Placeholder Banner

The Scheduling Process

May 24, 2012
Scheduling for companies will kick into full gear the week of May 28th for the BIO Business Forum and participating exhibiting companies.

As mentioned in a previous post, we wanted to discuss scheduling in a bit more detail, so that you understand what scheduling means, and how it impacts the way you use the Partnering System.

First and foremost, meetings are only scheduled for those in Accepted/Agreed-To status. Your action item? Go in to your Message Center and respond to meeting requests!

Remember, it's just as important to decline meetings as it is to accept meetings. Let the other company know where your meeting stands. Otherwise, they could be keeping times open for a meeting that just isn't going to happen, and that's not quite fair, is it?

Next, open your availability. If you've been with us awhile, you know we say this all the time. But it's one of the top customer service questions that we get, and we feel it's worth repeating. A meeting simply cannot be scheduled if both parties don't have time available to meet. So be sure to go in to your calendar, for all days, and check the times that you're around. (If you're concerned about it, open as many spots as possible.) In the screen shot below, Jane Doe knows she'll be out a little too late at a pre-conference party, so she's decided that 8:30am is simply way too early to start business. At 9:00am on the other hand, she'll be good to go!

Third, be sure that the people who need to be in the meeting, are in the meeting! You can do this by going to your Message Center and clicking on the request/meeting in question. On the right-hand side is a box with the link "Edit Participants". From there, you can add those who need to be included in the meeting. (James Bond is busy with Skyfall, so he can skip this one.) Click on the screen shot below for a bigger picture.

Now, that's really it on your end. We take care of the rest! To be specific, we have an auto-scheduler that runs nightly. It surveys the scene, finds a time all your delegates and the other company's delegates are available, schedules it, and automatically adds the meeting to your calendar. For the delegates who are in the meeting, it will be on their personal calendar, but there's also a company-wide version that will give you the bird's-eye view of everyone's activity.

So a couple points to reiterate: BIO will find a matching time, and we'll populate your calendar. You will not have to manually add meetings yourself, a la Google Calendar. What you can do however, is add notes, - say a visit to Faneuil Hall. Just remember that creating a note won't automatically block off that time as unavailable - only those little check boxes will. Click the image below to see an example of what we mean.

Another important point: we don't release the location of your meeting until a week or so before the event. So when you start seeing meetings pop up on your calendar, don't be alarmed that there's no location listed. And with the addition of Exhibitor Partnering this year, rest assured that you'll know whether your meeting is in the Exhibit Hall, or in the Business Forum. But a couple rules of thumb there: you'll know based on the two letters after a company's profile name. BF stands for Business Forum. EX stands for Exhibitor. Any meeting with a company that has an EX in the profile name, will take place in the Exhibit Hall. Once we release the exact locations, you'll have their booth information right in your calendar.

We also noted that the auto-scheduler runs nightly. This is true for the first few weeks. As we get closer to the event, we bump this time-frame up for twice a day to accommodate for the amount of meetings that need to be scheduled (it gets to be a LOT.)

We know this is a lot of information, but we hope it's helpful! Happy Partnering!