Adding and viewing bookings
Adding and viewing a booking on ChurchSuite is easy, intuitive and can be tailored to your familiar booking process workflows.
In this article
Adding or editing a booking
There are two main ways to create 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'.
You can also add a booking through the Bookings section, which displays all your bookings in a simple, searchable list (Past and Future bookings can also be viewed). Again, click 'Add booking' to create a new booking.
Whichever method you choose, you'll be taken to the 'Add booking' page.
For internal bookings, you can link your booking to an existing event in your Calendar module, or you can create a new, unlinked booking. Make sure you've already set up your Booking Types and Resources (see the related support article for how to do this).
Depending on your most common booking workflows, in the Bookings module settings you can set:
- the default value for whether a new Booking will be "linked to an event", or "not linked to an event" (i.e. a standalone booking) - ideal if most of your bookings are external bookings that are not going to be linked to your church's Calendar events, and
- the default status for new bookings. So, if new bookings have an approval stage, you can set the default status to "Pending", prior to approval and setting the booking "Confirmed".
Add a Booking Name (required). A booking reference number will be assigned to the booking when you save the booking. If you select to link your booking to an existing event in the Calendar module, the booking name is added automatically; although you can change this if you wish.
For bookings that are not linked to an event in the Calendar module, there is the option to show the booking on the Calendar module calendar - perhaps to keep your Users in the loop that certain bookings are happening. Bookings visible on the Calendar in this way are never visible on any public-facing 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 'multi-date' you can then specify the booking sequence date range 'from' and 'until' and the repeat Frequency. Select "Add dates".
When multi-dates are generated, you still have the option at this stage to manually edit, remove or add further dates to the sequence, if you wish.
Add an optional Description for the booking.
Specify a booking Contact. Booking contacts can be from your Address Book or a Booking Customer. Multi-site churches can also select the Site the Booking relates to. Toggle the booking Status between 'Confirmed', 'Pending' and 'Cancelled' as appropriate to your church's approval workflows when taking new bookings. You can set a default Status in the Booking module settings, if you wish.
You can also upload an optional booking Image.
Next, select the Booking Type and answer the questions you have pre-configured for that Booking Type (see related support article about Booking Types). Required question responses are designated with a red star symbol.
Finally add Resources to your booking. You can add multiple resources if you wish...
Specify the resource usage 'start' and 'end' times. Optionally add set up and set down to show any additional preparation time needed either side. 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.
Note that set up/set down times are taken into consideration when calculating booking resource clash notifications.
With Resources, you can use the checkboxes on the left to apply time changes to all the selected resources.
When you have completed all the necessary sections of the booking, save your changes before navigating away from the page.
You'll be alerted to any issues with your booking when you save it. Typically, issues will be simply that a required field has not been completed...
...or that there are booking clashes with one or more of the resources selected...
...which, subject to your module settings, you can override and accept (and deal with later), or you can amend the resources being booked and continue with saving your booking.
Sequence events and bookings
If your booking is linked to an event in the Calendar module, ChurchSuite will pull across all the related details of the event to your booking, saving you the hassle of having to enter dates, times, images and descriptions twice! But even better than that, if the event you link to is part of a sequence of events, ChurchSuite will give you the option to create a multi-date booking for each of those dates too - keeping everything neatly linked together!
See the related support article for working with booking sequences.
ChurchSuite assigns a unique, consecutively-numbered booking reference to each booking you create, helping you to distinguish your various bookings and provide an audit trail between your bookings on ChurchSuite and your booking paperwork e.g. invoices.
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 visible on the booking list. Clicking on a booking reference will filter the list to all bookings for that reference...
The booking reference is also fully searchable in the booking search.
Viewing a booking
You can view your bookings in the Planner in either Day, Week or Month view.
In the Bookings module settings you can also set your preferred default Planner view. With either Manage module or Administrator permission, select the module settings cogwheels in the top-right corner of the page. Under "Display options" toggle to your preferred Planner view. You can also set the "Start week on" day, which affects the Planner's 'Week' and 'Month' view.
You can easily filter your Planner to isolate particular combinations of Booking Types and/or Resources - note the two multi-select Filter drop-down menus...
...And when viewing Today, a live "time line" moves across the Planner, giving you a helpful visual indicator of where you're at with your bookings for the day.
Changing dates is also really easy too. Simple click 'Change Date' on the Planner and select your required 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).
On the Bookings page you can view a list of your Past or Future bookings. You can also filter the list of bookings displayed by the booking Status - Any, Confirmed, Pending or Cancelled.
In the Bookings module options you can set the default booking status that is given to new bookings when they are added. So if your internal admin processes require all booking to be approved, you can set the default booking status to "Pending".
Bookings that are linked to events in your Calendar module are, by definition, already displayed on your church's calendar in the Calendar module. However, for bookings not linked to calendar events, you have the option to also show them on your 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 event and bookings calendars separate; but for churches wishing to show some or all of their bookings on the church 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 output 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 and the booking contact/customer communication log.