In this blog I share why visiting a coworking event is incredibly useful, inspiring, and fun.
It's Thursday, June 30, when I'm heading to London for a two-day event about our sector: Coworking London. This event was organized by our partner eOffice, was attended by around 100-150 people and took place in several Coworking spaces in central London. In this blog I share why visiting a coworking event is incredibly useful, inspiring and fun.
It's dangerous if your view of the world becomes too narrow, which happens automatically if you "never get outside." In order to gain new insights, knowledge and inspiration, it is insanely useful to speak to industry peers from all corners of our sector, who all bring their own view and vision of the coworking sector: Property owners, brokers, online brokers, international competitors, suppliers of coworking interiors or suppliers of access control systems. For me, 'inspiration' is the main reason to attend industry events.
"A simple hello could lead to a million things". It is extremely important for me and for StartDock that we know people from various corners of our sector. For example, during the corona outbreak, I immediately had a call with industry peers Edo Wiersema of de Stadstuin, Patricia Leek of StartupVillage, Balster van Duin of Wheelhouse, Jill Wilkinson of Humanity Hub, Jon Woodroof of Workspace6, Kim Leuken of Springhouse and Suzanne Hansen of AI Startup Lab, about "how to deal with Covid-19 as a coworking space". I also spar with many foreign competitors on a regular basis, in order to be able to help each other transparently and without obstacles with tips and tricks. An event like this is the perfect way to meet them.
It is particularly uncomfortable to talk to a competitor from your own city about market-sensitive information, or specific distinguishing issues from each other's business model. At the Coworking London Conference you will not only find competitors from your own city /country but from all over the world. For example, I spoke to a lady who has a coworking space in Lagos, Nigeria. This became a very open conversation, in which we could feed each other with useful insights about the business operations in two completely different countries.
At the Coworking London Conference there were a number of speakers who presented incredibly sharp analyses of our market. For example, JLL's , Head of EMEA, Flex, Joff Sharpe, spoke about how the dust will settle in the flex-office sector after everyone was asked to work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic. This was complemented by a very strong (and data-driven) presentation by James Rankin, Head of Research & Insight at The Instant Group, with the theme "How has demand changed the industry and where does it go next?". The rest of the days came market insights from online broker Workthere, office furniture seller Miller Knoll, our friend Miro Miroslavov from Coworking Software company OfficeRnd, Coworking software company Yardi, Air refresher seller Rensair, Complaints solver Myr.ai, Phonebooth seller ROOM, sustainability specialists from WELL & Coworking data platform Coworkintel. All these insights ensured that we have adjusted StartDock's strategy for the coming year based on the insights gained as a result of this event.
Coworking London took place at various coworking spaces in London. Day 1 took place at Huckletree Shoreditch and HubHub on Farringdon Street. On day 2 there was a coworking tour, where we visited XCHG on Bishopsgate, Convene on Bishopsgate, Work.life on Holborn, X+Why on The Fulwood and eOffice on Soho. In every coworking space, you go to, you learn new lessons. From smarts in coworking kitchens to unique ways of hospitality and from special meeting rooms to using QR codes for sharing Wi-Fi codes with your members.
Because we all work in an industry where hospitality is important, it's not difficult to meet friendly and spontaneous people at events like the Coworking London Conference. This piece of relaxation and conviviality are also important reasons for me to visit these types of events.
For those who are hesitant to visit an industry-related event, for example abroad: I can wholeheartedly recommend it! For those who want to visit the next cool coworking event, do not hesitate to contact me and join me at Coworking Europe in Amsterdam, on 10 and 11 November 2022!