I’m a fan of testing lightweight versions of projects to see if they resonate. If they do, then I level them up. When we launched Coworking Convos in October of 2019, we capped the beta Convo at 25 people to see if what we envisioned was feasible.
Turns out, it was. This Friday, January 29, we’re hosting our first Convo of 2021, a conversation on using PR to strengthen a coworking brand.
I’ve learned a lot since that first Convo. As Coworking Convos has grown, so has my comfort zone around moderating virtual events, coming up with questions on-the-fly, streamlining operations and eliminating the unnecessary where possible.
I’m also learning how to collaborate with sponsors. Convos is powered by a team of all-star sponsors that I’ve brought into our community one at a time. I’ve learned the importance of carefully curating sponsors that provide value to space operators, understand what I’m doing with the Cat Johnson Co community, and are aligned with our collective values and vision.
I could not be happier with our sponsor roster to kick off 2021. Our sponsors get coworking, they understand the importance of genuine connections and real conversations, and they’re on a mission to help and serve entrepreneurs, community-builders, workspace operators and coworking pros.
Here are 9+ platforms and tools supporting workspace operators and Coworking Convos.
1. GCUC Community
GCUC Community has long been the go-to event for coworking space operators and the workspace industry. I can trace the majority of my coworking friendships and connections back to GCUC. During COVID, Team GCUC pivoted to virtual events and has served our global coworking community with free events, expert-led conversations, masterclasses, webinars, happy hours and more. They’ve held virtual space for our community while we wait this thing out. One of the things I’m most excited about is meeting again in-person at GCUC, post-COVID.
GCUC has also added Workplace Trends with Liz Elam to the GCUC Podcast platform, launched GCUC Places, an international network with well over 100 spaces, regional coworking events, including the current Designing for Workspace Reentry series, and grown the GCUC Membership resource library and offerings.
Liz Elam, Stormy McBride and the team have amazing things in store for us. Check out the latest offerings, and make a mental note to get to the GCUC nearest you ASAP. (Or you can be like me and try to hit them all.)
CloudVO took a chance on Coworking Convos while it was still a seed of an idea. The marketing mavens Kim Seipel and Karina Patel have helped me shape and host every single Coworking Convo, and the team’s early support proved the sponsor model and helped me get Convos off the ground.
CloudVO is an on-demand workplace company. The platform helps space operators attract members and daypassers, book meeting room rentals and day office users and more. It also enables your members to find workplaces around the world.
The Cloud VO team is in it to support operators. They regularly share quality resources around operations, marketing and community management. Become a partner, check out the resources and connect with the team. They’re great partners of coworking space operators and Coworking Convos.
In addition to building included.co as the coworking perks platform—including hyperlocal perks—they’ve launched Syncaroo, they publish This Week in Coworking and host a Clubhouse room of the same name, support numerous coworking organizations and platforms, create timely and relevant content, and so much more. Hector is also the tech mastermind behind Cat Johnson Co projects and he is a trusted sounding board and partner. Be sure to loop in to all things Hector and included.co.
I’ve known the Deskpass team for years and I was thrilled to bring them into the Convos community last year. Deskpass gives people and teams access to thousands of coworking spaces, including yours. This means they bring hot leads right to your door. People who could go to any space show up at yours, giving you the opportunity to connect with them, wow them, and potentially convert them into members.
In addition to being one of the most forward-thinking platforms around, Deskpass is led by coworking veterans and all-around amazing people, including Sam Rosen and Nicole Vasquez. These two have both pushed me to think bigger, helped me in more ways than they know, and contributed to the global coworking community for many years.
5. Think Board
I absolutely adore whiteboarding sessions. It’s one of the things I really miss about in-person collaboration—just throwing ideas out, mindmapping the details, erasing the junk ones, and creating a coherent strategy out of seeming chaos.
You may miss this too. What I imagine you don’t miss is wheeling whiteboards around, scrubbing old ones to try to get them back to white, wishing you had more whiteboards or wondering how you could get some in the smaller nooks and crannies of your space.
Last year I reconnected with Hanson Grant, the founder and CEO of Think Board. This super-kind young entrepreneur is on to something special with Think Board. A few years ago, he saw a need for more flexible whiteboard options, so he filled it. Think Board offers peel and stick whiteboards and small sheets for walls, desks, refrigerators, glass, doors, tables and more.
It’s fantastic (and not surprising) to see Think Board take off. As you rethink your space layout and use, create more meeting areas, transform existing spaces into multi-purpose rooms and develop more spaces for teams, check out Think Board’s products. They’ve even put together a discounted coworking bundle they created specifically for Coworking Convos participants.
Metigy is a next-level marketing tool that does things you didn’t even know you needed done. Powered by AI, Metigy connects to your marketing channels and serves up recommended actions and insights to help you create, plan, act and execute a pro marketing strategy.
It includes a great scheduling tool, but that’s the least important aspect of the platform. Metigy helps you organize your content and assets, clarify marketing objectives and track performance. The Metigy team, including our Convos connections, VP of Operations, Wynn Corliss, and co-founder and CEO, David Fairfull, also provide high-quality learning resources and podcast episodes, and they really get what we’re doing with Convos. Check out Metigy to see how it can work for you and your members.
Our newest Coworking Convos supporter is Enplug, an industry-leading digital signage software solution. There are dozens of uses for digital displays in your space: to share your COVID safety protocol, for wayfinding, to showcase your community, to share photos tagged in your space, to position outside meeting rooms and event areas, to share a welcome message, to list your calendar of events…on and on.
Enplug has powered digital displays for some workspace giants and independent spaces, alike. The team, including our Convos connection, VP of Marketing, Staisey Divorski, know workspaces and how to put digital displays to the best use in your space.
8. Satellite Deskworks
Satellite Deskworks is flexible workspace management software. It is lean, customizable and built for people running sustainable workspace businesses. Designed by workspace industry veteran, Barbara Sprenger, who is founder and CEO of Deskpass and the Satellite Centers, Deskpass is a cost effective solution, whether you have one location or one hundred.
Now for the human side of things: I’ve helped Barbara and the team with content for several years. In that time, Barbara has impressed me again and again with her business savvy, humility, generosity and intelligence. She is a quiet leader of our industry who prides herself on being available to help her clients, members and team do their best work. Barbara is all-in on Convos, and she’s been a mentor and friend as I’ve grown Cat Johnson Co into a sustainable business.
When people ask me about workspace industry publications, my first response is Allwork.space. Yes, there are numerous other publications that cover commercial real estate and industry trends. But I don’t think anyone does a better job of striking a balance between industry news, humanness and the future of work.
I recently started contributing marketing articles to Allwork.space and I’m excited to have my hands back in the publication side of things, complete with deadlines and editorial direction. I spend many years contributing to publications and I’m proud to be part of the extended community.
Allwork.space is the official media sponsor for Coworking Convos, but beyond that, Frank, Mike, Daniel, Jo, Ceci and the team are wonderful supporters of what we’re doing to serve and connect space operators around the world.
Check out their products and services, see how they can support you and your space, and tell them I sent you.
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