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Thread: For those who hire their halls out...

  1. #1
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    For those who hire their halls out...

    Do you use a room/hall booking system?

    If so, what do you use?

    (We currently use SuperSaas. But the free version limits you to only 50 bookings per year, it gets awfy pricey after that.)

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    We use the Secretary and Diary system!

    Most of our bookings are to the regular hall users for their weekly meetings, we only have a handful of other bookings so easy to manage.

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    Likewise, a booking secretary and a calendar. Mainly regular bookings, with a few ad-hocs which the booking secretary deals with.

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    We have a secretary, sort of, but they don't do hall bookings. (I know...)

    It's annoying and may trigger me off on a moan...

    We had a confluence of events over the weekend. We use a free online hall/room booking system, but it limits the amount of booking you can make. This is problematic because we also have repeat hirers (it's a big lump of income too, about 3k pa). Since we can only book 50 slots at any one time on the schedule, it's meant that twice, other people have nipped in with bookings (the schedule used to be open to anyone who had the address to make a booking - I switched rubbish that right off...) before our (valuable) repeat customers bookings could be updated.

    (The real problem is, the big repeat customer we have is a fitness class, its the guy's livelyhood. Pretty sure he does classes in other towns. But we've double booked once before and had to tell him he couldn't use the hall. It's not very professional and if he decided to just go somewhere else more reliable... It's not anyone's fault, it's just our processes are crap.)

    It's fixed now. I've moved us over to another scheduler (skedda.com, looks decent so far, unlimited bookings allowed with much cheaper add on's.) Fitness guy and dance lady are booked in till next Christmas.

    It's a real guddle mostly caused by traditional roles not being fully fulfilled.

    I'm getting a wee bit fed up with all the stuff I'm having to do... Scouts starts back up next week, but already I've dealt with this, am dealing with OSM renewal and management, dealing with the minibus upkeep (it needs MOT'd). Dealing with hall maintenance and tidying equipment away after use of Xmas (hate xmas), on and on blah blah blah already...

    There. I moaned anyway.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    There. I moaned anyway.
    I'm starting to think that escouts is your therapy session.
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    Escouts Founder Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I'm getting a wee bit fed up with all the stuff I'm having to do... Scouts starts back up next week, but already I've dealt with this, am dealing with OSM renewal and management, dealing with the minibus upkeep (it needs MOT'd). Dealing with hall maintenance and tidying equipment away after use of Xmas (hate xmas), on and on blah blah blah already...

    There. I moaned anyway.
    Apart from the minibus, which we dont have, I've been there so far!

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    pa_broon74 (07-01-2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I'm starting to think that escouts is your therapy session.
    I have a special couch I go to sit in when I post.


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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Our previous GSL used to be the booking secretary for the Church Hall and he had a diary with all the bookings in. Handy when we wanted to hire the hall and for paying to hire the hall or the meeting room.

    Our County and District campsites both have online calendars for showing availability.
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    Our main problem with it and with pretty much all the comms just now is...

    The GSL has email (but not mobile email - no smart phone) and no Facebook.
    The Secretary has email only and doesn't do comms except for subs
    I have everything and check everything but don't always respond to everything (especially waiting list queries) because I might be in a huff about it.
    Another committee member (and ex-CSL) who is winding down (but did loads) has everything, but no longer responds all the time, only in fits and bursts.
    Some of us text, some of us don't. (GSL doesn't).

    It's like a many-to-many relationship, sort of. Crucially, waiting list requests come in via Facebook, but the GSL doesn't have it and he does the waiting lists. We have a perma-reply advising people to email, but he has no mobile email and only checks the scout account (very) sporadically. We're trying to only have on email contact (instead of three or four leaders), so at least if emails are coming in, they're only going to one place... Which is fine, if that place is being checked, by the right people.

    Woe betide any parent who gets snippy because we didn't reply quickly enough for them though...

    It's a bit of a guddle, but we all have stuff going on outside of Scouts so it's all actually understandable, if a little frustrating at time.

  12. #10
    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    The GSL has email (but not mobile email - no smart phone) and no Facebook.
    -----

    It's like a many-to-many relationship, sort of. Crucially, waiting list requests come in via Facebook, but the GSL doesn't have it and he does the waiting lists. .
    I might be being bolshy this morning but........these are key tools and the GSL either needs to use them, formulate a plan that works or develop a plan for handing over.

    Communications are key tools and cant be ignored.

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardnhunt View Post
    I might be being bolshy this morning but........these are key tools and the GSL either needs to use them, formulate a plan that works or develop a plan for handing over.

    Communications are key tools and cant be ignored.
    We, or should I say I, are trying to bring OSM more fully online. Once done (hopefully), it should streamline things.

    Saying that, this is when expectations bump up against reality. Is it frustrating? Yeah, a wee bit. But we are all volunteers. No one is being paid. So if family stuff erupts (for example), Scouts goes on the back burner (or it just gets dumped for the duration).

    We never used to have waiting lists for any of the sections, so it wasn't really an issue. Now, and I'd venture to say - because in our village Beavers (and to a slightly lesser degree - Cubs) is an established & accepted stream of the village's childcare firmament, we're having all this bother. And ironically, there are less kids in the village than there have ever been. (Primary school numbers have halved over the past 20 years - yet 20 years ago we had 2 colonies. Why don't we have 2 now? No leaders.)

    And the wider picture? Our GSL also holds down the Night's Away assessor role, (he was also the ADC for Scouts for a while...) He's in the same boat as I am, all these jobs need done and there aren't enough people to do them.

    In terms of the hall bookings, with an online booking and payment system and a keysafe, it is possible for it to be an automated process. But, ha! Life isn't like that is it...

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