I don’t insist people book but I constantly encourage them to do – it helps me plan a class and make last minute adjustments and also tends to make people more committed to actually attending.
I tell clients they are not locked in and it’s more of a reservation system. Obviously, if the same person cancelled at the last minute repeatedly, I’d have to take action (and the conditions of my discounted passes cover this) but as yet, thankfully, this hasn’t been an issue.
It’s a bit of a numbers game – although 20 is realistically a little bit large, because I typically get 3 to 4 last minute cancellations I allow up to 20 bookings.
Having a day job, it was important to have a highly automated Bookings System. I use bookwhen.com, it costs US$20 pm and I love it – especially its auto waiting list. When 20 people are booked in for a class (as is often the case these days), additional people can join a waiting list. When someone cancels (using a link in the confirmation email), the system automatically issues invites to those on the waiting list and allocates a place on a first come first served basis. Saves me a gazillion ‘phone calls on the morning of the class while I’m doing my regular job.
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