"End early" feature now available

TL/DR: We've released a new "end-early" feature that, if the venue enables it, allows non-admins to truncate their in-progress bookings if they no longer need the remaining time.

The details

Until now, Skedda has allowed venue admins to configure their "cancellation policy", that is, the time until which non-admin users can cancel their bookings (also known in Skedda-jargon as the "lock-in margin").

Today we're happy to be releasing a new option that extends on the concept of your "cancellation policy". In your venue profile you'll now see a further option that can be selected, namely Users can cancel their bookings any time before they begin, and end them early whilst in progress.

As the name suggests, bookings that are created with this new setting can be cancelled by their holders up until the scheduled start time, and also ended early while they're happening. This is useful if the holder realizes (during their booking) that they no longer need the full scheduled time, and they wish to make the space available to others. Until now, "truncating" in-progress bookings in this way could only be done by admins, which went against our vision of maximizing the self-service capabilities of Skedda and often resulted in non-admin users creating "segmented" or "chunked" bookings (e.g. a four-hour booking consisting of four one-hour blocks, the latter of which could be cancelled if required). This new "end early" option solves this problem, whilst still ensuring that the time the holder did use remains in the system for record-keeping, reporting and auditing purposes.

Here's an example of Skedda Fred (a non-admin user) using this new option for one of his bookings - a team meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The meeting goes swimmingly well and Fred realizes at 4:53 pm that they're all done and can now go celebrate. From Skedda he simply selects the new End early option to finish up the booking at 5:00 pm (the subsequent point in time based on the venue's configured 30-minute time granularity). Here he's doing it from the day view, but he can also do it from the month or list view. Note that the meeting has already commenced, so the option to completely remove the booking (i.e. cancel) is disabled because doing that would affect the integrity of the venue's usage records for that space.

Email notifications behave as you would expect when Skedda Fred takes this action: he gets a confirmation email of his change, and the venue also gets a notification as long as they have venue-notifications enabled in their settings.

Some final notes for completeness:

  • This new behavior is opt-in for each venue, and we haven't automatically enabled it for any existing venue accounts. To enable it, just head to your venue profile (the page shown in the screenshot above). If you don't enable it, nothing will change for your venue's users.

  • If pricing is relevant for the bookings at your venue, please note that an "end-early" action will not change the price of the booking (pricing can be arbitrarily changed by admins, so Skedda has no way of knowing what the new price of a truncated booking should be in the general case). Also note the "end-early" option will not be available if the booking is already marked as paid (consistent with the cancellation option). We don't anticipate the "end-early" workflow to be particularly relevant for venues with pricing setup, but we're confident that this behavior is the most sensible from the admin's perspective if they indeed decide to use this feature.

  • As bookings always keep the cancellation policy that was applicable at their creation time, please note that the "end-early" behavior will only be available for bookings created after you decide to enable it.