How to use buffers

What are buffers?

Buffers are extra time that can be appended before and/or after a Calendly event. This can be helpful if you want extra time to prepare before a meeting, travel to an event, or clean up after a presentation. Buffers are event-specific so you can tweak and optimize buffer settings for each of your event types.

To set up a buffer

  1. Select your event type.
  2. Go to the When can people book this event? section.
  3. You will see a section called Want to add time before and after your events?. Select an option to add time for either before/after your event type, or both.
    • Buffers are set to 15 minutes at first, but you can adjust the amount of time using the drop-downs.

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Buffer logic

Buffers only apply to events booked through Calendly, but non-calendly events are taken into consideration when booking a meeting with a buffer. This means that buffers cannot overlap regular calendar events.

For example, if you have a 30-min event with 15-min buffers before and after, the total calendar time needed for this event is 60 minutes. The event duration and calendar event will say 30 mins, but 60 minutes of free time is required in order for a time slot to display on the booking page.

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Remember that buffers on an individual’s scheduled events can impact how multiuser events can be scheduled.

  • For round robin events, buffer settings on individual’s other event types could lead to uneven meeting distribution.

  • For collective events, buffer settings on an individual’s other events can prevent collective events from being booked in time slots that appear to be free.

The troubleshooting tool’s BUFFER message

Calendly’s troubleshooting tool is a great way to understand when buffer settings might be preventing certain meetings from being scheduled. When using Calendly’s troubleshooting tool, the BUFFER message can pop up for multiple reasons.

The BUFFER message will show when the buffers attached to a scheduled event are blocking a time slot. Additionally, BUFFER will display if the meeting you are attempting to book will not fit in a time slot because its total event length (meeting duration + buffer duration) makes it too large to do so.

Check the details section on a BUFFER message to understand if it is a before meeting or after meeting buffer that is causing the issue.

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Common buffer issues

The BUFFER message is showing but there are no Calendly-scheduled events.

Solution

If a non-Calendly event is blocking a Calendly meeting from being scheduled, you can either:

  • Remove the conflicting calendar event or set its status to "free" (Remember to check your all day events!)

  • Or, change the buffer setting of the event type you want to schedule to 0

The BUFFER message is showing for a Calendly-scheduled event, but the buffers don’t match the existing buffer settings on the event type.

This situation can occur because scheduled events retain the buffer setting present at booking. If you modify the buffer settings on an event type, the change will apply only to future scheduled events. New buffer settings will not retroactively apply to previously scheduled events.

Solution

There is currently no way to check what the buffer setting was at the time of booking. If you're seeing a BUFFER message that doesn’t match the current buffer settings for the event type, there could be outdated buffer settings applied to that scheduled event.

To apply the new buffer settings, you can reschedule the event for the same date and time. The rescheduled event will have the newest buffer settings applied (whatever setting is present in the event type at the time of booking).

To reschedule the event:

  1. Navigate to the corresponding event type settings

  2. Check the buffer settings are correct and make adjustments as needed

  3. Reschedule the scheduled event for the same date and time to apply the current buffer settings

There are large periods of time in my calendar that appear to be free but meetings cannot be booked.

This can be caused by “double buffers.” Adding both a before and after buffer can cause the buffers to stack up and remove large time slots from your live scheduling page.

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Solution

Edit your event types to use only a single buffer either before or after the event. This will result in having more bookable time slots on your scheduling page.

For any previously scheduled events that are blocking desired times slots, you can override old double buffers by rescheduling the event for the same date and time with new buffer settings. (The solution for issue #2 above.)

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