Managing Room Reservations in Outlook

Rooms in Outlook (Exchange) can be reserved for meetings and other events. This includes conference rooms and other meeting spaces.

Scheduling Rooms for Meetings

Rooms can be set up to handle reservation requests in one of two ways:

  • Moderated:  Requests to reserve the resource must be approved or denied by the resource manager. 

  • Auto-Accept:  Requests to reserve the resource are automatically accepted, based on availability. Rooms should be typically set up this way. 

Important: Rooms must be scheduled as a Resource

  • Click the Rooms button on the Meeting Request window
     
OR 
  • Select the Room in the Global Address List & click the Resource button. This adds the room as a Resource, even though it will appear in the To: field.
     
Note:  If a room is not scheduled as a Resource, the meeting request will not be placed on the Room Resource’s calendar (Auto-Accept) or forwarded to delegates (Moderated).

Moderated Rooms

A moderated room has at least one user who is responsible for accepting or declining meeting requests, and it can also have other delegates associated with it. 

Managing Moderated Rooms


If you have set up a moderated room, requests to reserve the room must be accepted or declined manually. As the manager, you will control who has access to the room and when. As a manager (or delegate) for a moderated room, you will receive an "invitation" email. For example, when someone creates a meeting and wants to reserve a room you manage, you will receive an email from Exchange, just as if you had personally been invited to the meeting. You would then accept or decline the meeting invitation on behalf of the room. Moderators that receive a meeting request for a room resource will not have these meetings appear on their personal calendar when they accept it.

Example: Someone creates a new meeting invitation and invites three people. They need a place to meet, so the meeting organizer also includes the room you are responsible for managing. As the moderator for that room, you will receive an email invitation. Open the email for the resource and click Accept, Tentative, or Decline. 

Accept or Decline Meeting Invitations

When someone wants to reserve a room, the meeting organizer should add the room resource to a meeting. There are two ways you can approve or deny requests to reserve a room resource: 

You can click accept or decline in the meeting invitation emails you receive, or you can open the tentative events that appear on the resource's calendar and choose there.

Room Calendars 

A room resource has its own calendar, which can be viewed much like a person's calendar. When a request for a room is accepted in Exchange, an event is added to the calendar. If you are a room manager, you can access the shared calendar for the resource in Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2011, or OWA. The calendar allows you to review requests to reserve the room, as well as to approve or deny them. In order to manage a room, you open the shared calendar for the resource.
 

How to Open a Shared Calendar for a Room

Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, the calendar for a resource you manage will appear in the My Calendars list on the left side of the window. 

To view the calendar for a resource you manage using Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010:

  1. Click Calendar on the left side of the window.
  2. Locate the section labeled My Calendars on the left side of the window. Any room resources for which you are a manager or delegate should appear here. If you do not see the room:
    1. Click Open Calendar on the Ribbon
    2. Select Open Shared Calendar…
    3. Type in the name of the room in the dialog box.
  3. Put a check mark next to the calendar you want to display.
  4. You can also remove the check mark next to any calendars you want to hide.

The calendar for the resource is displayed. You can hide the shared calendar by removing the check mark next to the calendar's name from the list on the left side of the window. When you view a shared calendar in Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010, it is displayed next to your other open calendars in a side-by-side fashion.

Outlook 2011

In Outlook 2011, you must open the Delegates window and add the resource you manage. This will cause the shared calendar for the resource to appear in your Shared Calendars list on the left side of the Outlook 2011 window.

To view the calendar for a resource you manage using Outlook 2011, do the following:

  1. Click Calendar on the left side of the window.
  2. Click Tools > Accounts...
  3. Select your Exchange account on the left side of the Accounts window.
  4. Click Advanced....
  5. Click Delegates.
  6. Click the plus (+) icon below the box labeled “People I am a delegate for:”.
  7. Enter the name of the room resource for which you are a delegate and click Find.
  8. Select the resource from the list of search results. Then click OK.
  9. Click OK again.
  10. Close the Accounts window.

The name of the resource appears on the left side of Outlook 2011 under the Shared Calendars heading. Put a check mark in the box next to the shared calendar's name to display it. When you view a shared calendar in Outlook 2011, it is displayed as an overlay on top of your personal calendar. Each calendar is assigned a color and events on each calendar bear that color.

Outlook Web App (OWA)

In OWA, you must add the shared calendar for the resource you manage. The shared calendar will then appear in your People's Calendars list on the left side of the OWA window.To view the calendar for a shared resource you manage using OWA, do the following:

  1. Click Calendar on the left side of the window.
  2. Click Share > Add Calendar... at the top of the window.
  3. Enter the name of the room resource for which you are a delegate and click OK.
  4. Select the resource from the list of search results. Then click OK.

The calendar for the resource is displayed. You can hide the shared calendar by removing the check mark next to the calendar's name from the list on the left side of the window. When you view a shared calendar in OWA, it is displayed next to your other open calendars in a side-by-side fashion.