Packages vs Workshops

Hi all,

What’s the best way to go for the following set-up please…I run my classes in blocks of 6 or 7 weeks or one calendar month (which may include 4 or 5 weeks). Students can PAYG but I’d like to offer discounted ‘bulk’ buy for the specific dates of each block. I need to be able to set the timelines for this to be specific (i.e. to be from 1st Sept-30th Sept) From what I can see, if I use the Package option there is only an expiry date and not also a start date where students can book in from. This means they could buy the September Package now and book into a class next week - not what I want. If I use the Workshop function (to specify exact dates), my students get confused and think a Workshop is another type of class as it sits beside my regular class time on the calendar. The Workshop option also doesn’t help with managing numbers as my classes have limited numbers (especially now thanks to Covid-19!) so the block booking option needs to work along side the ‘PAYG’ option. I also want to be able to charge more for the PAYG slots than the block booking.

What’s the best way to handle this in Smoothbook and can it be done?..thank you in advance :pray:

Any thoughts James? Am I missing something here of how to create a block of classes on specific dates that can be paid for in bulk but not as a ‘Workshop’?..

Hi Jo,

Very sorry for the delayed reply on this: usually I can see the unanswered topics but this one slipped through somehow.

I think the best way of doing this would be with coupon codes as this will limit who can buy which package and when. Also, if the restricted package is the only payment option for a given class, then only people with the code will be able to book that class.

How this would work would be that you create the package with number of appointments and charge, etc. and then create a code so that only people with the code can buy it. Then you email the code to people when you want to give them the ability to buy it (or you could make the code publicly available on the day you want to allow people to book.

Hope that makes sense!

Thanks James. I’m thinking I may just have to do the block bookings outside of the system and just update each class with the spare spaces for ad hoc bookers. It’s quite convoluted so I’m happy to keep the online booking for occasional users. It still works so that’s all good. Thanks so much :slight_smile:

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Hi Jo,
I think I’m in a similar position and after a lot of head-scratching I think I’ve got a solution. I teach Pilates term-time only, so typically 5-8 classes per term, and I prefer to offer a block of classes at a reduced effective price vs a higher charge for individual classes. I also want the minimum amount of admin, so I’m not happy that both the workshop charges and single class fees require manual management of refunds, so here is my proposed solution (@james please advise if you see something that won’t work, because I’m about to go live with this!):

First the scheduling:

  • Set the calendar options as needed for look-ahead visibility of bookings, how far ahead they can be booked and how late they can be cancelled.
  • Don’t have any weekly schedule - set up the term as a workshop only. Then there won’t be a confusion of booking options or dual-scheduling problem
  • Enable the option “People can join mid-session”
  • Disable the option “treat all the appointments in the workshop as one bookable unit”
  • Decide for yourself what to do with “book all the remaining … when one is booked”
    For the latter I chose to enable it, since most of my clients book the term. It’s perhaps mildly irritating for PAYG customers as they would have to undo the auto-booked classes (maybe a Smoothbook feature update would change this to be a client preference setting rather than a service setting?).

Now for charging:

  • Don’t define any single appointment or workshop charges. They’re not cancellation-friendly
  • Define a “single class credit” package for 1 appointment on any relevant service, charged at PAYG.
    Make it available to buy indefinitely, unlimited use per client. This will be the default payment option that otherwise prevents services from becoming free if the other payment methods expire.
  • Define one or more “block of N” packages of N credits for discounted price vs PAYG
    e.g. a full block of all classes in the term and a mid-term block of classes. Make it/them only available for the limited that they are useful, since there’s no point buying a block of 7 classes when there’s only one left. Set them to expire on a fixed date around the start of next term (so if they didn’t use them up this term they have to use them as soon as the new term schedule is posted) - or whatever your policy is.
  • Control access to the classes by only posting new workshops when you want people to book them (e.g. just after the present term has ended), and create new “block of N” packages for them according to the number of classes in the next block.

What do you think? Would this work for you?

Hi @Graciela_M,

Really the solution here is that the student can process their own refunds for the single workshops / appointment charge via Stripe! It’s impossible to make guarantees where development work is concerned - particularly where payments are concerned - but I’ll add this as somewhat of a priority to the development list. That’s a great point about making the autobook choosable by the client, that too will be on the (quite long) development list!

Having said all that, your solution should work in the short term, please let me know if you have any difficulty!