Support for external participants
The problem I have is arranging meetings with people outside the organisation where I can't see their calendar. Being able to suggest some times based on my calendar (and possibly others I can see) and include them in any invite.
SnapMeet allows you to include external participants on your invite, and it will give you suggestions based on your calendar and colleagues’ calendars. After you email the invite to your participants, all participants (external and internal) can go to the SnapMeet voting site to vote on your suggestions based on their own calendars. Once consensus on a time is reached, the invite is sent out automatically (or you can send it manually). For more information, take a look at the intro video on our homepage, http://snapmeet.microsoft.com.
Scott Johnstone commented
Thanks, Erica. Is Snapmeet's external functionality limited to certain groups of testers? Sending an external invite was the first thing I tried after installing it. Unfortunately I get a message stating "You need attendees!" and it won't go away until I specify an internal recipient. Disregarding the SnapMeet warning results in a plain email or calendar invite.
Thanks for trying out SnapMeet! The idea behind SnapMeet is actually very much what you've mentioned here -- we designed SnapMeet with folks who meet with external participants in mind.
When you create a SnapMeet invite, you can include external participants on the To: or Cc: line. Each suggestion SnapMeet gives you takes into account the free/busy information on your calendar as well as any internal participants' calendars that you have access to. Once you insert the SnapMeet invite into your email and send your email, all participants (external and internal) use the SnapMeet voting website to choose times that they can or can't make (similar to Doodle as Scott mentioned). Once the participants have come to a consensus on time, a meeting invite is automatically sent out on the organizer's behalf (you can turn this setting off and do it manually if you like).
Does this sound like it would satisfy your request? If not, can you elaborate on the parts that we are missing?
Also, we want SnapMeet's purpose to be more obvious. Where would you like the information to be, so that it is more clear?
Scott Johnstone commented
Use Doodle - http://doodle.com. Snapmeet is a great alternative to using the built-in Outlook scheduling assistant, but doodle solves the problem of working with external participants - it's awesome!