Starting or growing a coworking space? We’ve got just the workshop for you!
Last month, Claire flew overseas to attend and contribute to the annual Coworking Unconference Asia, this year held in Penang, Malaysia. Using the Coworking Canvas, she led a participatory workshop to identify key factors which will make or break your coworking business
Amongst the 24-7 networking, learning and eating (Penang is famous for food!) Claire made time to lead an interactive workshop with over 40 practitioners from the coworking movement.
A coworking-business specific toolkit - the Coworking Canvas - was used to draw out and prioritise the experience and learning of both experts and newbies, as participants explored factors which would make or break a quality coworking business.
An group introduction allowed everyone to get to know each other and grasp the breadth and width of knowledge in the room. Participants could then identify who they could and should connect with, as the room was full of knowledge representing all stages of the coworking-business journey, from start-ups, experienced practitioners and researchers, to pioneers within the coworking movement. A great mix!
Participants were split into six groups so the real work began. Each group was set the task to collectively brainstorm the features that would make or break a coworking space based on the key elements of the Coworking Canvas. Needless to say - there was a lot of ideas as well as noise generated!
The Coworking Canvas
The Coworking Canvas has been specifically designed by the team behind the Coworking Accelerator Network to provide a simple framework for articulating and developing a quality coworking business. This framework is based on over a decade of personal practical experience, plus research with coworking leaders from around the world listening to their ideas, aspirations, hopes and fears for the movement and growing industry.
Through this, we conclude that good quality coworking businesses incorporate three core values:
- Nurturing and
There are six essential elements of delivery to build a successful coworking business:
- Peer Support
- Hosting and
The Coworking Canvas can be used in a variety of ways to help you construct and adapt all of the essential elements of your quality coworking business model.
Each group arrived at a long list of make/break features for their allocated element of the Coworking Canvas. Out of these long-lists, a short list of 'top priorities' were generated:
With such breadth of knowledge in the room, it was no surprise that the discussion was lively and inspiring for all. Use this list to focus on your business - how well are you doing against the hit-list and action plan where could you do better?
Thank you to all who attended and hope to see you at CUAsia2019!
Stay connected, keep the conversation going and receive more tips and techniques for developing your coworking space: join CONNECT, our peer network offering free knowledge sharing and promotional opportunities for both established spaces and those in development.
5 October 2017: The Coworking Accelerator Network is giving a workshop at the inaugural international summit of the Districts of Creativity Network, taking place in the city of Eindhoven across today and tomorrow.
Over the past 10 years, Eindhoven's re-purposed industrial zone has been converted into an amazing hub of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
The inaugural Districts of Creativity summit, Places of Potential, will explore the power of place-making.
As part of the two day event, Claire is leading a workshop to discuss how Quality Coworking can help create resilient enterprising communities with various practitioners from across Europe.
Setting up and growing a community-focused coworking business takes a lot of hard work... which is why we are delighted to announce our bespoke two-day learning event for new coworking space owners/operators – to minimise your risks and resources needed, maximise your success and accelerate your start-up process...
We have designed this unique two-day workshop so you can learn from highly experienced coworking space founders, explore the essentials of delivering quality coworking and develop strategies for your business success alongside other new space owners/developers. Topics such as:
- Identifying and minimising potential risks at the startup stage
- Informing the design of your physical space and services for maximum revenue and optimal utilisation
- Securing investment
- Attracting and retaining members and growing your community
- Putting on impactful community building events
- Building the best and most appropriate delivery team
EXPLORE Quality Coworking
JUNE 22—23, 2017
During the European Coworking Conference in November 2016, Claire Carpenter (Coworking Accelerator Network / The Melting Pot) and Ronald van de Hoff (Seats2Meet) ran a Masterclass for 50 experienced coworking space operators focused on best practices, team delegation and challenges for opening a coworking space.
The lively session used the Coworking Canvas to explore the benefits and potential obstacles "to make or break your next coworking space" with attendees sharing their experience in running coworking studios (the participants had combined coworking space management experience of 201 years!)
We've collated the output from the session onto the Coworking Canvas and have now made it available to download as a PDF.
It's easy to miss what's obvious when it's hidden in plain sight. Hindsight is a great teacher, so it's great to be able to reflect, capture and share these critical actions – all gathered from practitioners who've successfully made a coworking space open, and are ready for their next challenge.
So whether you're on your first or 4th new space - don't forget these actions which will make or break your new venture.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these key actions were considered during the session as overall most important to do / not do when opening a space. The full list is of course much more extensive!
About the Coworking Canvas
The Coworking Canvas helps existing and developing coworking studio operators to test their ideas across key areas including co-location, network, peer support, learning, hosting and space. It forms a central part of the Coworking Accelerator Network's EXPLORE methodology. For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.