Key takeaways from CWSC


Our Director, Europe Florian Kappes recently attended the CWSC (Coworking Spain Conference) in Madrid to join in the discussions and gauge the market. Here are his key takeaways from the event.

The state of the market

The market seems to be in a good place with lots of positivity. Many operators were happy with occupancy levels and revenues and were looking at possible expansion plans. While some were looking internally to expand, others were looking further afield to grow abroad. This trend for growth was supported by data from CBRE España with the research showing that even in smaller markets such as Malaga, there are more sites in the wider region than the city centre to support the demand from the hybrid workforce.

On a separate note it was also intriguing to discover that Savills are currently running four coworking spaces on behalf of landlords in Spain. Florian noted that this is something which always looked to be on the cards for the larger real estate service firms in markets such as Germany but never properly materialised.

Products – what are the must haves?

It’s always interesting to see what new products operators are offering to attract clients and the trend currently seems to be a rooftop terrace, ideal for the Spanish market. For most providers it’s an absolute must to have one and there were some great examples to be viewed for those needing some inspiration.

Service – is all inclusive always needed?

This was an area where there was some real thought-provoking discussion. Áurea Rivela of HQFLEX noted that the past years have seen a race of inclusiveness of services to match competitors. But which services actually make sense for members, especially if costly for providers? Which ones could be taken away and offered as an add on instead? At technologywithin our approach is to offer a flexible approach to our services to make sure that clients get the connectivity and software they need without lots of additional unwanted extras.

Another topic of discussion came from Uri Iskin of Latin American giant HIT, in that you need to utilise the sqm that you have and make the most of it. In their case they are looking to ensure that their spaces are utilised 24/7 by work and private events such as weddings.

Technology – integration is key

This subject was tackled by a panel of coworking software suppliers. A vote was taken by the panel to rank the following in terms of importance when it came to coworking software: features – customer service – price. The panel went with that order. When the viewpoints of the audience were taken into account, they too choice features first but ranked customer service and price equal second. This really highlights the importance of listening to your users and making sure your platform can deliver on three of these fronts.

The panel quite quickly agreed that good software can help to make the running of the workspace easier allowing the on-site teams to focus on building the community. This is where the topic of integrations was raised. Integrations can play a big part to ease workload (you can discover more about technologywithin’s integrations here). Operators were urged by the panel to speak to their suppliers if they are missing an integration to see if they can work on adding it to their offering.

People – the importance of community building

Plenty of space was given to topics around the human element – from mistakes made by operators, to community orientated projects to how to deal with the private struggles of workforce within the company. Ultimately clients want to have a sense of belonging in the workspace, to be part of a community and to feel that the operators and their employees are part of that community too.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to discuss any of the topics in the blog please get in touch with our friendly team.

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