- Coworking events enable you to provide value beyond just space access and amenities
- To create a great event, start by asking your members want they would like to see from you and your community
- Some ideas include lunch & learns, speaker series, social events, and a weekly sharing circle
Community is the heart and soul of your coworking space.
Coworking space events, both online and in-person, are a great way to build this sense of community.
They are also one of the most valuable coworking perks you can offer your members.
Putting on a great event can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting a coworking space. Here are some ideas to help get you started.
Why are coworking space events important?
Coworking events enable you to provide value beyond just space access and amenities. In fact, holding member events has become a standard in the coworking industry.
A great coworking event can:
- Serve as a marketing tool to help you grow your business
- Create networking opportunities for you and your members
- Help members build professionally
- Create community through socializing
Every event is an opportunity to bring members together and create lasting connections amongst individuals.
How do you create a great event in your coworking space?
The secret to creating a great coworking space event is to start with your members. Think about what they want and what would benefit them the most.
The best way to get these insights is to ask them directly via a coworking survey. Here are a few questions you can ask:
- What past events have you enjoyed the most? The least?
- What kind of events would you like to see more of?
- Do you prefer online or in-person events?
- What are you interested in learning about? (select from a few listed choices)
- What’s your preferred way of networking (i.e. speed networking, wine and cheese, etc)?
Use these insights to craft a coworking event that you know your members will love, whether it’s a virtual happy hour or an evening networking event.
How do you promote coworking space events?
Once you settle on an event (or series of events) for your coworking space, you’ll need a way of promoting them.
A good promotion strategy will ensure your events are successful.
How you promote your event will depend on the size of the event and whether it is public or not. Some ideas for promoting your event include:
- Sending out a message, push notification or email to your members
- Posting a sign in your space
- Including a banner on your website
- Advertising it on social media, organic and paid
- Including it in your member community feed or in your in-app events calendar
Don’t be discouraged if these first couple of events have a low turn-out. Focus on creating an amazing experience for your members and word or mouth will help you do the rest.
6 coworking space events to try out in your coworking space
There is no shortage of events you can host in your coworking space. We’re excited to share some of our favorites:
1. Lunch & learns
A lunch & learn is a 30-45 min learning session led by members or staff over lunch time. It is an open invitation where people are invited to eat as they listen to a lecture and learn a new skill.
Some of the benefits to lunch & learns in a coworking space are:
- Create a culture of collaboration and idea sharing
- Members get to learn new skills
- If led by a member, they can give them the opportunity to showcase their expertise and market their services
- Great opportunity for networking
Pro tip: Keep things active by kicking off your lunch & learn with an exercise or activity that gets the audience mingling and engaged. A quick five minute ice breaker can go a long way.
2. Speaker series
Speaker series are always an exciting opportunity for members to learn from subject matter experts, especially when it is highly relevant to them.
Identify your members’ skill gaps and areas of interest and bring in local speakers to share their expertise.
It could be an accountant to discuss tax saving strategies for small businesses or an SEO expert to help members boost their digital presence.
The key to a successful speaker series is:
- Ensure topics are relevant to your members
- Provide tactical advice to members
- Select experts that are engaging and interesting to listen to
- Make the times accessible to members
- Consider live-streaming it so people can watch at home
Attendees should leave the event feeling prepared to apply this new knowledge in their day-to-day work.
3. Social events
Not everything has to be about business.
Help your members relax and get to know each other by hosting a:
- Happy hour at a local restaurant
- Pizza party in your space
- Live music night or talent show
Bringing them together in a low-pressure setting will help the conversation flow and will foster that all-important sense of community.
Pro tip: If you really want to make your social event different and interesting, get your community to work on something together – maybe it’s painting a mural on one of the walls in your coworking space – building together is a great way to bond and create connections.
4. Weekly sharing circle
Sounds like kindergarten all over again, but it’s not.
Many coworking space members are solopreneurs or remote workers. Without team members on site, these members may feel isolated.
Sharing circles are a great way to allow members to bounce ideas off one another and collaborate on their challenges. Plus, it creates a mutually-supportive environment and might even lead to more collaboration on future initiatives.
5. Open houses
Let the world into your space to experience the fun of coworking by hosting open houses.
Similarly to your other events, this could take the form of live music nights with local talent, talks from experts, or a film screening.
Open houses are powerful for:
- Marketing your space to the community
- Showing off the culture of the space to prospective members
- Demonstrating the perks of being a member
- Creating networking opportunities amongst current or prospective members
Pro tip: When hosting an open house, encourage your current members to invite their friends and colleagues – you can incentivize this behavior by offering door prizes or drink tickets!
6. Hackathons & design challenges
A hackathon or design challenge is a 24-48-hour competition that brings together teams of techies to work on a software project in response to a common problem.
At the conclusion of the event, teams present their solutions to a panel of judges.
While this might involve more planning than some of the other events, it’ll definitely draw a crowd and give potential new members a good introduction to your space.
You can also collaborate with some of your members to support you with putting on this event and give them a discount on their next month’s invoice as a small thank you for their help.
It’s an especially powerful tool if you’re looking to target freelance designers or people in tech.
These are just some of the key coworking space events you can host
As you discover the ones that work for you, just remember to tailor them to your members.
What do they enjoy? How do they want to engage with their community? How often would they like these events to be held?
When you have the answers, it’ll be easier to create events that really bring your community together, enhance their member experience and, ultimately, grow your space.
Learn more about how Optix can support your coworking event strategy.