Most coworking operators face the challenge of ensuring a high level of space occupancy with, ideally, long-term contracts to use your space, no matter how many days per week that’s for. As you’re aware, one great tactic for utilizing and promoting your coworking space is to organize events. But what form should these events take, and how do you organize them? Let’s figure this out down below.
You may already be organizing events at your coworking space, but if you’re not, then there are several benefits events can bring, both to you and to people who are utilizing your space now.
As a coworking space owner, organizing an event can be a great way to introduce your space to potential members, especially if you own a new coworking space. You can even combine an “open-day” event with an online virtual event so that you maximize reach, and people who can’t attend in person get to see the sort of space you run.
You will pretty much have an idea of the types of events you can or want to run, but a short summary may give you new ideas.
Of course, the list above contains only some of the ideas you could use as a coworking event. The only limit—within reason—is your imagination. You may well already have held some events or at least have an idea of what you’d like to hold, but how do you actually organize them?
Event organizing may not be in your original skill set, but it’s something you can quickly learn, and that can benefit your business. Your events don’t always have to be purely in-person events; knowing what types of virtual events you can host may be good for your coworking space too.
The first thing to consider is how to promote the event. While it is easy enough to let your existing members know about any event via community feed, you also want to attract potential members so they see what you are offering. How do you find those people? One way is to ask your existing members if they are in any related groups. Those groups could be for freelancers, coworkers, remote workers, nomads, and so on.
The groups might mainly be on Facebook but you will also find increasing numbers of such groups on platforms such as Telegram or WhatsApp. Sharing info may be easier if you use enterprise app integration but remember to introduce yourself when you post then explain your event and how it will be organized; tickets or RSVP on social media? Create an event on Facebook so people can respond and ask questions if needed.
You already know the many benefits that technology brings to modern businesses. Using a dedicated events management system can be a great tool when it comes to organizing events. Using an event management system lets you sell tickets if the event is a paying one or allows for registration if numbers are limited.
Another advantage of having an event management system is that it can show potential members the professionalism of your setup. With everything on one easy-to-use platform, not only can you control billing and bookings but you can also share events externally to attract new members to your coworking space. If you don’t use a dedicated event management system, you can add plugins such as the WordPress event registration plugin to your site.
One recommendation when organizing an event is to have a host. In fact, depending on the size of the event, you may want more than one. The main host, depending on how busy you are, would be you and your primary role should be to meet and greet guests, give them WiFi details, explain the layout of the space, and so on. If you’re also thinking about getting food there, do not waste your time with porcelain dinnerware, get some disposable dinnerware sets so you could spend more time networking and getting to know the people you’re working with.
If you have a larger space, it can help to have staff on hand to show guests around and to show off the features and facilities you offer such as online conferencing. While part of an event may be potential members actually trying out your facilities, have hosts on hand to answer any questions or to show people how things work.
Remember, events are rarely one-offs, so it makes a lot of sense to record some of the event. This could include something as simple as taking photographs of different aspects of the event or even conducting short video interviews with guests. This can give you great material for future marketing, both for the space itself and for other events you organize.
If you want a more social event that is more about getting current members to know each other better (and foster a sense of community) then why not take it out of the coworking space? After all, some of your members may be spending much of their day in that space! Consider having a dinner event in a restaurant or bar or even hire a function room especially for the night.
If you’re new to organizing events in your coworking space, make sure you get feedback from attendees so that you can either maintain quality or improve in future events. Of course, new signups can be a great indicator of an event’s success but you also want to be sure that the little details work well. Try and get all attendees to sign up for an email list; this allows you to send out questionnaires as well as include them in future marketing or event notifications.
Organizing events at your coworking space can be a great tactic to create and maintain a real sense of community. But it’s also about spreading the word about how great a space you provide and letting people know you’ve created a space where working is not only efficient but also where it can be fun too.
You’ll find that while you may have to learn some new skills, there are tools and platforms that can help that learning by making it easy and intuitive to organize every aspect of an event. Think about events that your members will want to participate in but also ones that will attract potential members to see what your space is all about. Use event management software developed specifically for coworking spaces so that everyone knows what’s happening in your space and so you can keep in touch.