OWA (Outlook Web App): Booking a meeting room

Looking for instructions for Outlook? You can find them here

You can book a meeting room through OWA Please note, however, that Outlook works better for booking meeting rooms, so using it is preferable. Not all meeting rooms can be booked through Outlook/OWA, since only some of the meeting room reservations have been transferred to the Office 365 system.

In most situations you should book the room at the same time as you send invitations to the meeting. You can make a room reservation and send an invitation to the meeting in several ways. These instructions first cover a quick and simple way of creating a meeting invitation and booking a room for a specific room. After that you will find instructions on how to make reservations for different resources, for example research equipment, through the system. In addition, you will find instructions on how to make sure the booking was successful.

NOTE: The right to use the rooms may be limited to a specific group of users. Even if you see a meeting room on the list, you might not be able to make a reservation. If you can’t reserve a room you should be able to reserve, please contact the person in charge of room reservations at that facility.


Detailed help

Please make sure that you are making the reservation in your own calendar!

Booking a meeting room

In this example, Raimo Keski-vääntö is the host of the meeting (Meeting Organizer). Raimo first reserves time and room for the meeting and then invites one attendee.
In this example, the monthly view of the calendar is displayed. In the weekly and daily view, the new blank meeting that opens looks a bit different. You can find an example in the section Reserving equipment.

  • Open the OWA calendar. Check that it is your own calendar.
  • Double-click the day for which you want to make a booking.


  • Add the invitation title to the field (1) under Details.
  • For some rooms, anyone can see the title of the reservation in the reservation calendar. Do not type anything in the title field that should not be displayed to all university people.
  • Select the start and end times for the meeting from the menu (2).


  • Click on the Add a location or a room field (1).
  • A list of the rooms you have previously selected is displayed first on the dropdown menu (2).
    26 June 2019: Problems have been observed with the list of previously used rooms. Room reservations done in it are sometimes not finalised. To be sure, always book a room according to the next section. YOU WILL ALWAYS GET AN E-MAIL RESPONSE OF A SUCCESSFUL RESERVATION.
  • You can select a room from the wider selection by selecting Add room (3).


  • Here is the  Add room menu opened. The rooms in the Arcus building are displayed first (1), with information on whether the rooms are free or reserved at the planned time. You can change the building by selecting Choose a new room list (2).


  •  Here is the Choose a new room list  menu opened. The list displays all rooms added to the system.


  • Select room.
  • Click Add Attendees.


  • You can search for people by beginning to write their name in the Search people field (1).
  • You might see some of the contacts you have selected most often in field (2). You can add attendees by clicking on their name.


  • When you have added all attendees, click Save.


  • The people and rooms you have added will be displayed in the list. Information on whether any overlapping booking exists will be displayed for each attendee. Here, Pitkänen, K Juhani is busy at the planned time, so the time of the meeting needs to be changed.


  • Select  Scheduling Assistant.


  •  The attendees of the meeting will be displayed on the left (1). The room you are booking is displayed in the same column as the lowest entry. You can find the same information from the calendar view on the right (1).
  • The planned time is displayed on the left and in the calendar view highlighted with thicker lines (2).
  • In (3), you can see Juhani Pitkänen’s partly overlapping bookings between 10 a.m. and noon. Change the time of the meeting so that there are no overlapping bookings.


  • The meeting has been moved to 12.30–13.30 p.m. (1). There are no overlaps. Click OK (2).


  • Check all information before sending the invitation.
  • Click Send.


  • You can now see the event in your calendar.  


Booking a meeting room for personal use

  • You can book a meeting room for personal use as indicated above. This reservation is not a meeting because there are no other participants. Make sure that the top left corner of the calendar says Send  when you save the event.
  • If it says Save , e-mail of the booking is not sent to the room and the booking is not valid. The event is only saved in your own calendar, but the room remains free and others can book it.
  • The room always sends an e-mail of successful reservation.


Reserving equipment

You can reserve certain pieces of equipment, such as research equipment and vehicles, in Office 365.

The right to use certain equipment may be limited to a specific group of users. Even though you may see an item of equipment on the list, you might not be able to make a reservation. If you cannot reserve equipment you should be able to reserve, please contact the person in charge of reservations for that piece of equipment.

In this example, a car is booked. The same method applies to reservations of other equipment as well. The calendar is in the weekly view. A new blank meeting that opens in the monthly view looks a bit different.

Note that this will also create a reservation in your own calendar for the same time. Others will see you as reserved.

  • Open the calendar. Check that it is your own calendar.
  • Hold down the left mouse button and draw the desired length of your reservation on the calendar.


  • Write a description of the reservation in the field (1).
  • Select More details (2).


  • Select Scheduling Assistant.
  • In the Attendees field, start typing the name of the resource you want to reserve.
  • Select the correct resource from the dropdown menu.


  • Click OK.


  • The reserved equipment will be displayed in OWA in the Attendees list. If the equipment is already reserved, change the time of your reservation with the Scheduling Assistant.


  • Click Send.


  • You can now see the reservation in your calendar.


Tracking responses

  • Once you have sent a meeting invitation, check your e-mail immediately to see that the selected room has accepted your reservation. The room always sends a response message.
  • The response message may contain additional information about the room. In the example, you can see the sender of the response message, room “Arcus 209a, Tiken viestintä”, information about the reservation having been accepted (i.e. that the room was available) (1) as well as information on who has the right to reserve the room and whom to ask about the reservation rights (2).


  • You can also check who has responded to your invitation later. Click the meeting entry in the calendar.


  • Two attendees have accepted the invitation. You can see more details by clicking Edit.


Editing a meeting afterwards

If you need to edit a meeting (add or remove attendees, change the time or room etc.) after you have sent the invitations and made the room reservation, please take the following matters into account:

  • Track the attendees’ responses. If you change the meeting time, they need to accept the meeting invitations again.
  • When you change the meeting time, always check the Scheduling Assistant to ensure that the previously booked room is also available during the new meeting time.
  • Always use the Scheduling Assistant to change the room, and check that the room is also available during the new meeting time.
  • Be careful when editing recurring reservations! For popular rooms, it can be very difficult to change the reservation times. In the worst case, you might lose the entire room reservation.
  • Always remember to send the changes to the attendees and the reserved room.
  • Make sure the room accepts the changes (sends a new message).

Cancelling a meeting

  • You can cancel meeting requests that you have created.
  • Click the event to be cancelled from your own calendar.
  • Click Cancel.
  • If you want, you can edit the cancellation message by selecting Edit the cancellation before sending. Otherwise select If you want, you can edit the cancellation message by selecting Edit the cancellation before ending. Otherwise select Send the cancellation now.


How can I make sure that my room reservation was successful?

  • The room has sent a response message (Accepted), and the meeting details have not been changed afterwards. Make sure that the reservation message comes from the room, since attendees also send them.
  • Open the room reservation calendar and check that your own reservation is there. The room’s reservation calendar is the only reliable way of checking who has valid reservations.
  • If the meeting has been changed, remember to inform all attendees and the room of it (Send Update), and make sure that you receive the accept response messages.

How can I find out who has valid reservations for a specific room?

  • In some buildings, caretakers may check the reservation status from the calendars for the rooms that can be reserved in the building. 
  • If you are in a hurry to find out who has a valid reservation for a room, and the room calendar does not display the details of who has the reservation, you can try to make a new overlapping reservation for the room (the start and end times of a valid reservation are always displayed in the room calendar). You can see the details of who has the reservation in the automatic response message. Trying to make a reservation should result in a negative response, with the response message usually mentioning whose reservation prevents you from reserving the room. To attempt to make an overlapping reservation, you must have the right to reserve the room in question. If you have no reservation rights, you will be notified that the reservation request has been rejected for this reason.
    Note that you cannot make a room reservation in the past – the start time of the reservation can only be in the future (it is enough that it slightly overlaps with the clashing reservation). Finally, cancel this extra meeting in your own calendar.

What can go wrong with room reservations?

  • Reservation requests are sent to the rooms as e-mail messages in the same way as to the persons attending the meeting. Delivery of a message can be delayed due to various reasons. The room also sends the response message by e-mail. So you should wait for a moment for the delivery of the messages
  • Some of the university’s distribution lists are located outside Office 365. These include 1) groups beginning with grp for which an e-mail address is used 2 ) automatic groups beginning with hy 3) Majordomo mailing lists. These lists cannot be found in the Office 365 address book. Office 365 considers these e-mail messages external, and cannot determine who is behind the addresses. Therefore, meeting invitations that use these groups can in some situations behave differently from meeting invitations sent using the Office 365 system’s own groups, or if the attendees have been selected one by one.
  • Anyone can make an appointment in their own calendar for a time and type anything in the Location field without actually reserving anything. A meeting in one’s own calendar is not proof of a room reservation.
  • The person who made the reservation may have displayed all of the rooms in a room list but not selected any of them, in which case the meeting invitations may have been sent accidentally without a room reservation. Fortunately, a room reservation can also be added to a meeting afterwards by editing the meeting, choosing the room, and sending an update.
  • It is possible that a rejection message concerning the reservation has been generated as it should have been, but it has not been noticed or it was ignored. However, the meeting remains in your own calendar. A rejecting message sent by the room will not delete the meeting from your own calendar.
  • It is possible that the meeting time has been changed afterwards, and updates concerning the meeting (including the room that has been reserved) have not been sent to the attendees.
  • You should make sure that you received the acceptance message from the same room you tried to reserve.
  • In unclear situations, check that the reservation is valid in the calendar of the room in question. If the reservation details are not displayed, ask the building’s caretakers for help.
  • It is possible that the time zone has been set incorrectly in the computer settings. Check the settings to make sure that other sources of problems have already been ruled out.