Community News - June 23

Ben Jones
28 June 2023
Est. Reading: 4 minutes
Updated: 29 June 2023


In this section, we’ll share the latest updates from the bookinglab local gov community.

The goal here is to inform you of any product updates or community-led initiatives & help you connect with councils tackling common challenges.

The top five news stories from June include:

  1. Our new product suite
  2. The launch of West Sussex County Council's HAF Booking Service
  3. The Launch of Essex County Council's Short Breaks Booking Service
  4. We’re offering free consultation workshops
  5. We’ve launched a free trial environment

Our New Product Suite.

Over the past 18 months, we've worked with our local gov community to co-produce off-the-shelf products for several key service areas, including:

  • A Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) Programme Booking Service
  • A Short Breaks & Activities Booking Service
  • A Sports Pitch Booking Service 
  • A Desk and Room Booking Service
  • A Pool Hire Booking Service 
  • A HWRC Booking Service 
  • A Pest Control Booking Service 
  • A Bulky Waste Collection Booking Service
  • A Family Hubs Booking Service 
  • A DofE Booking Service
  • A Registrars Booking Service 
  • A Training Course Booking Service 
  • A Market Trader Booking Service 
  • A DBS Booking Service 
  • A Car Parking Booking Service 
  • A Flexible Appointment Booking Service 
  • A Flexible Event Booking Service & more

These products are all categorised into Gold, Silver & Bronze tiers depending on several variables, including:

  • Build complexity​
  • The volume of service demand​
  • Level of integration ​
  • Custom functionality
Screenshot 217 1

And why have we decided to productise?

  • To reduce the time to value
  • To standardise (where possible) across core service areas &
  • To reduce the cost to serve

This was just a super quick introduction. We'll post more on this over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for updates.

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more - click here

West Sussex County Council’s HAF Booking Service Goes Live.

Over the last two months, we've worked with West Sussex County Council to co-produce a digital booking service to improve the delivery of their HAF Programme.

In the short time the platform has been live, we've seen some fantastic results, including:

  • 2,255 bookings made in the first 48 hours
  • 50+ registered activity providers
  • Over 1,000 bookable activities

Other notable benefits include:

  • Efficiency savings generated through automated & streamlined processes
  • Improved reporting capabilities &
  • 24/7 self-service capability for users & providers

With this in mind, we'd like to say a huge well done to everyone involved in the project for developing a great digital product.

Note: these are only a few of the associated staff benefits.

So, If you’d like to connect with a contact at WSCC to ask questions/share ideas, or learn more about our HAF Booking Service — click here.

Essex County Council’s Short Breaks Service Goes Live.

We’ve also worked closely with Essex County Council to co-produce a booking product that simplifies the day-to-day management of council-provided short breaks by:

  • Fairly managing access with unique identifiers, booking rules & limits
  • Providing dynamic prices based on seasonality 
  • Simplifying payments with deposits, upfront remittance, outstanding balances & dynamic pricing
  • Automating admin processes & improving reporting capabilities
  • Making it easy to create/edit multiple accommodation types with additional information like location maps, video links, key codes, accessibility features & details on supplementary activities
  • Simplifying booking management for multiple locations, resources & activity types
  • Enabling users to self-serve 24/7 with end-to-end guidance messaging
  • Allowing users to apply filters based on date range, location, accommodation type, accessibility requirements & more
  • Providing MyAccount functionality to allow users to log in & view past bookings, amend upcoming bookings, pay outstanding balances & edit account information
  • Helping users stay in the loop with automated comms for booking reminders, payment plans, service announcements & surveys

What’s more, resident uptake & support for this project has been fantastic, with over 10,000 page hits within the first hour of go-live.

If you’d like to connect with a contact at ECC to ask questions/share ideas, or learn more about our Short Breaks Booking Service — click here.

We’re running free consultation workshops.

After seeing the support from LocalGovCamp attendees for a more collaborative approach to tackling common challenges, we're running a series of online workshops to share learnings from our community of 30+ councils & help you tackle your self-service projects. 

In these sessions, we will:

  • Deep dive into your current (or upcoming) self-service projects
  • Help you validate service requirements
  • Share how our council community have tackled the challenges you face
  • Introduce you to a contact at a council that has delivered a similar project
  • Answer any service-specific questions you may have

We'll also provide you with a free pilot of a Minimum Viable Service Booking Service so you can start implementing the changes we discuss.

These consultations are obligation-free, and you can register your interest here.

Our New Trial Environment Is Up & Running.

We’ve launched a brand-new trial environment to allow you to test our range of Minimum Viable Booking Services.

These free trial solutions are only available for specific use cases & are designed so that you can see the value of our system first-hand without any obligation.

To find out more about which use cases are available as a free trial, please click here.

For existing customers, please feel free to contact your bookinglab account manager:

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