Chicago: A Vast Footprint of Shared Workspaces

In our continued series of events throughout the US, essensys visited Chicago, a city with a large footprint of shared workspaces. From WorkBetter in the soaring Willis Tower to 25N and LifeWorking in the suburbs, there is no shortage of workspaces to fulfill the growing market demand.

essensys partook in QTLY Chicago, a workspace industry event intended specifically for owners and operators of Coworking and shared workspaces in local markets. Much like the Atlanta event, attendees received a state-of-the-market update, insight into operational reporting and metrics for a profitable workspace business, and a very productive unconference session to share ideas and thoughts on the not-so-easy aspects of running a shared workspace.

Just because it’s the windy city, operators in Chicago aren’t throwing caution to the wind. The operators we met at QTLY are methodical and very measured about everything from ICT and operations to how they engage their community members. While many are still testing out tools and techniques, such as using slack for Community messaging and how to integrate members into community, on the whole Chicago is a mature and serious market with great potential. Much like Atlanta, each workspace seems to create a very niche community.

Here are our key takeaways from Chicago:

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Atlanta: Building Niche Communities in Shared Workspaces

Last week essensys took to the road as sponsors of the QTLY Atlanta event. QTLY is a workspace industry event series intended specifically for owners and operators of shared workspaces and collaborative programs in local markets that will also take us to Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland.

Atlanta is a shared workspace market that boasts a gamut of Coworking flavors, from warehouse workspaces focused on e-commerce businesses to the traditional family-run serviced office. Hosted by JLL, QTLY Atlanta showed a strong turnout of ambitious and enthusiastic operators including Northpoint Executive Suites, Shared Space, Alkaloid Network and Roam Innovative Workplace. Because demand is clearly driving supply in the market, particularly in Atlanta, we found that there wasn’t a sense of competition among operators. That said, Atlanta operators are naturally creating niche workspaces and are inspired to build communities based on their members’ shared interests.

There was animated discussion around member engagement, creating community, helping companies to grow, value-added services, taxes, and human talent acquisition in the shared workspace, among others. Here are our key takeaways from Atlanta.

 

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Selecting a Shared Workspace Technology Partner: Service is Key

 

Outsourced Workspace Technology Part III: Choosing your Technology Partner

By Steve Eveleigh, Chief Marketing Officer, essensys

Part I and II of this series prove a valid business case around partnering with technology experts to deliver workspace software and infrastructure. However, how do you decide who is the best partner? Vetting and selecting a technology partner is a taxing responsibility for any flexible or shared workspace CEO, IT Manager or center director. Like any business partnership, decision-makers must evaluate the specific needs of the business, long-term goals within their marketplace, and the value of services against their budget.

Be ready to assess the contenders based on their experience and knowledgeability within the industry sector, their capabilities today and their vision for the future. Service, stability and customer testimonials are also key factors to consider when determining which vendor will best suit your needs.

Service should be an operator's main concern when shopping for the best shared workspace technology solution and here's why.

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Why taking on your own workspace tech will work against you

BY DAVID KINNAIRD, PRESIDENT, N. AMERICA, ESSENSYS

Part 2 of How to Drive Revenue and Delight Members by Outsourcing Your Workspace Technology

Technology can be complicated, and even more so when it involves multi-tenanted infrastructure delivery and support. Operators have historically approached workspace IT – network configuration, VLANs, Wi-Fi, wired connectivity, and telephony – in a variety of ways: from third-parties to multiple vendors and hiring dedicated IT staff to manage their infrastructure. Most experienced operators' approach consists of multiple, disparate systems that don’t speak to each other and require comprehensive contract management and multiple (and expensive!) invoices from a wide variety of vendors.

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David Kinnaird is Appointed to the Board of the Global Workspace Association

David Kinnaird, President, essensys N. America, has joined the Board of the Global Workspace Association (GWA). This time last year it was announced David would lead essensys' United States operation. With a successful 2016 and now, his appointment to the GWA board, David has been well received among our friends and peers in the US Shared Workspace industry. 

We sat down with David to find out about his new role with the GWA. Here's what he had to say... 

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A Short Guide in Prospect Tour Best Practice

After all the work you've done promoting your space, from SEO to PPC, building an active community of workspace advocates, establishing relationships with brokers and shouting from the rooftops, generating and qualifying leads will bring you to a workspace operator’s number one goal: a booked prospect tour. This is your time to shine. This is the point in the lifecycle to captivate your prospect, show off your workspace and close the deal.

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The essensys Review of Deskmag's Global Coworking Survey

BY STEVE EVELEIGH, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, ESSENSYS

Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey results are out - The 2017 Coworking Forecast - and as usual, it’s one of the most interesting, comprehensive and useful pieces of research available for our industry. Thanks to Carsten from Deskmag for taking on the mammoth task of collecting, sorting and analyzing all of the data. A task that we all - operators and vendors - benefit from tremendously.  We’ve been through the results with a fine-toothed comb and picked out a few highlights below.
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Key Benefits of Outsourcing Flexible Workspace Technology

BY BEN CROUCH, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER, ESSENSYS

Part 1 of How to Drive Revenue and Delight Members by Outsourcing Your Workspace Technology

The growth of shared workspaces has accelerated rapidly over the last decade. This period of rapid growth meant that service, technology and software providers to the workspace industry struggled to keep up with the requirements of both experienced multi-site operators and new single site startups. This in turn, resulted in operators who are confronted with manual processes and generic software which damages both their operational efficiency and overall customer experience.

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