7 Benefits of Online Booking for Community Spaces | Ungerboeck

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Melbourne city hall
3 Min Read

7 Benefits of Online Bookings for Community Spaces

From community halls to neighbourhood centres, meeting rooms, swimming pools, sports grounds and open spaces, councils manage a broad range of indoor and outdoor venues. In most cases, these spaces are available to the general public to hire for social occasions such as events, weddings, sporting activities and other community events.

Councils have faced significant challenges over the past few years, including temporary closures and other restrictions that were introduced to combat the impact of COVID-19. As restrictions ease across Australia and New Zealand, councils and local governments are now experiencing increased demand for their community spaces and recreational facilities.

Community members are excited to regain their freedom and are eager to reconnect with their neighbours at in-person events and gatherings. To do this, they are turning to their local councils to find safe spaces to host regular social and sporting activities and other community and cultural events.

Why Councils Are Turning to Online Bookings Solutions

COVID-19 was a catalyst for digital transformation for many city councils and local governments. Facilities teams experienced unexpected downtime, allowing them to revisit their existing business processes and find opportunities for improvement. As a result, many councils adopted new technologies that would help them improve operating efficiencies when their venues reopened.

The global pandemic also changed consumer expectations. Over the past two years, lockdowns and other distancing measures have triggered the rapid adoption of technology at a pace like never before. From video conferencing applications to QR codes and online shopping, consumers have become accustomed to doing everything online. So, to respond to the growing need for digital solutions, councils need to deliver more self-serve online portals.

In working with councils and local governments across the globe, we have seen how online solutions can improve booking processes for community spaces. We have put together a list of the top 7 benefits councils can experience by leveraging web portals to empower their local communities to book online:

  1. A Better Booking Journey for Your Community

    We live in a world where people want access to real-time information. Expecting the public to call or submit an enquiry and then wait for a council staff member to confirm availability It is inefficient and a deterrent for potential bookings.

    Online event booking systems empower users to check availability and make bookings in their own time—even outside of business hours—and allow for a smoother end-to-end booking journey. From searching for venues to choosing catering and equipment, accepting terms and conditions, and making payments, the self-service approach speeds up the booking process. It also ensures they have the information they need at the time of booking, improving the overall user experience.

  2. A More Inclusive & Accessible Experience

    Unlike manual booking processes, online booking systems allow councils to provide accessible options for community members with diverse needs. For example, by customising your online booking site to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you can make it more inclusive for the broader community.

  3. A More Connected Community

    Giving community members access to live availability helps councils maximise venue occupancy. Users can see all relevant venues and facilities that match their search criteria at a glance and choose the one that best suits their needs. Increased occupancy is a good thing for the community as it means more social and cultural events and activities where people can connect with their neighbours.

  4. No More Double Bookings with Live Availability

    Replacing outdated systems with modern, intuitive online booking platforms allows council staff to access live availability and critical booking information in real-time. In doing so, councils eliminate the chance of booking conflicts and improve operational efficiency because their staff can access key event details while working on the go.

  5. Facilitate Recurring Bookings

    Community spaces and facilities are frequently used to host recurring events like community group meetings, fitness classes and social sporting competitions. Online bookings allow regular hirers to make and manage bookings without consulting facilities teams which saves considerable amounts of time for them and the council.

  6. Reduced Errors & Improved Running Costs

    Replacing manual processes with automation reduces the risk of human error and improves data integrity. For example, users can submit payments online without having to wait for someone to create an invoice, process the payment and link it to your accounting systems. Taking payments at the time of booking reduces the admin involved, and improves the overall running cost of the venue.

  7. Real-time Data & Seamless Account Reconciliation

    Finally, online booking systems can be fully integrated with the other applications used across your organisation, like Technology One or SAP, to share financial data in real-time. In doing so, councils gain greater insight into key performance metrics about not only their event bookings but more importantly, their overall performance and revenue.

Want Advice From A Council & Local Government Expert?

Our team of experts are available to help you find effective ways of transforming your booking processes with digital solutions. Contact us today to find out how online bookings can help streamline your booking processes.