New Features to our Pool & Fitness Reservation Grids
The Summer of 2020 is wrapping up, and while this may seem like an odd time to add a slew of new features to our reservation grids, consider it a preview for 2021!
The feedback on reservations has been amazingly positive. One club surveyed their members and 64% wanted reservations back next year in some form or another. Assuming we aren’t dealing with a pandemic in 2021, we think it would be a value-added amenity to offer members some version of what we’re doing now. Likely, a hybrid model where some areas are reserved and some are not.
So what’s new…
Sell out your social events one table at a time…
In less than 30 seconds, you can create unique products for each area of your grid. Once sold out, the product in that time slot is no longer available. You could sell entire tables or seats within an area. This is the perfect way to offset the cost of trivia nights, live music, or locally-catered dinners and ensure members have a place to sit!
When your club or HOA admins book a product-based reservation they’ll simply pick a time slot on the grid (like they would for any other reservation). Then they can choose to select an existing store product or create a new one.
Most likely, they will want to sell space at multiple areas in the Repeating Reservation Area, the same tools board members such as your Tennis Director would use to book multiple weeks in a row. On this final step they can choose to post-fix the Product name using the area, such as “Family Fun Night – Table 1” or use a date like “Family Fun Night – September 6”. Or a combo of both.
Up to 60 areas on a single grid
Before v5.1, we were capping areas (columns basically) per grid at 12 and then creating a separate grid for the next 12 and so on. This worked “ok”, as most clubs weren’t trying to pack members in like sardines anyway. A 12 column HTML table is a tight squeeze too, so paging-away to another grid was an alright solution.
Going forward though, we will likely encourage our clients to go with a single grid and just scroll down for more areas.
The two main settings for this setup are circled in the next image. Now that we have this option, don’t feel like your table necessarily has to pack in the columns. For example, if you have 20 reservable areas try setting the Max Columns to 5 and see how it looks.
Time Increments and Easier Blocking
This might not be the most glamorous of new features, but this will be a huge time-saver for our clients (and us here at PoolDues because we are always hands-on when they need grid help).
Previously we relied on a Rules-based system to block off times on the grid so clubs could have members enter and exit in blocks. For example, due to Covid many clubs setup 3 hour shifts for reservations. So for a noon to 3 o’clock shift, we would block off the 11:30 and 2:30 slots so members could only book within a certain range. Another option would be to only allow noon to be booked and force it to be a 3 hour reservation. Although functional, it was tedious to setup different rules for different days of the week.
As of v5.1 all your shifts can be completely dynamic based on your open hours. In the following image, we are setting up a grid that offers reservable blocks in 15 minute increments…
Times are blocked off at the end of every 1 hour period. In this example, you can see 4:45 to 5:00 and 5:45 to 6:00 are blocked (and this pattern is set throughout the entire day). Reservations can be made within those blocks, but they can not exceed the blocked off times. So depending on the start time, a member could book either a 45, 30, or 15 minute reservation.
The example above also demonstrates we have selected an entirely different blocking structure for Tuesdays. Next we’ll take a look at some of the blocking options.
If your club decides to let members reserve in blocks (it’s optional after all), we have 3 easy options. The first allows for more flexible enter and exit times. Members can pick time increments within a certain period, and the grid only blocks off the final increment. For example, a member could potentially reserve up to 3 hours, but only choose to reserve for an hour. This would allow other members to reserve unused time in that area during the same block.
Option 2 and 3 only allow members to book the start time. Reservations are automatically extended to the end of the end of the entire block with Option 2, and one less increment with Option 3 (for example, 15 minutes less than a 3 hour block). This style encourages members to enter and exit the facility at approximately the same time.
Dividing up the day
We realize hours change over the Summer, so to be as flexible as possible, your club can simply choose to set a blocking pattern that divides the Open Hours of the facility into a certain number. This works best if the open hours are evenly divisible, for example if the club was open for 9 hours Monday-Friday, than dividing the day by 3 would be ideal. Essentially creating a Morning, Afternoon and Evening block.
…Or don’t block at all!
Our blocking options were built so clubs can show members they have designated cleaning times, and the member should be out of the facility around then. Most clubs in 2020 setup 3 or 4 hour blocks, with a single time increment option of 30 minutes.
Your club can now have time increments up to 4 hours, which makes blocking unnecessary. This option will lower the number of rows on your grid, to just the time slots you want members to choose from. Notice in the screenshot the grid height takes up FAR less space, and in the settings blocking is turned off entirely (since we no longer need to make any slots unavailable).
The small stuff…