Adding and viewing bookings
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Top Tip! Customing your bookings user experience
Depending on your user's most common booking workflows, in the Bookings module's options you can set:
- the Default planner view - either Day, Week or Month view
- the Start week on - which determines which day of the week is first on the Planner in Week and Month view.
- the Default event link - which determines whether new bookings are to be Linked to an event or Not linked to an event (i.e. a standalone booking) by default - ideal if most of your bookings are external bookings that are not linked to your church's Calendar events, and
- the Default status of new bookings - "confirmed" or "pending". So, if new bookings have an approval stage, you can set the default status to "pending", and then one approved, a booking can be set as "confirmed".
Adding or editing a booking
There are two main ways to add a booking. The first is through the Planner, which displays all your bookings visually in either a Day, Week or Month View. Simply click Add booking at the top of the Planner.
You can also add a booking through the Bookings section of the module, which displays all your bookings in a simple, searchable list. Using the View and Status tools you can filter the list if you wish. Again, to add a new booking click Add booking at the top of the page.
Whichever method you choose, you'll be taken to the Add booking page.
Begin by setting whether the Booking is link/not linked to an event. You can link internal bookings to existing events in your Calendar module, or you can create unlinked bookings not linked to an event.
Add a booking Name (required). If the Booking is Linked to an event, the event's name and date(s) will be pre-populated into the booking. A booking reference number will be assigned to the booking when you save it.
If the Booking is Not linked to an event in the Calendar module, there is the option to Show on calendar - perhaps to keep your Calendar module users in the loop with certain bookings. Bookings shown on the Calendar in this way are never visible on a web-embedded calendars or in My ChurchSuite - they're only visible to users of your Calendar module.
Add a Date for your booking. You can add a single date, or if your booking is for a recurring function or event, select Add multi-date. For a 'multi-date' booking specify the booking sequence date range From and Until and the repeat Frequency. Select Add dates.
The Add single date and Add multi date can be used in combination to build complex sequences, including those with an irregular sequence - when a list of multi-dates is generated, you still have the option at this stage to manually remove or add further dates to the sequence, if you wish.
Add an optional booking Description.
Specify a booking Contact. A booking contact can be either a person in your Address Book or a customer within your Bookings module. Search for a contact or customer - the list auto-suggests as you type - or select Add customer.
For multi-site churches set the Site the booking relates to, and set the booking Status - 'Confirmed', 'Pending' or 'Cancelled'. You can also upload an optional booking Image - the booking image is displayed on the customer-facing booking page.
Next, select the booking Type and answer the booking questions you have pre-configured for that booking Type (see related support article about creating Booking Types). Required question responses are designated with a red star symbol.
Finally add Resources to your booking. You can select multiple resources if you wish. Click +Add resources to add them.
Specify the resource usage Start and End times for the booking. Optionally add Set up and Set down time for each resource as appropriate. Using these set up/set down indicators prevents situations where a clash is inadvertently created due to unforeseen preparation times e.g. clearing up a room from one booking overlapping with trying to get the same room ready for the next booking. Set up/set down times are taken into consideration when calculating booking resource clash notifications.
With multiple Resources, you can use the batch action checkboxes to select several or even all resources, and then apply time changes to all the selected resources.
Any Booking Clashes arising from the selected resources are displayed, including details of other bookings for the same resource(s). Depending on the Booking module options for who can override clashes, you'll have the option to either Ignore the clashes and save the booking - perhaps to resolve the clash later - or you can remove the resources that clash and add resources that are available before saving.
You cannot save a booking with clashes with ticking the Ignore clashes override checkbox - an error message is displayed
When you have completed all the necessary sections of the new booking, click to Save Changes before navigating away from the page. The newly added booking page is displayed, including any unresolved clashes. You can return to this page, perhaps to further Edit the booking at any time.
Sequence events and bookings
When adding a new booking Lined to an event and the linked event belongs to a multi-date sequence of events, ChurchSuite will display a list of all the future event dates in the sequence, enabling you to optionally add a booking sequence to match the event sequence - creating a linked booking for each event date in the sequence. See the related support article for further information on working with booking sequences.
ChurchSuite assigns a unique, consecutively-numbered booking Reference to each booking you add, helping you to distinguish your various bookings. For sequence bookings, the same Reference number is assigned to the entire sequence, making it easier to see all the bookings for a sequence grouped together by the same booking reference number.
The booking Reference is shown on each booking page (see above) and also in the list of bookings (see below). Clicking on a booking reference will filter a list to all bookings for that reference...
The booking Reference is also fully searchable in the booking search.
Viewing and managing your bookings
You can view bookings in the Planner - switching view between Day, Week or Month view. You can also filter the Planner by booking Type and Category - ideal for viewing perhaps just your "Rooms" category or just your "External" type bookings...
...and when viewing Today, a real-time time line moves across the Planner, giving you a helpful visual indicator of where you're at with your bookings for the day.
Navigating between different dates on the Planner is really easy too. Simply click Change Date and select a date. The Today button on the right will quickly reset your Planner back to display bookings for today's date. The forward and backward arrow buttons will also change the display by a single day/week/month (depending on your Planner view).
When viewing the Bookings list, notice how you can switch the View between Past or Future bookings. You can also filter by booking Status - Any, Confirmed, Pending or Cancelled.
Bookings that are Linked to an Event are of course, by definition, already displayed on your church's calendar in the Calendar module. However, for bookings Not linked to an Event, you have the option to optionally show them on your Calendar module calendar - perhaps to keep other team members informed who may not have access to the Planner view in the Bookings module. Many churches like to keep their events and bookings calendars separate; but for churches wishing to show some or all of their bookings on the church event calendar, the Show on calendar option will provide that functionality for you.
While most churches will use the Planner view and Bookings pages to keep pastoral and/or facilities teams in the loop, you can also export your Planner in PDF format; providing a printed summary of the day/week/month's bookings with contact details for the overseer of each booking.
When viewing any booking, you have the option to Communicate directly from the booking page.
Communications sent in this way are logged in the booking's Communication log in the Recent Activity section at the bottom of the booking page, and in the communication log of the booking contact (in the Address Book) or customer (in the Bookings module "customer" section).