Tabletop.Events has an amazingly helpful feature called Auto-Schedule. Instead of manually scheduling each of your events, Auto-Schedule will automatically schedule each of your events on your behalf. You'll get an email after it's done auto-scheduling.
You have a host of configuration options in the auto-scheduler:
- Whether or not to double book hosts.
- Whether or not to schedule events that have no host yet.
- Which priorities of events to schedule.
- Which event types to schedule.
Programatic Priorities When Auto-scheduling Events
These are the priorities of the utility for selecting which event it will schedule to which location (not to be confused with an event's "scheduling priority").
- Schedule an event to the same space as that of other events with the same host.
- For events with multiple hosts, the utility uses only the first assigned host with regard to determining "same host".
- Schedule events with special needs to the spaces accommodating those needs.
- The utility will never schedule an event with a special need to a space that cannot accommodate that need. The system will alert you by email if it fails to find a suitable space for such an event (and therefore cannot schedule it).
- If you schedule an event with a special need to a space that does not accommodate that need (not with the auto-scheduler), a notice to that effect will appear for the event entry in the main schedule view.
- The utility will attempt to schedule events without special needs to spaces that do not accommodate any special needs; however, if it cannot, it will schedule such events to spaces that do accommodate special needs.
- When scheduling an event, prioritize spaces having the fewest events scheduled.
- This is to allow the best chance of scheduling multiple events having the same host to the same space.
- The utility groups together events with the same host, in order to schedule them one after another, and allow the best chance of scheduling those events to a single space. Again, for events with multiple hosts, the utility uses only the first assigned host for grouping.
How The Auto-scheduler Works
This is a description of how the auto-scheduler utility operates.
The utility will step through the received scheduling priorities in order of highest to lowest.
For each scheduling priority, the utility will step through all events having a type included in the event types received from the auto-scheduler user interface. An event not having one of those event types is ignored. If you selected not to auto-schedule events lacking a host, the utility will ignore such events.
Where below the description says "the schedule attempt is a fail", this means that the utility creates an error message about the failure, and when the auto-scheduling job finishes, the system will send you an email with all generated messages.
For each event:
- The utility checks that the event has preferred dayparts for scheduling. If it does not, the schedule attempt is a fail.
- An event can have two start dayparts, a primary and secondary. The utility will attempt scheduling with them in that order.
- The utility will only attempt to schedule the event to the selected dayparts. If it cannot schedule to those dayparts, it will not schedule the event. (This counts as a fail, but not until the end of this process.)
- The utility will compare the event's preferred dayparts to those of already-scheduled events with the same hosts. If as a result no dayparts are available, the schedule attempt is a fail.
- If you specified that the utility should allow double-booking of hosts, it will skip this step.
- The utility checks that the event's type has rooms available for it. If it does not, the schedule attempt is a fail.
- The utility attempts to schedule the event to a space used by a previously-scheduled event with the same host. If it can't do this, it proceeds.
- The utility attempts to schedule the event to any available space.
- For this and the previous step, the utility will schedule events with special needs only to spaces accommodating those needs.
- If at this point the utility has not scheduled the event, the schedule attempt is a fail.
Manually Schedule With Auto-Schedule
If you have events that you'd like to sit in certain slots, then you'll need to manually schedule those before you use the auto-scheduler. This will ensure those slots don't get used by the auto-scheduler and therefore your events are slotted in the appropriate locations. Alternatively, you can use the slot editor under room management to reserve slots. This is useful if you don't yet know what you want to put in a block of slots, but that you don't want the auto-scheduler to use them either.