Often, as a merchant offering experiences to your customer, you may want to allow your customers to book an entire time slot just for themselves. Other times, you may want to require that all bookings are private.
These are both perfect use cases for our Group Booking app which you can activate in our "Apps" section of the Experiences App admin.
What is a group booking?
A group booking in our system behaves differently than regular bookings in that once a time slot has been booked as a "private" or "group" experience, no one else will be able to book that time slot even if there are still open seats for the experiences.
How to use the Group Booking App
Step 1: Install the Group Booking App.
Before being able to do any configuration, the first thing you'll want to do is head on over to our "Apps" page inside the Experiences App admin and click "Install" on the "Group Bookings" app.
You can get to the "Apps" page by clicking "Apps" from any page in the Experiences App.
Once there, you'll see an app card for "Group Booking".
From there you can read over the details and instructions and then click "Install" when you're ready to enable group bookings in your shop.
Note: Installing here only enables the features in the rest of your app. It doesn't immediately set any experiences to accept group bookings.
Step 2: Configure the Group Booking settings for your experience
Once you've installed the Group Bookings app, you can head back over to the experience that you want to configure to accept group bookings.
You'll notice, now that Group Bookings has been enabled, the Purchase section in the "Edit Experience" form has changed to include "Regular and Group Purchase Rules" instead of just "Purchase Rules".
Note: Group Bookings is not compatible with our legacy schedule system, so if you're not seeing the group rules section, you may need to switch over to use our new schedule system.
Clicking on "Edit" will bring up a form that allows you to configure the rules for group bookings.
By default, the experience will be set to not allow group bookings. Checking the box labeled "Allow this to be booked by groups" will allow you to set minimum booking limits and make an experience only a group experience.
How do purchase limits and group limits work together?
You might be wondering how the limits work when you have both regular purchase limits and group limits. Here's a quick side note on how they interact with each other.
When a customer has chosen to make a regular booking, then the "Regular Booking Rules" will be applied. They will be required to book at least the minimum and no more than the maximum.
When a customer has chosen a group booking, then the "Regular Booking Rules" will be ignored and they will be required to book at least the minimum number of seats as specified under the "Group Booking Rules" and no more than the overall quantity available for the time slot.
When an experience is set to only accept group bookings, then all "Regular Booking Rules" are ignored and the customer will be required to book at least the minimum and no more than the overall available quantity.
Step 3: Save your group booking rules and your experience
Once you've got things configured the way you want them. Click "Save" on the Purchase Rules popup and then click "Save" on your overall experience.
What this looks like when booking?
Note: Group bookings are only supported in the "Full Page Booking Form" so if you're still using our legacy "Week View" booking form, you'll need to upgrade to the "Full Page" version under the "Settings" page in our app.
The first thing you'll notice is that if you allow both regular and group bookings, the customer is now given the option to "Book as private group".
If you only accept group bookings they'll have just one option to "Book as private group".
Under the order details section, the customer will have the option to toggle group or regular bookings (if both are allowed) and will be shown the minimum quantity necessary to proceed with their booking.
Once a time slot has been booked as a group experience, it will appear as "Sold out" on the storefront so that no other customers are able to book.
If a time slot has already been booked by a customer as a regular booking then future customers will not be allowed to book it as a group and will only be able to book with other customers.
What this looks like for you and your staff?
Once you've received your first group booking you'll notice that anywhere you view a time slot that contains a group booking whether, in the Admin or the POS, you'll see a badge indicating that it's booked for a group.
You'll also notice that the experience is marked as unavailable, even though there are still available spots.
When transferring the booking to another experience you'll notice that you can change the time slot and variants for the booking, but you will be required to transfer the entire booking so that the group stays together, wherever you transfer them to.
We're super excited about this functionality and what it's going to do for our merchants and their experiences!
If you have any questions about how any of this works, feel free to reach out to us for help!