November 20th, 2015

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Have you ever been in a highly sensitive, private meeting when someone pokes their head in to see if the room is really occupied, or worse, asks, “Are you almost done?”

What do you do? Throw a book at the door? Stick a paper sign outside the door saying “Keep Out!” or “Occupied”?

Unnecessary interruptions can be frustrating, especially if you’re in the middle of a serious discussion that demands privacy.

There are some simple steps you can take to prevent such problems – and bring down your blood pressure.

Conference Room Display Settings for Privacy

To prevent needless interruptions, EventBoard clients install our meeting schedule displays outside each conference room to provide real-time meeting status. If the room is busy, the display makes that obvious with just a glance.

In addition to the meeting start and end time, displays can show the meeting title and description, and even a list of attendees. But if you don’t want those details to show, that’s your call.private-meeting-display-600px-300x225-1

Your EventBoard account administrator has the ability to configure each display’s privacy settings in a way that allows users to to book a conference room without showing who booked it or why.

(Hint: It’s also possible to use top-level “organization” settings to make events private for all displays, for your whole company, rather than setting each room’s device individually.)

Once the setting are configured to hide event title, description and attendees, that information will not show on the display – regardless of which calendaring system (Google Calendar or Outlook, for example) employees use to book the room. So sensitive information won’t be at risk of exposure.

Calendaring Systems Offer Privacy Options, Too

Even if your organization chooses not to use the conference room display settings for privacy, there are still some options you can select on the individual calendaring system you use to book the meeting.

For example, if you use Outlook within your enterprise, when you schedule your meeting in the calendar select the File tab, click on Properties and then select Private from the Sensitivity drop-down. Or, depending on the version of Outlook you are using, simply click on the Private icon. The meeting details will not be displayed when someone opens your calendar, schedules a meeting with you, or does a Free/Busy search.

Alternatively, you can prevent someone from seeing hints about any of your appointments via the subject or location information in Outlook by changing the Permission Level default from “Free/Busy time” to “Owner.” To do this, click on the Home tab in Outlook, then click on Calendar Permissions and select the Permission Level of your choice from the drop-down.

(Note: There are some differences when using Exchange, read our private meetings help article for details.)

With the Google Apps calendar, you can simply mark events as Private when you create them. That will prevent event details from showing on the conference room display.

Whether it works best in your particular work environment to manage privacy from the conference room display settings or from your personal calendar, just be sure you understand how your company’s systems work.

You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with the realization that you ruined Bob’s surprise birthday party by showing the details on the conference room display.

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