Successful coworking spaces have one thing in common: A strong community.
Think about some other places strong communities emerge.
No matter where this community emerges, the core incentives that underlie it are remarkably similar.
For example, strong digital communities exist online between people who have never even met each other; what ultimately brings them together is a sense of belonging, shared interests, and desire to meet a shared goal.
What does this have to do with your coworking space?
The strength of your coworking community is dependent on finding common ground between members.
In extension, when organizing events, you must plan your events to appeal to the interests and common goals of your members.
Simply put, figure out what your members are into!
Not only in terms of their professional and work life but also their casual interests and hobbies.
With this information, your chances of hosting successful events with a high turnout rate became much likelier as they will be intrinsically motivated to show up.
Breakfast & Mingle
Everybody loves food.
That’s why food-related events are a simple way to bring people together. One common way coworking spaces will bring people together is over a breakfast event.
Depending on the size of your space, you can host a “new member” breakfast every 2-weeks or every month. You can invite new members and returning members to share some coffee and breakfast. You can also take this opportunity to introduce your new members to the community as well.
Another common thing that brings people together is, you guessed it - alcohol.
Although your members should be encouraged to drink responsibility, a happy hour is a classic way to bring people together for light networking and mingling.
You can give your happy hour themes to make them more interesting. For example, “beer Fridays.”
Yoga & Running
Some of your wellness-oriented members might be interested in attending exercise sessions.
Hosting sessions on-site is a convenient way to squeeze some fitness into their busy day, also a great way to break the ice to meet people for those who might be intimidated by a bigger group.
Hosting a weekly exercise session, whether it’s yoga, running, stretching, etc. can be a great way to bring people together.
Although it’s great to provide members with events that bring people together like Happy Hour, not everyone is comfortable with throwing themselves into a room of strangers and mingling. Sometimes people need a little ice breaker.
Hosting a game night is a great way to break the ice between members. You can purchase board games new or secondhand to save money, alternatively, you can create budget-friendly games to play.
Following the classic “speed dating” formula, attendees get only a few minutes to talk to each other for a few minutes.
This event can also be open to the public and not just your members. Presenting a great opportunity to open up your space and scout for potential members as well.
As a promotional event, you could host a “free entry day” where you open your doors to potential members to come to spend a day using and testing your space for free!
People who love the coworking movement are usually driven and curious individuals who are always down for learning something new.
Bringing in guest speakers is a great way to appeal to this aspect of your member’s personality. Guest speakers that are commonly brought into coworking spaces for talks are other entrepreneurs, business owners, or venture capitalists.
Members of your coworking space are likely to be highly motivated people with an innate curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
As a result, a good old fashioned debate and discussion is most likely appealing to them. You can invite members to join the panel to discuss a given topic or to simply watch. Either way, all it takes to get an exciting discussion going is a good moderator, a safe space, and an interesting topic.
Sometimes your members will be working really hard, and it would be beneficial to offer them unique activities that can serve as a little escape from the daily work life.
Hosting a workshop, especially if it’s hands-on, is a great way to get people involved in your community, as is a natural ice breaker, as there's no pressure to socialize or network. Workshops are strictly about learning something new, just for the fun of it.
One thing most successful entrepreneurs all have in common: Failure.
That’s what “FuckUp Night” is all about, celebrating failure. This networking event was actually founded by Carlos Zimbron. He launched these events to “encourage entrepreneurs to embrace their business failures, share the lessons learned, and celebrate them with the crowd.”