Blog Post

Course Booking Systems - Promote your Courses and Streamline your Admin

07/05/20

Why use a course booking system?

There are three good reasons why training providers should use a course booking system.

  1. You make things better for potential customers/learners.

    • Users get a more polished experience when browsing courses that is more like what see when they use sites like Amazon and Youtube;
    • Courses browsed by things like category, date and location - again that improves the user experience;
    • The workflow around booking onto a course is streamlined.
  2. It’s easier for you to create and share information about new courses.

    • Most systems will let you create ‘draft’ courses that you can schedule for release;
    • You might be able to ‘fast copy’ courses to create recurring instances of a course;
    • You can publish new courses quickly - no need to go through a website editing process.
  3. You can do more with the data you collect.

    • Data is stored in a structured database - a million times better than data about course bookings stored in multiple spreadsheets.
    • Structured data also means easier reporting is easier - analyse your data, find insights and then improve the way you advertise courses and take bookings.

The 5 booking systems below all come with useful features that will support the day to day business of training/course providers.

1. Coursedate

Coursedate is aimed at course/training providers.

Pros Cons
  • Dedicated training/course management
  • Online course directory
  • Website integrations
  • Easy booking process
  • Simple course management and reporting
  • Doesn’t integrate with third party systems (yet)

Pricing - top tier is £99/month for up to 1000 bookings per month.

2. BookingLive

Booking and reservation solutions for industry and the public sector. Solution comes with a free content management system and you can white label your solution so it uses your own branding. No commission charged on bookings.

Pros Cons
  • Promotion and vouchers
  • Customised reports
  • Customised booking forms
  • Online payments
  • Registers and attendance checking
  • More generic booking system - not dedicated to courses/training

Pricing - quote available from BookingLive on request.

3. Arlo

Arlo is a purpose-built course management system for training/course providers. It includes tools for managing both coursebookings and ongoing administration of courses, trainees and sessions. Also includes functionality to support elearning. A more comprehensive course management solution.

Pros Cons
  • Dedicated course management system
  • Online registration
  • Course templates
  • More extensive tools for managing training, sessions etc
  • Elearning tools
  • Could be too many features & expensive for a smaller provider

Pricing - depends on tier and usage, but 5 admin admin users and 1000 bookings a year could be > £700/month.

4. BookingHound

BookingHound should accelerate delegate sign-ups, give you real-time insight into your sessions and attendee pipeline and also allow you to manage resources (rooms etc) online.

Pros Cons
  • Secure online payments
  • Built in reports
  • Customer questionnaires & surveys
  • Integrates with Wordpress
  • Can sell extras as part of booking - food, insurance etc.
  • Focus is booking and scheduling rather than course management

Pricing - up to £35/month plus a variable transaction charge.

5. thinkBooker

Versatile online booking, scheduling and resource management solution. Bespoke element means that the booking solution is tailored to match your branding. thinkBooker should reduce your admin and increase business development opportunities.

Pros Cons
  • Secure online payments
  • Customisable reports
  • Flexible - multiple event types, not just courses
  • Cloud based - nothing to install
  • Multiple integration options - Salesforce, MailChimp etc
  • Focus is booking and scheduling rather than course management

Pricing - quote available from thinkBooker on request.

You get more control with a course booking system. Your customers get a better browsing experience and you get simpler admin and structured data that you can query for insights. And just as important, your customers get a better, more consistent browsing experience that should generate more engagement and more bookings.