At the end of camp GCUC, during which attendees learned about the basics of coworking, a panel of some of the industry’s best answered questions from the audience. The panel consisted of Benjamin Dyett, Partner at Openwork Agency and the Cofounder of Grind, Bill Jacobson, Cofounder and CEO of Workbar, Liz Elam, Founder of GCUC and Link Coworking, Vince Pan, Founder of Analogue Studio, Ashley Proctor, Executive Director of 312 and Executive Producer of GCUC Canada, and Tony Bacigalupo, Founder of New Work Cities.
Below are some questions asked by the audience.
Top Three Questions
How do we market the concept of coworking, not just the space? How do we compete with “competitors” like Regus, who isn’t really a coworking space?
There are videos on the GCUC website that talk about coworking. It is a a great educational tool that can be used as long as credit is given. You can combat 24 hour access by having staff available to elevate members’ hospitality during set hours. The member-focused hospitality can help set your space apart from competitors like Regus. If you want to stay open earlier or later for early birds and night owls, use the locking systems that are out there so you can manage it.
How do you build a space that is not 25,000 square feet but smaller and more convertible?
One of the main things you can do is to separate your permanent desks from your event space. That separation gives members safety and security but also allows you to monetize the space. It is hard to run a coworking space during the day then turn into an events space at night. Continuously juggling the two is like running two different businesses.
How do we take some pressure off our staff while still tending to our members and keeping them happy?
You can involve more people in your space. There is something we have called the “community cultivator program.” It is a volunteer program that allows people to take some shifts at the front desk in exchange for free membership. It is a great way to get people who belong in your space and would add to the culture but cannot afford it.