Hosting a free Coworking Day is a fantastic way to activate your local remote work, digital nomad, expat and freelance community.
I've organized them in Lisbon, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The first coworking day I organized was in Gran Canaria in 2017. A new coworking space had just opened its doors and I emailed them asking if they would be open to hosting an event.
Being an organizer of a coworking day is a great opportunity to connect with the local community. I found it as a fantastic “hack” when you move to a new city and want to quickly create connections with like-minded people.
Sometimes these events can require a bit of effort to explain the benefits to operators of coworking spaces and promoting the event to enough people can be a challenge at first, but I promise you the results are worth it.
I'm going to share with you some tips and tricks I’ve discovered that help make the process easy.
New coworking spaces usually don't have a lot of experience hosting large groups and after hosting a coworking day they can learn what processes need to still be adjusted and what issues need to be fixed (internet bandwidth for instance).
For some, testing the infrastructure on customers that aren’t paying to access the space is a +1 benefit.
Organizing a coworking day in a coworking space makes a lot of sense and it's easy to pitch it to the owner. However, you can organize an event like this basically anywhere if you have access to some desks and an internet connection.
1. Café or restaurant ☕
Busy cafés and restaurants hate “laptop people” but those that are not so busy actually appreciate that there are some people there and the venue doesn't look empty.
Also, most of these places have rush hours. If you can bring in some remote workers that order a few coffees and avocado toast during sleepy hours, the owners might be quite open to hosting. Search for places that are already recommended by remote workers, like this list of coworking cafés in Lisbon.
2. Park 🌳
It sounds crazy but why not? Many parks have seating areas available in the shade. Consider taking advantage of them for a day!
3. Hotel or hostel 🏨
Spaces in hotels and hostels are under utilized most of the time and for their operators hosting a coworking day is an an easy way to promote the venue.
I Iiked the creative approach of this hostel in Lisbon that used its terrace to host a coworking day.
4. Startup office 💻
If you know about a company or startup that has an unused office area, you can propose hosting a coworking day to them. Think about their motivation and what would benefit their company with an event like this.
An ideal scenario would be a company with a product that targets a similar audience and may be able to use the event as a promotional opportunity and great content for their social media.
One more tip: Try to run these events on a regular basis - weekly, every first Friday of the month, once a month, etc. With consistency you will build a great relationship with local venues and have the chance to make deeper connections with the people in your community.
Did this post inspire you to organize a coworking day?
I'm the founder of Surf Office, a one-stop shop for anyone organizing company retreats.
A few side-projects I'm involved in: Hoodpicker, Surfpreneurs Club and Epic Monday.
I write about my experiments that combine hospitality, real estate and tech.
You can reach me out on Twitter and Linkedin.
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