Online Booking Systems for Councils & Local Authorities

Online Booking Systems for Councils & Local Authorities

Here at BookingLive we understand government bodies often face scrutiny over budgets and regulations, one of the reasons why online booking systems are sometimes overlooked by these local authorities. But this shouldn’t be the case. Online booking systems for councils can seriously improve success, efficiency and profitability across all fields of work.

What can an online booking system for councils do for me?

From extensive research throughout the years we’ve found many local authorities use telephone, mail or online booking enquiry forms, rather than online live availability booking systems. Such methods are time consuming and inefficient, leading to a loss of revenue and frustration for customers. Through use of an online booking system, time spent on administration tasks such as financial reconciliation, customer communications or notifications, reporting and up-selling, decreases significantly – as does human error. Online booking systems for councils also keep data far more secure than paper-based systems.

Local authorities that don’t currently have online booking systems often lose traffic, potential footfall and revenue by signposting customers to other websites. Many provide services such as leisure activities, events and seasonal schemes, so it makes sense they receive the booking and revenue direct. By keeping users on their website, through implementation of an online booking system, local authorities are able to take bookings and full or part payments from one centralised system.

What does the booking systen offer?

BookingLive are experienced at working with local authorities and believe our systems are the best fit for their diverse needs. We’re aware of aspects such as VAT regulations, audit trails, data purging – all which take place within the public sector. In fact that’s why we’ve adapted our online booking systems for local authorities so they’re now able to process concession rates, VAT and invoices as standard. Alongside this, BookingLive boasts a whole host of features such as complete business management, comprehensive tracking, reports and excellent account management training tools and support. BookingLive also provide the option of having customers upload documents during the booking process, such as copies of passports, to meet the needs of local authorities requirements. Age verification processes are also at hand because we understand how important these are for councils, especially when working with children.

Here at BookingLive not only do we manage both your business operations and your customers’ bookings but we also make sure you are kept up-to-date. Councils and local authorities often bring to mind negative stereotypes of old-fashioned and outdated organisations. By incorporating a BookingLive system into your organisation or department you can break free of this stereotype and all at cost effective rates within commonly found tender thresholds. Booking Live are even on several local authority frameworks to ensure the procurement and purchase procedures are as smooth as possible.

What key features does the booking system offer?

If you’re worried about how the booking system will work for you, you can rest assured. Our online booking systems for councils can be seamlessly integrated into your current website or served as a sub domain or even better – a website and booking system in 1. This means you’re able to keep your logo, colour scheme and any other details you may have. As BookingLive systems are mobile responsive we often recommend you update your website so it matches the system in terms of responsiveness. Either way, with online booking systems for local authorities you’ll be able to take bookings directly from your website in a way that suits you.

Common uses of Booking Live within local authorities include:

• Pitch Bookings
• Venue & Room Bookings
• Courses & Activities
• Events &Ticket Sales
• Voucher Sales& Redemptions
• Memberships with recurring payments
• Leisure Facilities (halls, courts etc)
• Summer Holiday Schemes
• Online / Mobile / EPOS bookings

Need to know more? Contact us today at www.bookinglive.com

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Appointment Scheduling Software: What’s it All About?

Appointment Scheduling Software: What’s it All About?

Appointment scheduling software is a useful tool which benefits both clients and businesses by simplifing the appointment booking process. Clients are able to view online the date and time a wide range of professionals such as doctors, dentists and yoga teachers are available. From here they can book an appointment, session or meeting online with the individual or enterprise. Armed with multiple features, appointment booking software can facilitate speedy scheduling of meetings, appointments and more.

Secure Payments & Transactions

Appointment scheduling software empowers business owners and individual professionals to accept upfront payments. Clients who make bookings can easily pay via credit or debit cards through trusted e-commerce platforms such as PayPal.

Increase Bookings

By integrating appointment scheduling software into your system you’ll be opening your business up to a wide range of benefits. One of the main advantages of using appointment scheduling software is the decreased risk of missing out on potential business. Multiple businesses and professionals miss out on client bookings due to poor scheduling habits. If enterprises and businesses utilize appointment scheduling software this problem will be eliminated. Clients are able to simply visit the enterprise’s or business’s website, view available dates and make a booking.

Save Time

With appointment scheduling software you can get rid of outdated paper diary systems, making sure you never make a double booking again. Appointment scheduling software also means clients no longer need to schedule an appointment, session or meeting over the phone. Gone are the days of having to wait on hold only to find there are no appointments left or a class is full. Clients can find out availability quickly and easily online and your staff won’t have to deal with angry customers who’ve spent ages waiting on the phone.

Set Reminders

Ensure customers don’t forget about appointments, meetings or activities they’ve booked onto. Appointment scheduling software generates and sends automated reminders to customers to prevent no-shows.

Free Demo

Intrigued by the capabilities of appointment scheduling software? Sign-up for our free online demo and live Q&A session today or contact us to find out more. Booking Live’s appointment scheduling software is only part of the service provided by our award-wining online booking and management system.

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Booking Live’s Day at The Bett Show: Technology in Education

Booking Live’s Day at The Bett Show: Technology in Education

Yesterday a couple of the Booking Live team, myself included, travelled to London to check out the world’s largest technology in education event: The Bett Show. We went on a quest to gain new information and knowledge about the educational sector and to find out if our online booking systems are able to help institutions out. The day consisted of networking, seminars and the all important freebies! Read on to find out what we learned…

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Networking

Throughout the day we met a range of companies from small start-ups to large corporations who were all there for the same reason: to power education through technology. One of the companies we met specialise in the provision of barcode readers which is similar to the work our EPOS systems do in that they help simplify and speed up tasks such as memberships, pricing, tracking and reporting of bookings. We’re currently looking in to integrating our online booking systems with a wider variety of barcode readers so our clients are able to easily check-in customers who have booked on to events, classes and more. There are a range of barcode readers available, from those which plug-in to computers so customers can scan themselves in, to those which work via bluetooth enabling staff members to use them out and about for events. Watch this space for more information or contact us today to find out about our EPOS integration.

The Future of Technology in Education

Included in our trip were seminars and talks, one of which was of particular interest to us and aptly named The Future of Technology in Education. Here we learned that the process of developing education should be viewed a transformation which involves factors such as effective data use. This included ensuring systems are secure and accessible, services which we pride ourselves on offering.

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Summary

Attending the Bett Show provided us with a very insightful view into the use of technology within education and we feel confident there will be an ongoing place for online booking systems in this sector. From meeting rooms to events and summer schemes there are a whole host of bookings that online systems such as Booking Live can help with. In fact we currently work with a couple of schools, such as The Royal Drawing School. To find out how we work with them keep an eye on our blog as they’re featuring in our next Client Spotlight! If you have any questions about how we can help your business or what else we got up to at the show then contact us today.

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WordPress & Online Bookings With Booking Live

WordPress & Online Bookings With Booking Live

If you currently have a WordPress website or blog you can easily start taking online bookings thanks to Booking Live. The Booking Live development team have created a free WordPress plugin which allows users to:

  • Display real-time availability on your website through customisable booking calendars
  • Take online bookings directly from your website
  • Choose a payment gateway and take payments from your site
  • Update the design and CSS to match your existing WordPress theme
  • Select options such as which currency and customer data you wish to capture
  • Produce extensive reports

WordPress is constantly increasing in popularity and is viewed by many as the most popular and widely used blogging platform in the world. With differing options in terms of customisation and features WordPress is great for all levels of experience. That’s why we use it to share posts and updates such as this!

Additional Features 

As part of our services here at Booking Live we’ll install, manage and design your WordPress system to match your website booking system. The benefits include:

  • Consistent colour schemes, fonts and themes across your website and booking system
  • Allow customers to view availability of any bookable activities or resources you provide
  • Guide customers through the simple and secure booking process
  • Update your WordPress blog to improve your SEO ranking
  • Optional online support is available

How Do I Install the Booking Live WordPress Plugin?

Installation of the plugin is quick and easy, you can have it set up in less than 5 minutes! Just follow our 4 simple steps:

  1. Firstly start by going to WordPress then select “Plugins/Add New”. You can then search for “BookingLive” and select the correct plugin. Alternatively, click here to visit Booking Live’s plugin page.
  2. To activate the plugin visit the “Plugins” menu in the WordPress sidebar
  3. Set the URL of your Booking Live account via the plugin settings
  4. You can then open a new page in WordPress and select the activity, location or page you wish to display.

Wordpress

 

Almost 400 users have successfully downloaded the Booking Live WordPress plugin already so we must be doing something right! Ensure you don’t miss our by installing the plugin today. If you have any comments or feedback regarding the plugin please feel free to share it with us, we’re always looking to hear how we can improve our services to you.

Please note:

  • Your WordPress page width needs to be minimum 910px wide with no sidebar. If you want to display or hide the Booking Live header and footer please add “HideHeaderAndFooterIfIframe” config in Booking Live.
  • If you run multiple locations please enable “AllowLocationChangeOnBookingPage” config in Booking Live to place a location chooser on the booking page.
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Our New Careers Page is Now Live!

Our New Careers Page is Now Live!

In case you didn’t know here at Booking Live we’ve been experiencing year-on-year growth which has led to the need for more staff and a bigger team. This year we’re on the hunt for even more digitally minded individuals to come and work with us in our Bristol HQ. Not only will you get to work alongside an expert team but you’ll be located minutes away from Bristol’s technology scene, as well as an abundance of eateries where you can spend your lunch hour and bars for post-work drinks!

We work with a range of businesses, from local councils to international activity centres, so there’s always an interesting project to work on. If you’re currently in a junior position you’ll get the opportunity to work with our senior team members who will provide you with invaluable experience and insider tips to enhance your career prospects.We also work with industry-specific partners including the web design agency Skylark Creative so your pool of contacts will steadily increase.

If you’re looking for a new challenge take a look at our current roles or contact us today to find out more.

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Client Spotlight: Youractivekid.com – Booking Systems For Online Guides

Client Spotlight: Youractivekid.com – Booking Systems For Online Guides

Veronika from Youractivekid.com was kind enough to spare a few minutes filling us in on how the company uses Booking Live within their business.

Who’re Youractivekid.com?

“Youractivekid.com set out to be London’s most comprehensive guide for kid’s activities, family party venues, things to do with children and what’s on for children and families. In addition, users also have access to a extensive guide to thousands of activity centres and activity providers throughout London.

To date, we have over 3,500 activity centres and over 10,000 events on the website which are updated twice daily. As well as providing comprehensives guides our website offers a booking module for activity centres and event providers who need online booking modules.”

Why Did You Choose Booking Live?

“We’ve chosen to work with Booking Live because the software is flexible and easy to set up and use, Booking Live’s solutions fitted perfectly with our budget and our website’s development strategy.

We even use Booking Live for events we organize. For example, back in May, we organised a pre-school workshop and a Tall Ship Family Cruise which took place during Totally Thames 2014. During these periods we had large numbers of bookings and a lot of specific requirements which were handled seamlessly by our Booking Live system.”

How Else Has Booking Live Helped Your Business?

“Our Booking Live system is very efficient, we were able to focus on the events themselves rather than having to worry about bookings. Overall, we are very happy with Booking Live. Since the initial set up we’ve been able to add and update events on a regular basis – the process is really easy and straightforward.”

It’s great to hear such positive feedback about our Booking Live systems! If you want to share your experience with us please email caitlin@bookinglive.com. To find out more about Booking Live systems for your business get in touch with our Sales Executive today!

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10 Great Things An Online Booking System For Business Can Do

10 Great Things An Online Booking System For Business Can Do

For starters, Booking Live’s online booking system for business enable you to take bookings and payments directly from your website. Although Booking Live comes armed with a whole host of features we’re going to give you a taste and tell you about 10 of our clients’ favourites. To take your Booking Live experience to the next level simply apply any of these features to your online booking system system and start efficiently managing your business today.

Synchronise your Calendar

All Booking Live systems allow you to sync with Google calendar, Outlook, iCal, iPhone and Facebook. This ensures you don’t miss a thing as you’re able to monitor all aspects of your business from one place.

Start e-Marketing

Booking Live is integrated with the successful and cost-effective marketing tool MailChimp. By incorporating MailChimp into your system you’re able to create, customise and send newsletters and promotional material to as many customers as you like. This integration allows you to easily keep customers up to date whilst simultaneously increasing customer loyalty, retention and bookings.

Choose Your Online Payment Providers

Booking Live integrates with a variety of trusted online payment gateways including Worldpay, Sagepay and Paypal. There’s one for any business type, no matter what industry you are in. With BookingLive you can provide customers with the options of part-payments, such as deposits, or full payments. Enabling customers to make payment at the time of booking saves staff time and reduces likelihood of cancellations.

Send Automated Email and SMS Reminders

With Booking Live you’re able to send customers automated and customisable email and SMS confirmations and reminders. By increasing your interaction with customers you’re increasing customer satisfaction. You can also easily send follow-up emails asking for feedback to help further your business. Find out how to set-up this feature here.

Sell Vouchers and Run Promotions

Attracting new customers and keeping existing customers happy is easy with Booking Live. Fully integrated with various well-known voucher and daily deal sites BookingLive significantly improves user experiences. Find out how to import codes from well-known sites such as Groupon and wowcher, or create your own promotions to boost sales. Rewarding existing customers is a great way to ensure they come back and providing new customers with incentives will ensure your booking rates increase rapidly.

Utilise Reports and Tracking

Analyse your business’s performance with automated, rich analytic reports and develop your business strategy accordingly. You can even track specific features such as how many people are viewing your website. Each report can be exported as CSV, emailed and printed.

Export and Search Customer Data

Effortlessly export and search through data from your Booking Live system to further business analysis and performance. Export to marketing integrations such as MailChimp and financial accounts including Fresh Books. Searchable booking transaction and purchaser history make managing your bookings easy. These features also enable you to identify trends so you can tailor promotions, offers and marketing information to customers’ specific interests. Find out how to add this feature to your system here.

Create Your Own Website or Webpage

Although websites are key to creating a strong online presence we understand smaller businesses don’t always want this service. That’s why Booking Live gives you the option of a customisable webpage or complete website design. With an individual webpage your Booking Live widget is embedded. This enables customers to check availability and make bookings, just as they can with Booking Live’s full website design option. The main difference between the two is the lack of online presence created by a single webpage. If you’re interested in Booking Live’s fully functional, optimised and compliant website services head over to our Business Booking System page to find out more.

Promote your Brand through Social Media

Enable customers to check availability and book directly from your Facebook page. If you already have Facebook you can install Booking Live’s Facebook app within seconds. Integration through use of our Facebook app saves time spent getting from Facebook to your website and will increase bookings. It’ll also help promote your brand as customers are able to share their recent bookings on social media platforms for others to see.

Receive Free Updates

Here at Booking Live we’re repeatedly developing our booking software for business to meet our clients’ needs. Our development roadmap ensures your system is updated continuously, all for one low cost monthly fee. We even provide you with the option of accelerated development if you’re looking for changes to be made quickly.

We hope you apply at least one of these Booking Live features, but with over 50 compatible plug-ins there are a lot more where these came from. Explore our full list here or browse our price plans and start making the most of your Booking Live system today.

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The Rise & Rise of Booking Live

The Rise & Rise of Booking Live

Since launching in 2009 Booking Live has experienced year-on-year growth which is matched by it’s ever-expanding team of creative individuals alongside state of the art upgrades. This, combined with our attention to detail and dedicated response to feedback, has made us the expert booking system providers that we are today. We want to share some of 2014′s most important milestones with you.

Booking Live 3

The update we’ve all been waiting for – BookingLive 3 – is probably our biggest achievement to date. After months of blood, sweat and tears (almost all of these occurred) the latest version of online booking software is almost ready to go live across all existing systems. Booking Live 3 has already taken 1 million online bookings so we can’t wait to get all our clients up and running! Boasting fully mobile responsive features and an optimised user experience it truly is the next generation of online booking software. If you’re an existing client you may’ve already been contacted regarding your upgrade options. If not, hold tight – we’ll be contacting all clients very soon!

An Evening with Booking Live 

September marked the launch of our first official Booking Live event which was a huge milestone for the team. Thanks to months of planning and an excellent response we pulled it off! Thanks again to our hosts at The Frontline Club and all attendees and guest speakers for making it a great night. If you missed the event you can catch up by watching our highlights video or viewing copies of the presentation slides.

Client Spotlights 

Towards the end of 2014 we introduced a Client Spotlight feature. This gave our clients the chance to showcase their businesses as well as giving you an insight into how Booking Live works. We’re pleased to announce we’ll be continuing this feature throughout 2015 so if you’re an existing client and want the world to see what you do contact caitlin@bookinglive.com!

Previous Client Spotlights include:

Affiliate Opportunities

Boasting a whole team of partners already we’re now looking to set-up a new and improved Affiliate Scheme. We’re mainly looking for specialists in Web Design or Software Development and providers of Online Software such as CRM and e-commerce, although if we feel your business is a good fit with ours we may consider working with you so it’s worth getting in touch. Our principals are simple: we want to help other businesses grow as they help ours. Contact us today to find out more.

EPOS Upgrade Launch

Another success we want to share with you is the launch of our upgraded EPOS solutions which work seamlessly with our online booking systems. Many of our clients have already started making full use of this opportunity but it’s not too late, we’re continuing our partnership with the software to provide everyone with the option of EPOS solutions.

To top it all off we’ve also managed to secure our first round of investment. Who knows where we’ll be this time next year, but as long as we’re still working with our existing clients we’ll be happy. Here’s to the next generation of Booking Live!

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Secure & Comprehensive Leisure Management Software

Secure & Comprehensive Leisure Management Software

Many of our clients here at BookingLive use our online booking systems for their leisure businesses. This probably has something to do with the fully comprehensive leisure management software we offer. Designed to manage memberships, sales, access control and more it’s the solution to all your leisure business’s needs.

By incorporating our easy-to-use leisure management software into your business you’ll save time spent on laborious admin and management tasks.  Studies show giving customers the ability to book online not only increases the amount of bookings made, but it also decreases the amount of cancellations and no shows. You’ll even be able to get rid of outdated paper diary systems which aren’t secure and cause problems such as overbooking. BookingLive’s leisure management software eliminates all these problems and more.

Content Management System (CMS)

BookingLive’s leisure management software allows you to safely and securely store all records, from member information to financial details. From one centralised management system you’re able to quickly search through and organise all your business’s information. We understand no two business are the same which is why our leisure management software has been designed with a flexible and intuitive core. You have the choice of various features such as multiple membership options. You can also set discounted memberships to go on sale for a limited amount of time. As no downloads are required with BookingLive you’re able to access your leisure management software from anywhere, at any time!

Financial Control

There’s no need to spend time worrying about stressful financial issues with BookingLive‘s leisure management software. You can easily access each member’s financial activity to ensure they’re up-to-date with membership payments. Our leisure management software ensures you don’t lose out on any revenue.

Admissions Log & Analysis

With BookingLive’s leisure management software you can view aspects such as attendance histories so you can better understand your customers and create successful marketing material. Payments which are due, or memberships which have expired, are automatically updated so you can track any charges you are owed.

Full Reporting

Need to generate clear reports about memberships, attendance or accounts? No problem, our leisure management software creates a range of automatic reports. Each report can be exported as CSV, emailed and printed.

E-marketing

Send specific members SMS and email messages with leisure management software so your customers are up-to-date with any upcoming events or promotions. All you need to do is select which members you wish to send messages too and our software does the rest!

Online Booking Manager

You can create booking slots for inductions, classes, sessions and more quickly and easily with our leisure management software. Choose specific dates and times so your website visitors are able to check live availability and make bookings online. With BookingLive you can even customise the booking process so it fits your brand identity perfectly.

To sign-up for our leisure management software, or to find out more, check out our website or contact us today!

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The Future of Social Media: 2015 and Beyond

The Future of Social Media: 2015 and Beyond

We don’t know about you but we remember when 2015 sounded like something from Back to the Future. Unfortunately hover cars haven’t taken over from those on the roads and time travelling hasn’t been achieved, as far as we know… But aside from those minor setbacks there have been some pretty cool advancements, look at online booking systems – they weren’t around a few years ago! But one of the most significant advancements has to be that of social media. Big names such as Facebook and Twitter have dominated the internet for a while now but what does 2015 have in store?

Lights, Camera, Action!

“A picture speaks a thousand words” but apparently video speaks a whole lot more. Over the past few years we’ve witnessed a clear shift from text to visual content, but things are changing yet again. 2015 is set to see a dramatic shift towards online video marketing via social media channels alone. Content marketing in the form of text is set to drop in popularity as more and more websites feature easily accessible video versions of news stories, tutorials and more. In regards to social media, micro videos are already on the rise. Apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Instagram are enabling users with the ability to film short clips of video, aptly named micro videos (not to be confused with micro pigs).

The video-sharing site YouTube receives over 1 billion unique visitors per month which is more than any other online channel, apart from social media giants Facebook. When you think of how many social media platforms there are out there it’s clear to see video-based is the preferred platform for sharing.

Be Mobile Ready

With almost 80% of online users accessing social media via mobile devices and a predicted increase to 90% in just three years it’s vital businesses offer mobile responsive services from this year onwards. The majority of social media networks are already mobile ready so as long as businesses maintain active profiles they’ll already have a head-start. If you still haven’t gotten emerged in the world of social media now is the time start! If you’re reluctant to do so or don’t feel confident enough to set your company up online there are loads of online resources – a large amount of which are in video form. We suggest starting with the major channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and go from there. You’ll no doubt be surprised how simple it is once you’ve gotten used to it! Getting your business listed on social media is especially important if your website isn’t mobile ready as it will provide your customers with access to mobile friendly content and insights that they’d otherwise miss.

Get Seen & Then Heard

Social media is a great way of improving your overall web presence. Search engines such as Google are more likely to find your website through their clever website crawlers and robots if you maintain active social media profiles. Once you’ve built up a strong online presence you’re able to create a voice for your company. This voice can be far more informal than your typical business jargon, save that for your website and meetings. Social media can make your company appear far more approachable, especially in relation to Twitter, than it may do via other channels. Keep this in mind when updating your statuses and you’ll be more likely to engage users with your posts and, subsequently, your business.

Booking Live on Social Media

Our online booking systems integrate with various social media platforms such as Facebook so you can seamlessly manage your social media accounts, business and bookings! We want our clients to be able to access the latest Booking Live updates and insights quickly and conveniently which is why we also have various social media accounts of our own. Check out some of our pages:

If you’d like to view Booking Live’s latest updates via another platform or you’re interested in our integrations get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!

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