Meeting Attendance Phone Server
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
When a meeting is scheduled for a room with certain attendees, the attendees, using typical calendar programs, may set up reminder pop-ups on their computers to remind them to attend the meeting a few minutes prior to the meeting. However, when the meeting starts, invariably, the meeting co-ordinator finds himself calling missing attendees to determine if they will be attending and to possibly have them join the meeting by speakerphone. This task is usually somewhat time consuming because the phone number of the attendees is not always known, and it takes time to leave messages to those not answering the phone. This invention solves many of these problems by automating these processes with a Meeting Attendance Phone Server. This invention augments these calendar tool pop-ups by adding a button to say "I'm on my way", another for "I'll be x minutes late", another for "Please teleconference me into the meeting", or another "I cannot attend". If the existing calendar tool has not been modified to implement this, a separate tool to do this can be written and invoked. A server receives these notifications and calls the conference room with an audio response unit informing the people in the room as to the status of the people responding to the pop-up. Thus they know if they can start the meeting or wait for someone to show up. This eliminates the need for people at the start of the meeting to call all of the missing attendees to see when they will arrive. The steps are shown in greater detail in the diagram. First in step 10, a meeting entry is entered into the system through an enabled calendar tool or new tool. This entry identifies the attendees with their telephone numbers, preferred time of notification, and electronic addresses, the time and place of the meeting, and the telephone number of the phone in the meeting room. In step 20, if the time of notification before the meeting has arrived for a given meeting attendee, then the system proceeds to step 40. In step 40 the attendee is notified by email, phone call, or pop-up from a calendar tool as set by user preference. In step 50, the response, if any, is collected from the attendee and accumulated into the meeting record. This process of steps 20, 40 and 50 is repeated for each of the attendees.