Like many of our competitors, we offer a no obligation “free trial” of our room and resource scheduling software.

Back in 2017 we increased the length of the free trial periods of our MIDAS room booking system from 14 days to 30.

Six years on, and we were curious to revisit this and try to understand if this is still the most suitable duration to offer for a software trial.

To that end, we began by researching what our competitors currently offer in this regard.

We analyzed 64 online software vendors who develop room booking / scheduling / appointment systems.

The results were quite surprising!

Length of Software Free Trial Periods
Length of Software Free Trial Periods

Nealy 44% of vendors we looked at didn’t offer any form of “free trial”!

Of those who did, the most common length of free trial offered was 30 days, with 18 businesses offering this. 30 days is also the length of free trial that we currently offer for MIDAS.

The second most common length of free trial was 14 days – which is what we previously used to offer for MIDAS. A total of 10 out of the 64 software vendors analyzed offered a 14 day (two week) free trial.

Of the remaining vendors we looked at, the shortest free trial period offered was just 3 days. The longest on offer was 90 days.

What is the best duration to offer for a free software trial?

The best duration for a free software trial largely depends on the complexity and capabilities of the booking system being evaluated. As we found, some software vendors offer trials that last just a few days, while others offer trials that last for several months.

Now some more “basic” scheduling systems may be easy for prospective customers to evaluate within a few days.

Others may require more time to fully test and evaluate all the product’s features and capabilities.

This is primarily the reason why we previously increased our free trial period from 14 to 30 days.

We were finding that some prospective customers were reaching the end of their 14 day trial and were then requesting a 1-2 week extension so they could complete their evaluation. In most cases, we were generally able to extend 14 day trials upon request. However, over time as we added more features and functionality to our booking software, we decided that there was quite a lot to evaluate and digest in just 14 days.

We certainly didn’t want prospective customers to feel “rushed” into evaluating our product.

That’s why we increased our free trial period length to 30 days, to allow extra time for users to get a good feel for what MIDAS is all about.

Since we did this, we’ve had far fewer requests for extensions to free trial periods.

Would an even longer free trial period not be better?

Looking at our our own data, we don’t believe so. On average, those prospective customers who evaluate a free MIDAS trial make their decision within 21 days of the start of their trial period.

That’s why we still feel that offering a 30 day trial is still the best length.

Some vendors offer considerably longer trial periods. One of the reasons for very lengthy trial periods may be because purchasing their solution ties you in to a long and potentially expensive contract, and so potential customers want to take extra time to evaluate their potential long-term commitment.

However, there are potential drawbacks to offering longer trial periods (a couple of our competitors offer 90 day trials for instance);

  1. Firstly, people have limited attention spans and may not be willing to to commit to a long trial period. If a prospective customer can’t get a good “feel” for your product within 30 days, it’s unlikely that they will. (or it’s likely that the software is far too complex for them to be able to readily get to grips with)
  2. Secondly, the computing resources needed. These days, it’s fair to say that the majority of room booking, scheduling, and appointment systems are online. The days of stand-alone, downloadable software packages have all but gone. Therefore, for each free software trial, that system has to be “hosted” somewhere, at a cost to the vendor. A free trial that lasts for 90 days will cost a vendor three times as much as a trial that lasts for 30 days.

What about those vendors who don’t offer ANY free trial?

Going back to our analysis of 64 software vendors, 28 of them (44%) didn’t offer any “free trial” period.

We did however find that 22 (79%) of these vendors instead encouraged prospective customers to “Book a demo” with a sales representative to schedule a live “guided demo” presentation of their software.

Software vendors not offering a Free Trial, but a scheduled "Guided Demo" instead
Software vendors not offering a Free Trial, but a scheduled “Guided Demo” instead

For completeness, we also found that 11 out of the 63 vendors offered both a free trial and a “guided demo” option.

Is a “guided demo” better than a free software trial?

Free software trials and guided demos can both be effective ways to showcase a product to potential customers and help them evaluate whether a product is a good fit for their needs.

Free trials allow potential customers to try out the software at their own pace and in their own time. It allows prospective customers to experience the software firsthand, which can be more effective than just watching a demo.

Guided demos, on the other hand, can be a good way to answer questions and address any concerns potential customers might have about the software.

Ultimately, both free software trials and guided demos can be effective tools for showcasing software to potential customers and helping them decide whether it’s suitable for their particular needs.

Do prospective customers want to see a “guided demo”?

A recent poll on Reddit, revealed that of the 444 people who voted, 300 would want to see a software demo on their first interaction with the vendor. 133 people would want to see a demo after 2-3 interactions, and 11 people wanted a demo after 4 interactions.

Looking at the poll’s comments though, many people want to evaluate software without any interaction with the vendor.

One person commented that “Sales-led demos only exist to give the sales people leverage in the interaction.

Another commented “Software selection is a part of my job description — if I can’t see a demo without needing to put a meeting on my calendar, it’s an automatic no-go.

Whilst another commented “Users should be able to signup for [a] free trial without having to talk to sales“.

We’re in agreement with these sentiments and feel that a “free trial” a customer can explore at their own pace is far better than “guided sales demos”.

In summary…

For prospective customers who insist on a “guided demo”, we can accommodate, however here at MIDAS we prefer to actively promote our FREE 30 day room booking system trial.

We believe that trying a fully-functional copy of our software free for 30 days yourself – with no credit card required, and with obligation to buy – is the best way to get to know our software and to explore its extensive capabilities.

…and our responsive sales team are always happy to answer any questions you have on our software before, during, or after your free trial.

There are plenty of acronyms and terminology in the world of computer software and technology. You may have come across some of them on our website.

An acronym is a word formed from the first letters of a phrase. For example, “SQL” is an acronym for “Structured Query Language”.

Whenever we use a computer term or acronym on our website that may not be obvious to readers what it means, we endeavor to define it there and then in plain English.

However, sometimes this isn’t enough – ok, great so SQL means “Structured Query Language”… but what does THAT phrase actually mean?!

For some terminology going into too much depth and detail may detract from the context or theme of the actual article in which the terms appears.

That’s why we’ve now added a new and dedicated Glossary of Terminology to our website.

The glossary is an alphabetical list of terms and their definitions. When we use technical terminology, jargon, or acronyms on our website, we’ll link to a description in the glossary.

Links to definitions in our glossary will appear with a dotted underline. When you move over a link, the cursor will change to a question mark.

We’ve currently defined close to 50 terms and acronyms and will be adding plenty more in the future.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the acronyms SaaS, SPF or SSO mean, click those words in this sentence to view their definitions in our new glossary!

“Addons” further extend the capabilities of a MIDAS booking system beyond the extensive features that are already included as standard with our software.

Did you know that with one of our optional addons you can actually display a calendar of bookings right on your own public website?

Display a calendar of bookings on your website

The Web Calendars addon allows visitors to your organization’s public website to see what’s on at your venue.

You can embed daily and monthly calendars directly into your public website. You also have precise control which events appear (or are hidden) on these calendars, and how much information is shown for each.

Example of a MIDAS calendar embedded in a public website
Example of a MIDAS calendar embedded in a public website

Plus, if you already make use of the built-in Public Booking Request or Public Web Booking features of MIDAS, you can also configure Web Calendars to allow a visitor to directly book/request a specific date by simply clicking it.

Check our some live examples of embeddable public calendars at

Get Web Calendars for your MIDAS system

Web Calendars is by far our most popular addon, with nearly a quarter of all customers choosing to add it to their MIDAS booking system!

You can add the Web Calendars addon to your MIDAS system too, by simply going to

Also check out our other optional addons to further extend the capabilities of your MIDAS software.

Review of the year: 2022

As we wave goodbye to 2022, we thought we’d take a few moments out to reflect on our year here at MIDAS HQ.

If you’ve been a valued customer of ours for a while now, you’ll know that we typically release significant “feature rich” new updates to our room booking software at least three times a year. This isn’t a new thing either – we’ve been adding exciting new features to our software ever since 2006!

2022 has seen some great new additions to our software for our customers to benefit from.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the major new features, in case you missed any of our previous posts and announcements during the year…

Send invoices as PDF attachments

In December with MIDAS v4.32, there’s now the option to send invoices directly to your clients as PDF attachments, rather than “inline” within the body of an email.

Send PDF versions of invoices as email attachments
Send PDF versions of invoices as email attachments

Read more in this blog post.

Set room rates based upon the time of day

Also, for v4.32 in December 2022, you can now set charging rates based upon a booking’s start time. This new addition now makes it easier than ever to charge different rates for daytime and evening bookings.

NEW: Set Rates based upon the time of day a booking starts
NEW: Set Rates based upon the time of day a booking starts

Read more in this blog post.

Visual booking from a floor plan or map

In September 2022, for MIDAS v4.31 we introduced a new “Floor Plan” feature. This allowed you to upload a map of your facilities to allow users to be able to visually book by simply clicking on a space on the map.

The Floorplan / Map Editor in MIDAS
The Floorplan / Map Editor in MIDAS

Read more in this blog post.

Other new features in MIDAS during 2022

Onwards to 2023…

Whilst we may have been developing MIDAS for over 16 years now, as you can see from all of the above (and from our changelog too), our commitment to making our software even better is unwaning.

This will of course continue during 2023, with lots more exciting new features in the pipeline.

Remember too, that many of the new and improved features you see added to our software come as a direct result of feedback and suggestions from our worldwide customer base.

So if you’ve got an idea for something that could potentially make MIDAS work better for your organization, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Finally, we’ve like to end this post by wish you a very healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year from all of us at MIDAS HQ.