apps for 2020 and beyond.

The Best Appointment Apps for 2020 and Beyond

1. Appointment

Appointment

Considering that Appointment.com has been providing online appointment scheduling since 1999, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company with more experience in this area. What makes Appointment.com continue to stand out among other leading online appointment scheduling software is that the company continually evolves to meet their modern user’s needs.

Appointment.com comes packed with features like allowing customers to book an appointment with you 24/7 — even if you don’t have a website. Customers can also cancel or reschedule an appointment on their own. If you have several locations, employees, or services that’s not a problem either since Appointment.com handles these multiple options for you.

Additional features include the customers ability to pay through PayPal, allowing them to create gift certificates, and send out reminders via email or SMS. It also syncs with leading cloud-based calendaring solutions like Outlook, Google, and iCal.

If none of these features are right for your business, Appointment.com’s powerful API allows you to customize it to fit your specific needs.

Following a 30 day free trial Appointment.com offers plans starting at $29/month.

2. Calendar

Calendar

If you want to meet with a client or your team, scheduling events can be a time-consuming process. Calendar can be a major time-saving assist for you.

With Calendar you simply share your existing cloud-based calendar, such as Google Calendar or Outlook, via email or an embedded link on your website. Those persons trying to schedule with you can then see your availability and pick a date and time when you are both free. After they’ve chosen a time, the event is automatically added to everyone’s calendar.

Even better, Calendar harnesses the power of machine learning. This means that it can analyze your previous meeting data to make smart suggestions on where, when, and what type of meetings to schedule.

You can currently sign-up for Calendar for free.

3. 10to8

10to8

If you’re tired of no-shows, then you may want to look into 10to8.

This online appointment software sends automated confirmation emails and SMS to clients. It also sends them reminders and gives them the ability change or cancel the appointment. Because it syncs with Google Calendar and Outlook all new appointments or changes are automatically updated in your calendar. If there are any questions or concerns, there’s a helpful two-way calendar-integrated chat so that you and your clients can address them in real-time.

10to8 also accepts online payments through PayPal, Stripe, SagePay without additional charges. You can also coordinate between multiple staff, calendars, rooms and locations seamlessly.

10to8 offers a free plan if you book fewer than 100 customers per month. If you book more than that, monthly plans start at $9.6.

4. VueMinder

VueMinder

VueMinder is a calendar program specifically designed for Windows users. Unlike some of the other apps and software you can view your schedule directly on the Windows desktop background. However, it does sync with Google Calendar and Apple Calendar. This means you don’t have to completely switch to Outlook.

That’s just scratching the surface. With VueMinder you can schedule daily, weekly, monthly, or annual events and appointments. You can also define tasks and break large tasks into smaller sub-tasks. Other useful features include the ability to store contact information, color-code your calendar, and create customized popup reminders. VueMinder will also send reminders through SMS and email.

While you can download a free version, access to more of the robust features require you to purchase the software starting $49.95.

5. Setmore

Setmore

Setmore is the only online appointment scheduling calendar software that provides a built-in live call answering service. To ensure that appointments are kept it will then send out alerts and reminders. If an appointment must be rescheduled you can easily do so by using the software’s drag and drop feature where you just move the appointment to a new time slot.

What makes Setmore unique is that it integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Slack, WordPress, and Weebly. This gives your clients more opportunities to share your calendar with clients and team members. Thanks to Setmore’s mobile app, you can book, manage, and sync your calendar while on the go.

For those of you have have under 20 staff logins and calendars, Setmore is free. For larger businesses, plans start $25/month.

6. Grapple

grapple

One of the newer meeting schedulers on the market is Grapple Meetings. Through the app you can select various meeting times and then create a poll. Once you do a page is created where clients and team members can select the availability that works best for them.

Participants can then view what selection other individuals made. That may not sound important, but it makes scheduling and rescheduling for groups much more easier and efficient.

You can sign up for Grapple for free. Doing so gives you access to both it’s collaborative software and in-built meeting scheduler.

7. CalendarWiz

Calendarwiz

CalendarWiz is a customizable calendar that can be shared with groups, teams, or clients. Just simply create a single or recurring event and share it with invitees through email, your website or social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can brand your calendar by changing the calendar colors to match your brand and adding your logo.

After an event has been created and shared, you can send an invite with a request to RSVP — you can also track who has accepted or declined the invite. Everyone will then receive automatic reminders and announcements to reduce no-shows.

CalendarWiz also lets you color code events, prevent double-booking with the self-service feature, and let your community suggest calendar events.

Following a 30 day free trial, plans start at $9/month.

8. Evie

Evie

Evie is an AI scheduling assistant that automates your entire meeting schedule and calendar management. How? Just Cc Evie whenever you mail attendees. Then ask Evie to help schedule a meeting or a call or to send out an invitation. That’s it. Evie handles the rest by finding an optimal time for everyone to meet based on everyone’s calendar.

Evie can then send out calendar invites and request meeting follow-ups automatically. More advanced features include the ability to include location information in emails, reschedule or cancel meetings, set meeting duration times based on your preferences.

If you schedule five meetings or less per month Evie is free. If you schedule more than five, you’ll have to choose a plan starting at $20/month.

9. Square Appointments

Square Appointments

With the free Square Appointments your customers can book an appointment with you 24/7 via a free online booking website. However, Square Appointments can also be embedded on your social channels like Facebook and Instagram. Because it syncs with your calendar, your availability will always be accurate and up-to-date.

You can also prevent no-shows by sending clients appointment reminders through email or SMS. You even have the option to charge a no-show fee. And, if the client must cancel or reschedule the client can do so on their own — meaning no more back-and-forth emails.

With Square, you can also accept payments remotely.

10. Bookeo

Bookeo

Bookeo can accept client bookings from your website and Facebook page anywhere, anytime. It then sends out automatic confirmation emails and email and text reminders. You can also receive email or text notifications when an appointment is cancelled or rescheduled.

Furthermore, Bookeo allows you to customize your calendar. You have the option to set business hours, appointment lengths, and color-code your various services.

Bookeo also lets you accept online payments and can be integrated with your existing marketing tools like Google Analytics and MailChimp.

You can try Bookeo for free for 30 days. After that, plans start at $14.95 per user/month.

For Better Customer Feedback, Use Scheduling Software

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You leave comment cards by the door. You send email surveys. And yet, you never seem to get the customer feedback you need.

What’s the secret to getting better customer feedback more often, and from more customers? Believe it or not, scheduling software.

It all starts by letting customers schedule their own appointments. Not only can you ask for comments in the interface itself, but you can also set up feedback appointments. Both help you problem-solve and innovate your customer experience.

Don’t want for customers to complain about the experience. Reach out for feedback. Here’s how to do it through scheduling software:

1. Let them choose the channel.

Not everyone likes to give feedback in writing. Customers could schedule a phone call with someone at your company, they could engage through video chat, or they could join you in person.

Each forum comes with its pros and cons. An in-person feedback session is going to be more involved than one that happens over the phone. However, it might be better for establishing connections with customers.

It’s important to accept what your customers are comfortable with. Don’t force them to come to your office if they ask for a call. Offer as many channel options as you can. 

2. Promote feedback sessions.

Beyond offering multiple times and modes of communication, you need to find ways to excite your customers about giving feedback. Increase engagement with a promotion strategy. 4

To promote customer feedback sessions, you can:

  • Inform customers about feedback opportunities after regular appointments.
  • Announce a special week dedicated to feedback, such as a customer appreciation week.
  • Leverage social media to encourage customers to schedule.

Even if they just want to stop by for a ten-minute chat, get customers in the habit of using your scheduling tool to give feedback. Make it as convenient as possible, and they’ll be more likely to do it. 

3. Offer rewards for feedback.

When a customer takes time out of their day to give you feedback, make it worth their while. Rewarding them is common courtesy. There are plenty of ways to do it:

  • Provide a discount on your product or service when the customer schedules a feedback session.
  • Surprise customers who give feedback with gift cards to area restaurants.
  • Give shoutouts on social media to customers whose feedback helps you improve.

For repeat feedback-providers, go above and beyond. Follow up with a gift that is tailor-made for them. These are the kinds of actions that win customer loyalty. 

4. Never underestimate the power of food.

One way to liven up a feedback meeting is to provide free food. You can put special lunch meetings on your schedule and allow customers to book on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

A meal makes the conversation more casual. Eating during the conversation communicates that you aren’t in a rush, and that you enjoy your customers’ company. 

Meals also create an opportunity for group meetings. Getting a few extra servings delivered is worth it for a wider perspective. Treat it like a focus group, letting your customers have a conversation with one another while you mediate the session. 

5. Always be professional.

Just as you would with any other appointment, practice professional behavior at your feedback sessions. To respect your customers time and protect your brand:

  • Show up early to in-person meetings.
  • Dress in professional attire.
  • Make sure necessary materials are printed off and organized.
  • Let the customer set the agenda.
  • Don’t do all the talking.
  • Ask meaningful questions to encourage conversation.

6. Respond to criticism with compassion.

Not all feedback you receive will be positive. That isn’t a bad thing: Criticism is often more helpful than praise.

Don’t make customers feel guilty for giving you the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you get defensive, customers will shut down rather than say what’s really on their mind. 

Use questions to flesh out criticisms. If a customer says your wait times are too long, for example, ask what amount of time they consider to be unacceptable. If they are having trouble using your scheduling program, encourage them to pull up the program to show you their issue. Be honest if there are things you can’t change. 

Honesty and empathy are key. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and acknowledge your shortcomings. 

7. Actually make improvements. 

It should go without saying, but customers need to know it: Their feedback has to result in real changes. Otherwise, they will feel like their feedback was not taken seriously. 

Send them updates about how you’re integrating their suggestions. Either send it out via email, or set up a session for all feedback-givers to walk through the changes they inspired.

If you truly care about your customers, prove that to them by asking for improvement ideas. With scheduling software, you can always keep your door open. Your customers, as well as your bottom line, will appreciate that. 

The 10 Best Productivity Scheduling Apps

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Schedule

There have always been plenty of ways to increase your productivity. The key here, is that the information about productivity is always changing. You can’t pick one productive way that fits you — and then never read another article or study about productivity. There will always be another app.

You can use hacks like the Pomodoro Technique, create a daily routine, and plan your entire day. You can even ditch bad habits, such as multitasking and having too many meetings. Just remember to always have eyes and ears to newer and faster processes and tools that will help you on your way.

How fast will you become — for now — a lot faster. Later, who knows –but, you will become more and more amazing.

Another effective way to be more productive is by “embracing” new things — including scheduling apps. These handy apps eliminate those back-and-forth communications when scheduling appointments, events, and even tasks. A quick app entry will make every part of your life quicker.

The problem — you may be thinking is that there are too many scheduling apps available on the market. This means that you may end-up spending too much time searching for a scheduling app that best suits your needs. To help narrow down your decision, here are the best productivity scheduling apps out there.

1. Calendar

Instead of playing phone tag or exchanging lengthy email threads, Calendar uses a smart scheduling link to essentially automate your scheduling. Simply send your availability via email or through an embedded link. The other party then picks the best date and time for them. After that — the event is added to everyone’s calendar. Literally three or four clicks. Boom! Done.

Even more promising is that Calendar uses machine learning to make suggestions for when, where and how your meetings can take place. Calendar also sends follow-ups to ensure that every attendee confirms the meeting.

You can even use the free Calendar app to help manage your team. This because the apps intelligently categorizes project meetings in order to determine the relationship between your plans and the people attending the meeting.

2. Plan

Plan is best described as a “one commander center” for all of your tools. That’s because it syncs with the tools that you and your team use on a daily basis. This includes your email, calendar, Salesforce, Zendesk, JIRA, and Github. Now you don’t have to toggle between tabs since all of this information can be viewed in one dashboard.

Additionally, with Plan you can see who’s exactly working on what and when it’s expected to be completed in real-time. As a result you and your team will never miss a meeting or deadline for a task or project.

Plan is free for one to two users — but you’ll have to select the $9/month plan if you have more than three users.

3. Any.do

Any.do stores all of your todos, lists, and reminders in one convenient location. The app also comes with a calendar so that you can plan out your day, week, or month. There’s also location based reminders and how you can share your tasks and calendar with others.

As if that weren’t enough Any.do also comes with Assistant. This feature automatically analyzes all of your tasks so that it can automatically do it for you. This means if you have recurring tasks, events, or meetings Any.do Assistant will take care of it for you on it’s on.

The app syncs across all devices and plans start at just $2.09/month.

4. Notion

Notion is another app that places all of your work in dashboard. This includes everything from your calendar, lists, todos, notes, Kanban board, and spreadsheets. Like Plan, this means you and your have team have everything needed to stay on the same page without switching between applications.

Notion integrates with Google apps, Slack, Twitter, Figma, and around 50 other popular apps. However, one of the coolest features is that the interface will fade away when you start typing. That means you won’t get distracted by notifications while working.

You can try Notion for free and it works across most devices. Later you can pick the plan you want, after trying it out.

5. Doodle

Doodle has been a favorite scheduling app for years. And there’s a good reason why. It’s one of the simplest ways to find the best availability for everyone to meet — it’s also kind of fun.

Simply suggest a date and location and then invite participants to vote in a poll. When the votes are in you can then select the most popular option. Since Doodle integrates with your Google or Facebook account events are automatically synced to everyone’s calendar — even if the don’t have Doodle account.

For individual users Doodle is free. However, for teams and more robust features like reminders, you’ll have to go with a Premium account starting at $39/year.

6. Accompany

You just scheduled an appointment with a high-profile individual. You obviously want to be prepared when meeting them. This involves beefing up your knowledge regarding their company or the latest news involving them, their organization, or industry.

Instead of searching for this information yourself you can let Accompany do the legwork for you.

Containing the profiles for over 250 million people, Accompany provides a rich calendar, executive briefings, and a curated news feed. This allows you to quickly view information like quarterly reviews and professional history so that you’re completely prepared for the meeting.

While Accompany is free, it’s only available through the App Store.

7. IFTTT

IFTTT is one of the best productivity tools around. That’s because you can essentially automate everything from controlling your smart devices to scheduling social media posts to muting your phone at bedtime. For example, whenever you publish a blog post on WordPress IFTTT will automatically post it to Facebook.

There are a ton of date and time triggers that can make you productive. This includes reminding your team to submit expense reports at the end of the month through Slack, receive SMS and calendar reminders, and saying when you’re busy/available with blink (1). The possibilities are endless.

8. Acuity Scheduling

If you’re in the service industry then you definitely want to check out Acuity Scheduling. It allows clients to book appointments online so that you no longer have to deal with those back-and-forth communications. Acuity also lets clients reschedule events on their own and even pay for your services through PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

When an appointment is booked Acuity will automatically add the appointment to your Google, Outlook, iCloud or Office 365 calendar.

If you’re working solo, Acuity is free. Plans start at $15/month. Acuity is also part of our top calendar apps for business owners.

9. Setmore

Setmore is another tool that lets customers book an self-book appointments with you in real-time. Because Setmore integrates with WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Facebook there are a variety of ways for customers to book your services. Once an booked, you, your team, and the customers will receive SMS and email reminders to help lessen no-shows.

You can also use the Android or iOS app to create recurring events, book classes, and accept online payments. For larger businesses there’s even a live call answering service — but you’ll need the $89/month plan.

10. Sling

Finally, if you have team then you’ll want to use Sling. This app will schedule your team in a matter of minutes while also eliminating conflicts by receiving real-time updates on double-booking and time off request.

You can also use Sling track your team’s hours and export these timesheets for payroll. And, you can keep communicate more effectively with your team through group messages or creating a unique newsfeed for your team.

Sling is free if you’re just looking for a tool to schedule your team, for additional features you’ll have to select a paid plan which starts at $1.75 per user.

Slice Your No-Show Rate With These 5 Tips

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appointment guide

It’s not just you: Cancellations and no-shows are time-wasting issues at every service company.

Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry alone $150 billion dollars a year. With those stakes, you can’t just accept frequent cancellations and no-shows.

You may not be in charge of your client’s schedules, but there are ways to significantly reduce cancellations without upsetting or alienating customers. Take a look at the following ways to do just that:

1. Check for a common cause.

If you see a spike in cancellations, it doesn’t mean that your customers are careless or inconsiderate. There are plenty of other reasons that could be to blame, such as:

  • Customers have issues with your scheduling system that they don’t know how to articulate.
  • Your hours of operation have recently changed.
  • You aren’t sending out appointment reminders.
  • External circumstances, such as the pandemic, are keeping customers away

To get to the root of the issue, reach out to your customers. If they cancel by phone, you can simply ask them. If they cancel on scheduling software, you can provide a portal that lets them check their reason among common ones or provide their own. 

Get data from at least a dozen customers before taking any action. You may need to readjust your availability, send stronger reminders, or provide incentives like discounts to get customers in the door.

2. Default to self-service scheduling.

Having a centralized scheduling software for your company can save you time, not to mention the headaches that come with cancellations. Unless clients request otherwise, ask them to book appointments themselves online. 

With self-scheduling, customers can:

  • Schedule appointments at any time.
  • Choose times that work best for them.
  • Reschedule appointments.
  • Sign up for waitlists.

Customers crave autonomy. Even if something comes up at a time they schedule, they’re much more likely to reschedule if they can handle it themselves.

When that happens, scheduling software helps you shift your own plans. There might be a waitlisted person ready to take their place, for example. 

3. Institute a cancellation policy.

A strong policy can deter cancellations. Just the mention of “policy” can get customers to take your time more seriously. 

A cancellation policy is an opportunity to let your clients know how cancellations and no-shows affect your business. Done right, it can help them understand their role in your success. 

What should your cancellation policy include? Outline a preferred time frame for cancellations as well as a method for notifying your company. Within a certain number of days of the cancelled appointment, a fee may apply. 

Once you create a cancellation policy, be sure to let your clients know about it. Revisit it quarterly, and again make sure clients are abreast of any changes you make. 

4. Require payments beforehand.

If you’ve already paid for an appointment, you are incentivized to actually make it. That’s why prepayments can be a lifesaver when it comes to reducing cancellations and no-shows.

Clients don’t have to pay the full price for the appointment, either. You can charge a deposit beforehand and bill the remaining balance at the time of service.

What if clients want to pay afterward? Offer that option to reliable customers. Treat it as an additional incentive for them to make their appointments.

5. Enhance your customer experience.

One reason that you might be getting frequent cancellations is that customers simply are not excited about the experience you offer. A stronger experience not only reduces no-shows, but it also attracts more customers in the first place. 

Maybe the issue is ho-hum customer service. Perhaps your clients worry that they will wait too long to be seen once they arrive at your office. These are the kinds of mistakes that spur negative conversations about your company, causing others to second-guess their appointments. 

It’s critical to create the sort of environment where customers feel welcomed. Instead of dreading their appointment, they ought to be excited for it. Signs that you’ve got it right include positive feedback and early arrivals. 

Cancellations happen, but they should not get to a point where they make you sweat. You have more control over cancellations than you think. The key is solving them in ways that put the customer first. 

6 Tips to Supercharge Customer Support With Scheduling Software

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What distinguishes your business isn’t just the quality of your product or service; it’s also how your product or service is delivered. In fact, 73% of consumers say the experience is their main consideration after price and product quality. 

One way to ensure that you’re delivering a great experience is using scheduling software. By using automation technology to manage from appointments to service calls to follow-ups, you’ll help your company stand out. 

Scheduling software is a set-it-and-forget-it system for customer support. But like any system, it isn’t foolproof. Use these six tips to get it right:

1. Default to self-service.

Most scheduling software gives you a choice: Either you schedule clients’ appointments, or you let them do so themselves. Letting clients choose is a win-win: Your team saves time, while your customers are able to book when and as often as they want.

From transportation to lodging to restaurant reservations, online booking is what today’s customers are used to. In healthcare, for example, 77% of patients see self-scheduling as important.

Why do customers insist on self-booking? The practice lets them:

  • Schedule appointments during hours when you’re closed for business. 
  • Take time to compare your availability to their own calendar.
  • Cancel and reschedule appointments on their own.

 

2. Send purposeful reminders.

Reminding customers about their appointments is important because they have busy lives. In the rush of modern life, it’s easy to forget even things they schedule themselves. 

Sending reminders can reduce your no-show rate, but it can also demonstrate that you are eager and ready to provide for your customer. Customers shouldn’t have to contact you to make sure you’ll be ready for an appointment. 

The reminders you send should be timely and meaningful. You wouldn’t send the same notification to someone whose appointment is booked for tomorrow as you would a person who has an appointment a couple of months from now. And if every reminder looks the same, customers are less likely to pay attention to them. 

With scheduling software, you can automate reminders based on how far away the meeting is. These can be delivered through emails or text messages, and you can tailor the notification to match the circumstance. 

3. Be flexible with payments.

Depending on your line of business, you might be able to accept payments before or after an appointment. If you can, give customers that option.

Some people like to make payments when they book so they can forget about it. Others would rather wait to pay in person. Still others want to receive the service before they pay. 

Scheduling software that integrates with payment services lets your customers choose. Providing that flexibility shows that you’re confident in your product or service. 

4. Add value with follow-ups.

With scheduling software, you can keep customers in the loop of what’s going on at the business. Doing so takes you from just a business to a part of their community. 

When you follow up, include an incentive or educational content — and ideally both. You can offer customers a range of items, such as:

  • Discounts
  • Bonus gifts
  • Invitations to events
  • Tip and tricks
  • Refund policies

Like reminders, these follow-ups should be unique to the situation and customer. Try dispensing certain ones, like discounts, after a set number of appointments. Others, like bonus gifts, might be best sent for the customer’s birthday. Exclusive event invitations might be based on the customer’s package or price point. 

5. Keep their data secure.

Customers value security. Keeping their information secure is simple with scheduling software. 

For example, you can set appointment notifications to be sent only to team members who need to know about them. This is particularly important in industries like healthcare, which are governed by privacy frameworks like HIPAA.

Scheduling software also encrypts sensitive information. That way, payment details or patient records aren’t compromised in transit. 

6. Always ask for feedback.

Do not expect customers to give feedback if you don’t ask for it. After an appointment, around renewal times, and whenever you roll out a new service, reach out to customers for comments.

Use your scheduling software’s reminder and follow-up features to do this. Include a quantitative portion — a 0-10 satisfaction scale — and a qualitative prompt. Often, the best insights into what you could be doing better come from customer comments.

There’s no single formula for customer support, but there is a singularly important tool: a scheduling system. To take your customer experience to the next level, embrace it. 

5 Scheduling Issues Your Clients Aren’t Telling You About

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Scheduling software is more popular than ever. But just because you know how to use it doesn’t mean all of your clients do. 

The truth is, your clients don’t want to bother you. They may not know whether you can solve their issue, so they just accept things the way they are.

But even if your clients aren’t speaking up about scheduling issues, they are judging your business by them. Scheduling software is supposed to make you more efficient. If you aren’t addressing problems with similar efficiency, your clients will become skeptical. 

Invite clients to talk through their scheduling issues. In the meantime, take a look at the following problems to get a sense of what you may be dealing with:

1. They’re not getting reminders.

Has a client ever had to call to confirm a meeting or appointment? Do you find that happening often? If so, your scheduling system may not be sending them reminders like it should. 

Reminders give clients confirmation that their appointment will be upheld. They should not have to worry about arriving at your company and not being able to meet with the person they booked. 

Be sure to set your scheduling software to automate reminders so that you don’t have to send them manually. Adjust the number of reminders based on how far away the appointment is. Make sure one is sent when the appointment is made and another 24 hours in advance. 

Another tip is to make sure that your reminders are worthy of a response by including a question about whether they’re able to make it or personalizing the notification. When clients respond, they’ll either signal they’re still planning to make the appointment or ask to reschedule. 

2. They’re struggling with time zones.

If you are on the East Coast but want to schedule an appointment with someone on the West Coast, you have to account for the time change. And sometimes it can be difficult to know if they’re talking about your 9 a.m. or their 9 a.m. This can lead to awkward moments and missed meetings.

If your scheduling software doesn’t automatically adjust for different time zones, it’s time to invest in one that does. Not only will this benefit clients, but it will also benefit remote team members. Encourage everyone to be considerate of normal business hours.

3. They can’t get the slots they want.

When it comes to scheduling, we can’t always get what we want. It can often feel like the perfect time for us just so happens to be the perfect time for someone else.

Every company has peak hours, but it’s important to cater to your clients’ schedules. If you can’t afford to hire additional team members, try restructuring how people’s availability is displayed. Make availability based on time rather than a particular person: This way, the task and time chosen will simply be directed to the next available person. 

Another way to mitigate this issue is to use a waitlist in your scheduling app. In case someone cannot make their appointment or needs to change it, the next person on the waitlist will get a notification right away. 

4. The details are wrong.

When a client schedules an appointment, they need to know more than when it is. Make sure that your system is updated with the other details they need. Check, too, that they’re recapped correctly in the system’s email reminders.

If your office has recently moved, did you remember to update the address in your scheduling system? Is your cancellation policy current? If they can’t make an appointment, what number should they call?

5. They don’t know how to use the system.

Chances are, you still have clients that make their appointments by phone or in person. Even though they know about your online scheduling option, they may not know how to use it.

The trouble is, this can throw off the efficiency of your scheduling system by decentralizing it. To get things back to where they need to be, put together tutorials on how to use your scheduling software. During their next visit, ask if they would like you to walk them through it. 

Remember, you’re not just selling a service or product; you’re also selling an experience. Show them how seamless online scheduling can be. The faster they can get in and get out, the happier they’re going to be.

These scheduling issues are not the end of the world, but they are real and frustrating for your clients. Be proactive in solving their problems. That’s what client service is all about, isn’t it?

Top 15 Calendar Planning Tools That Will Help You Love Your Calendar

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If you want to be more organized and productive than you absolutely need to be — use a calendar. But let’s be honest here. Calendars, while essential and useful — aren’t exactly the most fun. You just add an event to your calendar and that’s it.

How about some calendar planning tools?

Fortunately, you can use these 15 calendar planning tools to not only get organized and boost your productivity, but to also make you fall in love with your calendar.

1. Calendar

Let’s say you just made some high-profiles connections at a recent networking event. You want to follow-up with these individuals so you send them an email or text asking when they’re available to meet. Next thing you know you’ve exchanged several messages without finding an ideal time to meet-up.

Calendar eliminates those time-and-consuming back-and-forth emails for you.

A simple share.

Simply share your Google, Outlook, or iCloud calendar with others via an email or embedded link. After viewing your availability, they’ll pick a date and time that works for them. Once they’ve selected a meeting time the event is added to everyone’s calendar.

Machine learning.

Because this scheduling app uses machine learning it can also make smart suggestion on where, when, and what how your meetings can take place. In other words, this handy tool automates the scheduling process for you.

2. Plan

Most of us use several different tools throughout the day. As a result we spend a lot of time switching between applications. Even worse, we may make some innocent mistakes when planning our our calendars — like forgetting you agreed to meet with a colleague for lunch when you already committed to a meeting with a client.

Plan resolves this problem by syncing tools like your email, calendar, Salesforce, Zendesk, JIRA, and Github. Now you have a real-time dashboard to see who and when are handling specific tasks. This ultimately ensures that you and those in your life will never drop the ball on any task, meeting, or project again.

3. Fantastical 2

This is a robust and popular iOS app that provides a clear presentation of you events in either a daily, weekly, or monthly view. But that’s just the beginning. With Fantastical 2 you can set geofence or time reminders, time to leave notifications, and view the availability of your coworkers. If you need to add an event you can use natural language to do so with ease.

Today Widget

There’s also the handy “Today Widget” that allows you to easily view and manage your schedule on your desktop without having to open the app, your email, or any other tool that displays your schedule.

Fantastical 2 supports iCloud, Google, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, and any other CalDAV account.

4. DayViewer

This free online calendar comes with a daily, weekly, or monthly planner. You can also also add notes and create tasks and reminders. If you want to achieve goals you can record your days to see when you’re most productive and when you get distracted.

Assign and discuss tasks.

If working with others you can assign and discuss tasks so that there is no miscommunication when working on a project.

DayViewer is also working on an appointment booking system so that clients can book time with you without exchanging emails, texts, or phone calls.

5. Informant 5

Informant 5 is a powerful multipurpose calendar, tasks, and notes tool. You can create color-coded calendars and use emoticons in your calendar view. The popular 30 day view with “mini text,” uses Travel Assist to manage time zones, travel ETAs, and suggest locations when you create events.

Using natural language.

Additionally, Informat 5 lets you organize tasks into projects, create checklists, task modes like Simple, GTD, or Franklin Covey, and import reminders. You can even turn emails into tasks and use natural language to create tasks.

While there is a free version, you may want to opt for one of the subscription models to unlock the features you’ll really need.

6. Teamweek

Teamweek is a free online calendar planner that’s perfect for project managers, event planners, HR managers, and anyone who is working with a team. That’s because it’s a straightforward online calendar that lets you set deadlines, see who’s working on what in real time, check availability, and add notes.

You can also use Teamweek for scheduling appointments or meeting with clients by simply sharing a view only version of your calendar.

You can take this tool with you.

Besides the desktop version, you can take the tool with you on the go by either downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play.

7. Wunderlist

If you want to get your life more organized than give Wunderlist a spin. It’s a collaborative tool that makes coordinating with colleagues, family, and friends a cinch — since you just share todos, lists, and tasks with them.

Sharing and reminding.

You can also add reminders and set due dates for these items. If you do you and your collaborators will receive email, push, and in-app notifications.

Wunderlist also lets you track, complete, and share your goals with just the click of one-button. You can also assign tasks, add comments, and group related tasks in accessible calendar.

Available on most sites.

Wunderlist is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, as well as OS X and Windows; and Google Chrome.

8. RescueTime

RescueTime is a time management app that you can use to make sure that your days are as productive as possible. That’s because the app records how and where you spend your time.

Analyzes time spent on activities.

By analyzing the time you spend on emails, your favorite websites, or with meetings you have an accurate picture of what you days look like. You can then make the appropriate changes.

Alarm.

For example, if you’re spending 2 hours per day on emails, you can set a goal to spend less than an hour daily on emails. The app will then send you an alarm if you’re spend more than an hour going through emails. It will also block distracting distractions websites so that you can stay focused.

Once you know how you spend your days and improve your productivity, you can create a calendar that encourage you to be more productive and efficient.

9. ZenDay

This award-winning time management app, which is available on Google Play and the App Store, takes a timeline-style approach to managing your schedule. This is accomplished by a fluid 3D timeline where you can view all of your upcoming reminders, deadlines, tasks, and events in your calendar that are based on priority.

Syncs well.

ZenDay allows you to quickly add events, meeting, or reminders directly in the app or just allow it to sync with your existing calendar. You can then set deadlines and start dates.

One of the more unique features is the debrief mode which allows you to view how well you’ve kept up with your schedule in the previous weeks.

10. Day by Day Organizer

If you use Google Calendar and have an Android device then you can use this tool to plan your schedule and maintain to-do lists, as well view them in different formats across all your devices. So instead of bouncing between several applications you can view all of your events, appointments, and tasks from this app. Because it syncs with Google Calendar and Google information is shared automatically.

Voice will send to different sites.

For example, if you just made a doctor’s appointment, you speak into your phone or desktop and add the event in the Day by Day Organizer. The app will then add your doctor’s appointment to your Google Calendar.

One of the coolest features, however, is that if you don’t check-off a task it will automatically be moved to the following day.

11. TimeTune

This nifty app can be used as a calendar, timetable or daily planner, daily task reminder, time manager, routine schedule organizer, or productivity management tool.

Custom notification and tags.

You can then create custom notifications, such as by sound, popup, or vibration. You can also generate custom tags to easily identify activities and color-code your calendar so you can quickly glance at day, week, or month.

You can even create routines and schedules for others, like your family or employees, so that they can also stay organized and productive.

12. Any.do

Want to keep your life organized? There may be no better tool to accomplish this then Any.do. It’s an intuitive and straightforward planner where you keep all of your tasks, todos, lists, and reminder in one location.

Award winning app.

The calendar feature lets you manage and view your day, week, or month. And, this award-winning app also comes with the Any.do assistant that will handle all of your recurring tasks for your.

Any.do works seamlessly with Google Calendar, iCal, and Exchange Calendar. It also syns quickly across Android, iOS, web, and desktop. It even works with Alexa so that you can verbally add reminders or events or hear what you have planned for a specific day. It’s also been seen as a top calendar app as well.

13. HabitBull

Are you looking for a tool to help you break a bad habit or build some positive ones? If so, then HabitBull is just what you nee.

HabitBull is a smart tracker available for both iOS and Android based on Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” productivity hack. This allows you to mark off the successful days that you completed a goal, such doing 20 push-up or reading for 15-minutes a day.

Give yourself a star with goals completed.

Each habit comes with its own calendar. And there’s also reminders and graphs to help you stay on-track.

Additionally, there are discussion forums so that you can connect with other trackers and motivational quotes to help keep you focused and inspired.

14. Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the most popular project management tools on the market. And for good reason. The app’s dashboard display your team’s discussions, to-do lists, and events in one convenient location. This way everyone can stay on the same page throughout the course of a project.

View and track progress.

With Basecamp you can also view and track your team’s progress without nagging them for status updates. This way you know exactly what everyone is working-on today, tomorrow, and next so that you can plan accordingly.

You can also embed images into messages, comment directly on lists and tasks, attach code samples, and forward emails into Basecamp. Again, this keeps everyone in the loop, while also freeing up your calendar from sending these messages individually or switching between multiple communication tools.

15. Canva

Canva is an amazing tool that allows you to design anything. This includes logos, cards, brochures, newsletters, and infographics. You can also use Canva to create your own personalized calendar or personal daily, weekly, or monthly planner.

Lets you start from scratch.

Instead of using a generic template Canva lets you start from scratch. This means you can use whatever images, fonts, background, and colors you like. You can further customize your pages by breaking your days into hourly blocks or making sure that there’s plenty of space to jot down todos, lists, and notes.

After you’ve created your own calendar or planner you can share it as a PDF file, via email, or on social channels like Facebook or Twitter.

5 Ways to Use Scheduling Software Outside of Work

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We typically think of work as more hectic than our home lives. But is it?

Outside of work, there are chores to get done, meals to prepare, and finances to manage. Parents have kids to raise. Homeowners have a house to upkeep. 

Compounding those challenges is the limited structure of home life. Without a system, it can start to feel aimless and overwhelming. 

That’s why scheduling your day — your full day, not just your workday — is so important. The same scheduling software you use at work can actually help you get your home life in order. Here’s how to do it:

1. Create clear boundaries.

A strong work-life balance is the first step to reeling in your home life. It’s an ideal to strive for, but it’s complicated by our ability to work even when we’re not in an office space. The devices we use to complete projects and communicate with employees and clients are often the same devices we use at home. 

Using scheduling software can help you establish the healthy boundaries you need. Maintain separate schedules for work and home. That way, you won’t be looking at work-related tasks outside of work and vice versa. By intentionally leaving spaces in each respective schedule, you can accommodate irregular work schedules more easily.

Another smart idea is to designate a transitional period between work and home. Half of that time can be represented in the work schedule and the other half can be represented in the personal schedule. 

During the transition, you can do some reading, listen to a playlist, or even meditate. Whatever it is, shift your attention from work to your personal life. 

2. Let friends and family put time on your schedule.

One of the best parts of scheduling software is that others can claim slots in your schedule. If you know you have an open weekend coming up, why not send a scheduling link to friends and family? That way, they can schedule social time with you that works for them.

Ask them to do the same for you. If they want to have a one-on-one chat with you, then courtesy dictates they should let you choose the time. 

As hectic as schedules can be, you shouldn’t let your social life suffer due to a lack of structure. Scheduling software makes getting together during your precious time off easier. 

3. Distinguish priorities from everyday tasks.

Everyday chores aren’t the same as real priorities. You may have a pile of clothes on your floor, but doing laundry is less important than having a hard conversation with your financial advisor.

Your financial advisor is busy. If he or she isn’t already using a scheduling tool, invite him to book you through yours. Fixing your finances is a great example of taking care of what is important rather than just what is urgent in a particular moment.

With scheduling software, you can use different color schemes to distinguish different types of priorities. Perhaps you color social events yellow — a happy color — and stressful ones in blue, which is calming. 

Taking care of what’s important can be stressful. Scheduling what’s important shouldn’t be. 

4. Establish routines.

Routines give structure to our days and help us stay on top of our priorities. Scheduling software makes it easy to add recurring appointments to your calendar.

Say you’re a student. If your tutor always wants to meet at 9 a.m. on a Saturday, ask her to book you for that time every weekend. You’ll never fail to remember when tutoring is, and you’ll make it easier for other people to schedule you, too. 

You can also establish a routine by blocking time for similar kinds of activities. Maybe you start to decompress at 9 p.m. on every weeknight. You probably don’t want people asking to meet with you that late in the evening, so mark yourself as unavailable in your scheduling tool. Pop on your favorite mystery show, and let yourself unwind. 

5. Organize others to do good.

The very fact that you have a job and free time means you’re fortunate. Why not use some of that free time to give back to a cause you care about?

Sure, you could join a volunteer organization or donate money to charity. But to maximize your impact, a better idea is to organize your own volunteer group.

Say you’re organizing a litter pickup. Sign up a few volunteers, and send them each a scheduling link. Ask them to pick times that work best for them. That way, you know exactly when to get them a pair of gloves and some trash bags. You can maximize the team’s time by ensuring that everyone doesn’t decide to volunteer on the same Saturday afternoon. 

Life outside of work should energize you, not stress you out with all your different appointments. Letting other people book you provides certainty and takes the stress of making decisions off your shoulders. Why should appointments only be part of your work life?

6 Tips for Scheduling a Stellar Event

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The right event can change everything. Maybe it’s the conference that gives you a million dollar idea. Or the workshop that makes all your work goals fit together.

With that said, 18 million events are scheduled in the U.S. every year. How can you make sure yours is one to remember? 

Getting the small things right makes a big difference. Be sure to:

  •  Get the instructions right.

No one likes it when there are typos on the event invitation. Could you imagine showing up for an event and being told it’s actually another day? 

When you write out your invitations, make sure to do so plenty of days in advance. This gives you time to proofread your invitation draft. 

When you’re ready to review your work, begin by checking the basics: event location, address, time, and any instructions about parking. Then, proofread for spelling and grammar. Finally, have a second pair of eyes look it over to ensure everything is correct. That way, you can send it out with confidence. 

  •  Use the right tools.

If your event will have a lot of attendees, you’ll wind up with a lot of scheduling requests in your inbox. Those can take hours to sort through. Protect your company’s productivity by letting attendees RSVP themselves using scheduling software.

Think, too, about your event’s sessions. If you’ll be doing one-on-one consultations, ask attendees to book a specific time with you. That way, you don’t have dozens of attendees all trying to do their one-on-one with you at the same time. 

  •  Know your attendees.

Different types of events attract different types of people. It’s important to think through who’s going to be at yours. What level of knowledge will they have about the topics to be discussed? What pre-work might they need to do in order to get up to speed.

To understand your target audience, think about what type of business you are:

    • Caterers & event planners
      You can plan food tasting and event planning events with potential clients. Give them the white-glove experience. Get tablecloths, put together swag bags, and appoint an experience manager.
    • Nonprofit organizations
      Nonprofit events require a host of people for events: volunteers, paid employees, and external stakeholders. Scheduling software can help you spend less time on grunt work, and more time raising money for causes you love.
    • Salons & spas
      Salons and spas have all sorts of different clients, but they do have one thing in common: a focus on beauty and wellness. Put together sessions centered on self-care. Use scheduling software to seek input about what would make your event maximally relaxing.
  • Shipping & retail
    Shipping and retail stores are used to handling complex logistics. Be sure you invite product representatives, set up the space well for them, and give attending customers plenty of attention.
  •  Send out invitations early.

How can attendees plan for your event unless the invitation is sent out early? A good rule of thumb is to give people at least three weeks notice to plan for your event. If you are planning a nationwide event, like a corporate conference, give at least a year notice.

To determine how much notice you need to give, put yourself in the attendees’ shoes. If they need to travel, then booking and planning everything will take more time. Conference, hotel, travel, food, and entertainment arrangements add up. 

Smaller events, such as meetups, require less preplanning. Often, attendees just have to RSVP and show up. Small-scale events like meetups should still look professional, even if you don’t have to give attendees more than a few weeks’ notice.

  •  Make it easy for others to meet with you.

If you’re the point of contact for an event, it’s important that you’re available. Imagine the horror if you accidentally double book yourself with two vendors. The solution is to display your availability on your calendar. 

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Check your company’s availability
    Leave your calendar availability open only during your work hours. This prevents you from planning a meeting during your personal time.

 

  • Make some hours off-limits.
    You have a lot to do other than meeting with event staff. With your schedule in hand, pay close attention to when you’re busy, and block off hours when you want to focus on other tasks.

 

  • Set expectations

                        Whenever you meet with someone, you need to share:

  • An agenda
  • Meeting expectations
  • Who else might need to be in the meetings 
  • The number to call or videoconferencing site to visit (if applicable)
  •  Start and finish events on time 

When the big day finally arrives, you need to keep a strict eye on the clock. You don’t like it when other people disrespect your time; don’t do the same to them. 

Even if everyone hasn’t arrived at the designated start time, go ahead. If 90% of people are already there, it isn’t worth upsetting them for the 10% of latecomers. End either five minutes early or right on time. Don’t push the event beyond the time allotted, even if you aren’t quite finished.

Events are a lot of work to plan and put on. A little forethought can go a long way. Get the details right, and give your attendees an experience to remember. 

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