How often have you tried to find rooms that are available for your meeting's time, your recurring series, have the capacity and resources you need, and are close to you? Probably enough to acknowledge it can be a bit time consuming, especially if you are creating a recurring event or trying to book multiple rooms in different cities.
To help you with this, we are releasing features that make it easier to find the room with the characteristics you need. We also have new features to help you manage your meetings!
Easily browse rooms
For those times when you need to find rooms in multiple cities, you can now search for rooms beyond the ones we show you. Just click on the location bar, and then go to “Browse more rooms”, this opens a right-side panel where you can search for a room by building and city.
Browse rooms by city and see what capacity each room has
Find rooms with specific characteristics
There are meetings that need specific resources like audio and video capabilities, a specific capacity, or a projector. Now to help you find what you need, you can filter for rooms based on capacity, features, and floor.
Browse more rooms to find the one you need
Book multiple rooms
Not everyone in your meeting works in the same building or even the same city. For those meetings when your team is spread across the world, Outlook lets you book multiple rooms so you can make sure everyone has a good spot for that important call. To do this, go to “Browse more rooms” and search by city, then add the rooms you need.
Search rooms per city and add the ones you need
Invite optional attendees
You can now add optional attendees faster, directly from the meeting form. Just click on “Optional” and a new “Invite optional attendees” box will open, no need to go to the Scheduling Assistant.
Adding optional attendees is now easier, right from the meeting form
Some of these capabilities need to be set up by the organization's administrator. If you want to learn how to set up the options shown in the browse rooms panel, you can learn how here.
Online meetings get more options
You likely create or attend several online meetings during your workday, so we want to make your online meeting experience as streamlined as possible – This means options on how to create your meetings, easily join an online meeting, and quickly check how many people are attending the meeting.
- Create an online meeting with Teams or Skype for Business
We’ve updated our backend to more closely reflect your organization’s online meeting policies. Depending on what services you are enabled for, you will see 1 of 3 options: i) A drop down menu to “Add online meeting” where you can select between a Teams or Skype for Business meeting, ii) a toggle to create a Skype meeting or iii) a toggle to create a Teams meeting.
Go to Add online meeting to select your provider
- Join an online meeting from the event peek
Joining an online meeting from the calendar should be easy. And now it is, just go to the meeting event and you can join in one click right from the event peek.
Join an online meeting right from the event peek
- See attendees’ responses to a meeting
You can now easily see who is attending a meeting and see everyone’s response too. We’ve added a quick summary in the event peek and if you go into the full meeting invite you’ll see attendees grouped by their response. If you use the event peek, you can see attendees’ responses if the meeting has less than 3 people or a summary of responses if there are more.
See attendees’ responses in the event peek
Invite only who you want in group calendars
Sometimes, you want to create an event in a group calendar but do not need to invite everyone in the group. With this update you will be able to:
- Create events without inviting anyone, like a reminder or a milestone for the group
- Create “brownbag style” events where you can have some required attendees and other people in the group can add themselves to the event if they want to attend too
- Invite the group and anyone else.
Learn more about invitations in group calendars in this post.
Most of the features are already available to Office and Microsoft 365 users and the remaining ones will be rolling out in the next couple of weeks. For some features to show up, the organization's administrator has to set up the room features. To learn how to do this, please read this.
We would love to know if these features help you plan and manage your meetings or if finding the right rooms is now easier for you.
Please, tell us what you think in our UserVoice channel or using the in-product smile feature.