We all recognize the importance of events and member programming as key factors to building coworking community. The Global Workspace Association says that community is the sustainable competitive advantage and retention tool for every shared workspace. However, planning events can be challenging. What kind of events should you host? When you’re not sure what to do, look inward. Take into account the existing members in your space and customize your events around activities and themes that will keep members engaged so they never want to leave. Below are a few examples of different events that our workspace communities use to bring people together in their own unique way.
Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Annual Golf Tournament
The Pacific Workplaces (PAC) Tee Time Golf Tournament was recently held at Teal Bend Golf Club in Sacramento, California. This event is an annual tradition at PAC Sacramento Capitol, returning after a brief hiatus, but brought back by popular demand.
“This event came about after 9/11. There was so much sadness associated with this day, I just wanted to have a moment of togetherness for our members and friends,” said Sacramento Area Manager Teresa Ubag. “We provide our members an environment in which they can pursue their own work. The annual golf event affords PAC members a beautiful offsite venue to become better acquainted, which really strengthens the community experience. Our members never stop talking about it.”
Located in downtown Sacramento, just two blocks from the State Capitol, the member base at Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol consists of attorneys, lobbyists, consultants, court reporting services, financial firms, and advocacy groups. Golf is an activity many of the members can get excited about and participate in. Prizes are awarded for closest to the pin, longest drive, best team score, and worst team score. The winning trophy goes on display back at the office. The healthy competition is a catalyst to engagement. Members who have never spoken before are now thrown into an activity together, and it’s no secret that golf and networking are a natural pair.
Teresa also added, “One of my members had not played in 20 years. The tournament motivated him to take lessons and be prepared. He was so excited he gifted himself new clubs, shoes, and attire. He realized his clubs did not fit in his small sports car, so he bought a new car!”
NextSpace Santa Cruz Women In Tech Panel Discussion
NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz recently hosted a powerful Women In Tech event open to members and the local community. The program included a panel discussion on the challenges for women in the tech industry. Several of the panelists were members of NextSpace and shared how working in a coworking community has directly benefitted them. The ability to work where they live, and be part of a unique community of women software engineers, product design consultants, and programmers, was a big contributor to their personal wellness. NextSpace Santa Cruz member and panelist Kathleen Tuite explained, “Working at a coworking space like NextSpace, especially while working in a male dominated tech field, lets me be surrounded by—and in contact with—lots of great women every day. It’s just a different kind of energy that I’m grateful to be exposed to. And on days when some sexist BS happens, these women are there to support me, and I’m there to support them.”
Member Programming that highlights specific topics related to their member roster has always been a cornerstone of NextSpace culture. Events that cater to the local vibe and unique flavor of your community will yield great results when it comes to community building.
CloudVO Annual Football Pool
Pacific Workplaces sister company, CloudVO, hosts its CloudTouchdown Football Pool to kick-off the NFL Season each year. As a provider of Virtual Office, Coworking, and Meeting Room space out of 750 partnering locations worldwide forming the CloudTouchdown Global Network, the challenge was to come up with an activity that could bring together CloudVO members (comprised mostly of highly mobile workers) and partner workspaces spread throughout the world. Although a virtual event, the football pool promotes relationship building and engagement as communication between participants can occur online or through the football pool app used to manage the contest.
To encourage as many people to join, the buy-in is only $25.00 for the entire season and there is a winner each week, so there are many chances to earn your money back! Everything is managed online by CloudVO’s Football Commissioner, a.k.a “The CloudTouchdown Commish.” Participants use the football pool app to rank the teams they think will win for that particular week using a point system. Whoever has the most points at the end of each week wins a modest pot of cash (the amount depends on the number of participants). At the end of the season there is a 1st through 5th place overall winner, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The Football Pool began in 2011 and is still going strong. Some seasons have had participation levels of 150 mobile coworkers and space operators razzing each other over who is going to win the weekly pot, or who is going to be bumped out of first place! CloudVO is proud to have created this annual tradition of bringing people together for some healthy competition and just plain fun. The CloudTouchdown Football Pool is an example of how virtual events can still work towards building community.
When thinking up event possibilities for your coworking community, executing ideas specific to your member base will lay the foundation for meaningful programs and activities that people will want to attend and be a part of. Every space is unique, so use that as your fuel to put on great events that show off how special your space, brand, and community members truly are.
Looking for your unique coworking community? Pacific Workplaces offers coworkring memberships, virtual office plans, meeting rooms, and private offices throughout California. Find a location near you.