Right now, it’s important for a lot of FEC owners to keep track of the number of guests entering and leaving their facility. You’ve probably already made adjustments to how your scheduling works- it’s necessary to make special accommodations to meet regulations set up in your region. So how can you best meet these regulations and create a safe environment for your guests? If you need to transition to a booking system based around groups or general admission, then this guide will help you get started.
1. Creating the Product
First, you'll need to create a product for your general admission. Start by determining the max occupancy limit of your facility- this varies state by state, county by county. That max occupancy is the limit you want to base your party size on; you definitely don’t want to cross that limit. Let’s say your maximum occupancy is 100- we want to create parties to reach that limit, but not surpass it. Our parties will be based around small groups booking together; we want to ensure that as many groups as possible are able to book without crossing this limit. If I want to create groups of 5, I would create a party that looks something like this:
This party is split into groups of 5: up to 5 people can book per group, and it charges strictly per person. The reason we’re splitting it into groups of 5 is because it will be easier to ensure we don’t surpass the maximum number of guests. If one of your customers wanted to book a group greater than 5, then they would need to go through the booking process again.
Once we have our group size, we'll need to put it into the system. Click here for information on schedule blocks if you aren't familiar! If our limit is 100 guests, then we can create 20 schedule slots for a given time period. The schedule block would look something like this:
This Group Admission party runs for two hours, leaving an extra hour in between visits to clean/disinfect the area. 19 duplicates are created to create 20 schedule slots; 20 different groups are able to book every 2 hours.
That said, you run the very real possibility of under-booking using this method, as it’s unlikely that 20 groups of 5 will book every time. Since groups of 1 or 2 use the same slots as groups of 5, you could end up with 40 guests, and no schedule slots left for others looking to book. There are a few ways around this that you could try:
- Create more than 20 groups: let’s say you create 30 groups instead of 20. You run the risk of overbooking with this method, but you’ll have more slots open for more people to book.
- Add/remove schedule slots manually as needed. If you see that 20 slots are booked for a certain time frame, you could also add additional slots manually, using the “Add one time schedule” feature on the schedule page. Conversely, if you have 30 slots available, and you’re nearing capacity, you could delete excess slots.
- You could also create separate groups for different numbers of people. Maybe you have groups of 1-3, 4-6, and groups of 7-10, to easier keep track of different groups.
Guests booking online won’t experience any inconvenience (Unless they need to book multiple groups), but your back end work may increase- your schedule in particular may get a bit messy. You’ll also want to check the booking numbers periodically, just to make sure that you aren’t running the risk of overbooking. This is just a basic format that may work for your facility- remember to change the numbers to what work best for you!
Depending on how you organize your parties, you may be able to run the Party Statistics report to determine how many guests are booked for a certain time. This report will display the total amount of guests booked for individual parties, or the combined total of a certain party type- this combined total may be able to give you an accurate representation of how many guests will be present at a given time.
The report can be used to display guest counts for a day's worth of parties. So if you only offer one type of admissions party for that day, the number will reflect the number of guests that have booked with you. If you have multiple parties for that day, you may also be able to create individual parties for different time slots (EX- Noon admissions, Afternoon admissions, etc). That way, when running the report, you will get a quick glance of the total guests booked for each time slot.