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The Global Coworking Unconference Conference USA 2017 in New York City was a coworking blast. It was 3 days full of coworking conference and unconference talks, great topics and a really awesome crowd.
Coworking is becoming an industry. Some people may not like it but it’s a fact. You can feel it by only taking a look at the conference itself:
Coworking is growing, maturing and become more awesome than ever. Following are our key takeaways from GCUC 2017 USA.
Frank Cottle from the Alliance Business Centers made a really good point that Coworking (and Flexible workspaces in general) is a combination of people, place, and technology and you can’t unbind them. We love this and here’s why:
Although Coworking is maturing and has become a legitimate industry, the main focus is and will always be your community. It’s a people-centric business and we want to keep it that way. We’re more connected than ever, but perhaps Coworking is growing in popularity because people want to feel connected, have a sense of belonging and find a place in the world (and find a place to get some work done!) One of the talks that really jumped out at us was by Casper ter Kuile and Angie Thurston from the Harvard Divinity school. They gave some interesting and fascinating examples on the parallels between religion and coworking. They also talked about new ‘religions’ such as cross-fit and Coworking where people are gathering, connecting and finding their community. It’s fascinating stuff and if you’re interested, you can read the full study here. Our main takeaway from a technology standpoint; focus on the members and how technology can enhance their experience and don’t be a barrier for managers to get their work done!
Successful communities need a successful coworking business. If you don’t build a successful business, you’re letting down your members. Consider more ways to make money from your space and physical address. Examine carefully your revenue streams (chart of accounts). A few examples of how to increase revenue are:
Note: The rule of thumb is – the more long-term and fixed membership, the less profit margin. Private offices are the least profit margin while virtual office, events, and meeting rooms are the highest margins per sq. ft.
Edwin Akoubians from Titan Offices made some really good points about choosing the right technology solution during the Tech track discussion.
Other interesting findings were that the overall quality of coworking software isn’t great. Some coworking spaces are looking to develop their own tools because the existing solutions out there are not good enough. We’re hoping to change this, let us do the heavy lifting! More on this soon. 🙂
Marketing is a big thing for every coworking space, well, and every business. Here are a few of the key ideas that came up:
There are the topics that we found really exciting. Please, feel free to add what moved you in the comments below.
Thank you GCUC team and all partners for organizing such a great event. Keep up the good work!
Coworking 2.0 and the Office as a Service is here to stay and ready to grow.