One of the key milestones on your journey to success as a coworking space owner is hosting a remarkable open house.
This event provides a golden opportunity to showcase your space, attract potential members, and establish strong connections within the community.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential steps you need to take to create an unforgettable coworking space open house that leaves a lasting impression on all those who attend.
Let’s dive in and make your open house an event to remember!
What is a coworking space open house?
A coworking space open house is an organized event where coworking owners and operators invite the public, particularly individuals who they’re most hoping to join their space, to visit and explore their facility.
The open house aims to showcase the coworking space, its amenities, and the benefits of working in a collaborative and flexible environment. This is particularly important if you’re the first coworking space in your area, such as in the case of rural coworking, or if the concept is lesser known.
The goal of the open house is typically to attract new members to the space and generate new sign-ups.
Why are open houses important for coworking owners?
An open house is your chance to sell your space and create a fantastic first impression for prospective members. For that reason, attracting potential members is typically the most important reason for holding an open house.
However, there are other ways that open houses can serve you in operating a successful business.
Build relationships and partnerships within the community
Open houses provide a platform for you to connect with not just potential members, but local businesses in the community as well.
Cultivating relationships with the right people is instrumental to building a strong presence in the greater community and developing potential partnerships that can help you provide more value to your members.
Invite local businesses to your open house and think of creative ways to engage them in a partnership that can benefit all parties involved.
Generate awareness and visibility
Does your community even know there is a coworking space next door? Are they aware of the value it can bring to their lives?
An open house can help generate excitement and buzz around your new coworking space. It can serve as a fun event to promote on marketing channels such as social media, your local press, and industry networks.
By marketing your open house and, better yet, a special offer for attending, you can help attract a larger audience to your space and increase brand visibility. Those who have a memorable experience are likely to share their impressions with their network, potentially leading to referrals and new members.
Market research is incredibly valuable in creating a better coworking space. An informal event like an open house can provide an opportunity for you to receive valuable feedback from attendees that can improve your product offering.
Through conversations and interactions, you’re able to gain insights into potential improvements or additions to the space, helping to refine your offerings to better serve your target audience.
Coworking space open house examples
There isn’t one single definition for what a coworking space open house should or should not be. Whatever it is, it should match with the needs and desires of your target market and your community.
Here are a few examples of coworking space open house formats that could fit your community.
1. Weekday coffee chat
What it is: An informal morning event for new and existing members featuring complimentary breakfast and coffee.
- Typically runs from when the coworking space opens to mid-morning (8:00am to noon)
- May include an organized keynote from the owner explaining the history and value of the space
- Shows new members exactly what it’s like working in the space during working hours
Pro tip: Ask your highly engaged members to serve as “ambassadors” to greet newcomers in the space and create a sense of community for prospective members right off the bat.
2. Evening happy hour
What it is: An post-work event, typically mid-week, that features cocktails and small plates.
- Showcases a more casual side of the community and a versatile use of the space
- Can be at a more accessible time than morning or weekends, depending on your target demographic
- Is a fun and light-hearted way of meeting new people
Pro tip: Partner with a local business to cater the event. You may be able to use this as a potential partnership opportunity!
3. Free day of coworking
What it is: A full-day event where the space is free for any new members to drop-in and use.
- Is a desirable event that can be promoted heavily across digital platforms
- Allows people an opportunity to try the space for themselves before committing to a full-time membership
- Can be highly effective at acquiring new members
Pro tip: Organize a few “fun” events to take place throughout the day including a lunch-and-learn, complimentary breakfast, or fitness class to highlight some of the more appealing amenities and offerings in the space.
Tips for a successful open house event
Planning an open house event for your coworking space? Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful and impactful experience for your attendees.
1. Figure out your “why”, first
Every successful initiative begins with your why. Before planning your event, determine what your primary goal of the event is.
For most, it will be to acquire new members. However, some may have different motivations for holding an open house such as to develop new business partnerships or attract investors.
Your why will determine when you hold the event, what kind of event it is, and nearly every other important decision around your open house.
2. Be intentional with your promotion plan
One of the biggest mistakes new operators make with their open house is not promoting it enough. Often, it is the marketing of an open house that will determine its success.
Event promotion can begin anywhere from two weeks to two months before an event, depending on the size and scale of the open house. For most open houses, beginning light promotion four weeks before the event is typically a good timeframe.
This ensures people have enough time to plan for the event, without it being so far ahead that they forget it entirely.
Apart from timeline, you’ll also want to ensure your promotion plan covers:
- Marketing channels
- Marketing tactics
- Who needs to be involved
Without proper promotion of the event, much of your efforts in organizing and funding it will be lost, so don’t overlook this important step.
3. Set up partnerships with local businesses
We’ve spoken a lot about the benefits of creating partnerships as coworking operators. The right partnerships can expedite growth by leveraging others’ established audiences in order to grow your own.
If you’d like to do something bigger with your coworking open house, consider partnering with another local business.
For example, you could team up with a beloved coffee shop next door to provide food and beverages at the event. Agree on them to promote it in their space leading up to the event to create a valuable co-marketing opportunity targeted specifically to people in the community who may be frequenting coffee shops in hope of finding someplace better to work.
4. Plan it around your target audience’s needs
If you have a specific audience in mind for your coworking space open house, consider hyper-personalizing the event to their needs.
Whether it’s offering specialized workstations, organizing industry-specific workshops, or creating networking opportunities with like-minded professionals, aligning your open house with the needs of your target audience will make it a truly impactful and memorable event.
Note that in order for this tactic to be successful, you need to be super clear on who your target market is and why they love your space.
5. Offer a referral incentive for existing clients
One effective way to leverage your community to enable growth is by offering a referral incentive to existing coworking members. This could be something small such as 10 free entries for a raffle or something larger such as free meeting room credits or a free month on their membership plan.
Not only does a strong referral incentive motivate your current members to actively promote the event, but it also encourages them to share their positive experiences and recommend your coworking space to their network.
This referral incentive not only boosts attendance but also increases the chances of attracting potential members who are already familiar with the positive testimonies and firsthand experiences shared by your existing community.
6. Leverage local marketing channels
To effectively promote your coworking open house, tap into local marketing channels. Partner with nearby businesses to display flyers, collaborate with local influencers, and engage with networking groups and associations to promote the event.
For local digital promotion, utilize social media platforms like Facebook to create geo-targeted ads or sponsored posts that only reach individuals in the vicinity of your coworking space.
These strategies maximize visibility within the community, attracting attendees and potential members who are eager to explore and join your coworking space.
7. Offer a promotional discount for attendees
Make your coworking open house even more enticing by offering a promotional discount exclusively for attendees.
- Provide a limited-time offer of a discounted monthly membership rate
- Waive the sign-up fee for those who sign up during the event
- Offer a free trial period
- Offer additional amenities and services for a discounted rate
This promotional discount not only adds value for attendees but also incentivizes them to take immediate action in joining your coworking community.
Host a remarkable open house
From planning the perfect format to offering personalized experiences tailored to your target audience, every aspect of your open house should reflect your commitment to excellence and professionalism.
Remember, a successful open house not only attracts potential members but also establishes your coworking space as a hub of creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
Embrace the opportunity to showcase your space, connect with like-minded professionals, and cultivate a thriving community that will propel your coworking venture to new heights of success.
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