Alex Hillman and Adam Teterus recorded this episode from Lisbon, Portugal where they attended the Coworking Europe Conference. The two discussed what these types of conferences are like.
Every year the conference is different because there are new people coming in addition to those who have attended previously. The community at the conference varies each year depending on who is there. Despite the varying attendance, it is equally valuable every year.
While there is basic information that returning people have heard, it is important for newcomers. Additionally, conversations occur that are beneficial to both returners and new people. Each year, perspectives can shift. There is so much left to explore. This does not necessarily mean discussing more advanced topics, but simply going in depth about topics that have already been introduced.
Both Andy and Adam expressed their desire to hear more opinions and alternate perspectives, different from their own. They have come to a new place and met new people, so naturally they want to hear new ideas. They want to be introduced to things that have not been considered before through conversations that you do not think about on a daily basis.
Oftentimes, these events do not share a lot of opinionated stuff at these types of events. There are usually a lot of numbers and statistic-driven stuff. While these are still valuable, there is much more to be discussed. Opinions that are not aligned with your own beliefs are important to hear because they offer a new perspective.
It would be great if conferences share more of the ups and downs of coworking, not just the positives. There is a need for greater vulnerability. Conferences should not just be about the celebration of coworking but the exploration of it.