How Do I Schedule a Meeting with Outside Participants?

Meetings are a part of your everyday life if you’re working in a corporate setting, and with new online meeting tools, it’s easier than ever to meet with anyone, at anytime, anywhere. But one constant inconvenience with meetings is scheduling. If you’re working with several employees or external participants that are spread across various time zones, things can get a little tricky when trying to appease everyone’s schedules.

There are, however, plenty of scheduling tools available to help ease the pain of coordinating meetings with multiple participants. Microsoft Outlook®, for example, has a feature called Scheduling Assistant in which you can view meeting participants’ calendars to make sure there’s no scheduling conflicts. The major flaws in Outlook’s application lies in that it’s only useful internally and is not mobile friendly.

For those looking to schedule meetings with outside participants, consider using a scheduling app. These applications use a simple polling system to find the best option for meeting times between participants.  It’s important to note that most of these scheduling-only applications, like Doodle, are only available on web browsers and may end up costing you in subscription fees.

While these scheduling tools are great in theory, for anyone who constantly relies on their mobile devices to conduct business, having an app that is accessible on any device and works with any email service is the most ideal. That’s where smart calendar apps come into play, with features such as Free/Busy Polling.

Free/Busy Polling is a feature similar to the scheduling applications mentioned above, but the real difference is that you can control all aspects of scheduling meetings—both for internal and external purposes—right inside the app.

This feature is a smarter way to take on the task of scheduling meetings. Instead of getting buried in endless back-and-forth email chains, guests can select the times that work best for them in an easy-to-use web interface, or directly within the app itself. Once the participants respond with their preferences, majority of the work is done, and you can easily determine the best meeting time for all respondents.

If you’re ready to learn more about the Free/Busy Polling feature, download PGi’s Agenday smart calendar for free in iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Apps.

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