Conference room scheduling

How to set up to allow users to schedule resources for meetings, and how users can do it.

You may not know that you can schedule a conference room, projector, speakerphone or whatever resource for your meetings through your Outlook client. This tip contains instructions for setting up the capability on Exchange server, and for doing the actual scheduling on the Outlook client.

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There are some organizations that use multiple conference rooms to host meetings, seminars and training sessions. There is typically a user who is responsible for scheduling these rooms for these various occasions. The scheduling process is a painstaking one because the user has to manually enter the schedules when a request is made.

A simple way to resolve this problem is setting up these rooms as resources in Exchange. In order to do this the following needs to be done:

  • Set up a mailbox for each conference room. (Of course you want to apply the necessary information store restrictions to the mailboxes to avoid a build up of information.)

  • Set the primary Windows logon account to the person who'll be accepting requests on behalf of the resource. (If more than one user needs this ability, then include the others under the Permissions tab for the mailbox.)

When you need to schedule a meeting or training session, you need to do it in the Outlook client.

  • Go to Calendar and select new appointment.
  • Then enter the necessary information (date, time).
  • Go to Attendee Availability.
  • Select Invite Others.
  • Choose the required/optional attendees.
  • Select the resource(s), (conference room) that will be used for the meeting.
  • Click OK to see the availability of the resource.
  • Select a Start time and End time.

When the user has completed entering the necessary information, click the send button. The request then goes to the person in charge of the resource(s) room, and to all those who have been invited -- listing the time, date and location of the meeting.

For more resources, check out our active Exchange discussion forum.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

This was first published in August 2001

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