Understanding the differences between Guest Invite, Group Bookings, and Collective Bookings

A scheduling app is your Swiss army knife when you wish to offer different types of appointments to customers. But when you are unfamiliar with the tool, you're likely to mix up the different available options. You may end up confusing the right tool for the wrong job: guest invites for interviews, collective bookings for one-on-one therapy sessions, and a chainsaw for a pizza wheel.

So, let's review the various ways you can meet your customers with Zoho Bookings.

Guest Invite

When you want to allow an attendee to invite other people to a meeting, you can use the Guest Invite feature.

How does the Guest Invite feature work in Zoho Bookings?

After filling in the booking form, customers can add 10 guests to a single meeting. Zoho Bookings will then send emails about the event.

Guest invites come in handy for multiple scenarios:  

1. Product demo: When an attendee books a product demo with your marketing staff, they can invite their team to the meeting.

This gives an unmediated experience of the product to all the meeting participants, eliminating manual work, time delays, and communication gaps between the customer and their team.

2. Wedding planners: If your business revolves around coordinating weddings, your customer can book an appointment with you and invite their fiancé as the guest. This helps you collect the duo's preferences and helps them enjoy a stress-free wedding planning experience.

3. Couples therapy: When your customers book an appointment with you, they can invite their partner as a guest to the meeting. This keeps each person in the loop regarding the session.

4. Healthcare appointments: If you are a healthcare provider, this gives your patients the option to add their family members as guests to the appointments.

5. Legal consultants: If you are a lawyer, then your clients can book a call with you along with all their companions. This helps you talk to all people involved first-hand and prevents miscommunication.

6. Campus tours: If your institution offers campus tours before a student enrolls, then students can book a tour with you along with their parents as guests. This helps you track the headcount for the event and make arrangements accordingly.

Group Bookings

This feature is for situations where you're meeting multiple attendees during a single time slot.

How do group bookings work in Zoho Bookings?

Zoho Bookings offers two types of group bookings: series and drop-in.

For a series group booking, people can book for multiple sessions over a span of several days at once. This is ideal for classes or any continuing appointments at a fixed interval.

For a drop-in group booking, people can book a single session out of multiple session offerings. This is ideal for sessions that cover the same topic everyday.

Here are a few examples where for group bookings could work well: 

1. Classes and workshops: If you offer offline workshops, you can use group bookings so multiple attendees book for a specific time slot. This allows you to teach more than one student at a time for a more collaborative classroom environment.

2. Product showcase events: Use group bookings for smaller marketing events to gather like-minded individuals.

3. Group therapy meetings: Create a safe space for people recovering from behavioral or substance addictions.

4. School conferences: Provide options for parents to book weekly or monthly appointments with teachers based on their availability

Collective Bookings 

Also called panel meetings, these are ideal for situations where there are multiple hosts and one attendee. All people booked for the meeting will have a slot blocked in their respective calendars.

How does this feature work in Zoho Bookings?

Zoho Bookings allows you create multiple groups, with each group's organizer holding the highest privileges. You can provide customers with the ability to choose a group for their appointment, or you can send them a link to schedule with a particular group.

This can be useful in the following scenarios:

1. Interviews: To avoid several rounds of interviews, you can use a collective meeting to have the candidate meet with multiple interviewers at once. For example, your interview panel may consist of a member from the technical team, a manager, and an HR representative; each interviewer would function as a host for that meeting.  

When the invitee answers questions from the manager, the other two hosts will observe the candidate. And the cycle rotates. Collective meetings structure interviews and makes the process efficient.

2. Customer support: During sales calls, some customers have technical questions. With the help of collective meetings, salespeople can easily pass these questions on to a tech team member during the call. Once they have been resolved, the salespeople can regain control of the meeting. 

3. Demo calls: If you offer a demo of multiple integrated products, the calls can involve several experts, each strong in their own domain. This gives customers a clear picture of what's in store.

4. Consultations: If you are an educational or an IT consultation agency, this type of meeting ensures people from multiple departments can meet with a customer simultaneously.

5. Intra-org meetings: A co-worker from a different department can book a call with your team of multiple hosts. This is useful for knowledge transfer sessions and other internal meetings between employees of different teams or departments.

A quick recap 

Guest Invite

Group Bookings 

Collective Bookings

What does it do?

Allows invitees to add multiple guests to a meeting

Allows you to offer your services to a group of people

Allows you to add multiple hosts to a meeting


1 host

1 attendee

Up to 10 guests

1 host

Multiple attendees (No limit)

Multiple hosts (No limit)

1 attendee

Use cases

Product demos

Wedding planning

Couples therapy

Healthcare appointments

Legal consultants

Campus tours

Classes and Workshops

Product showcase events

Recovery sessions

Daycare centers


Customer support

Demo calls


Intra-org meetings

What do we do in Zoho Bookings?

Invitee can add up to 10 guests to a meeting

Two types of group bookings: series and drop-in

Groups of hosts with one organizer who holds the highest privileges

Available on

Free, Basic, Premium


Basic, Premium

Check out the corresponding help documents to configure these meetings:

  1. Guest Invite

  1. Group Booking

  1. Collective Bookings

If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to hello@zohobookings.com.


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