Many spaces are located in areas near college campuses or student life and could be activated to get more students in the space. Below are some of the ways to attract students to your space.
Late night study hours – if you are 24/7 or even extended hours and you are finding the space to be less occupied the later it gets, consider offering a student “study” membership that allows them to come in between the hours of 6pm and midnight (or whatever works for you). It allows them to have a space to work while also bringing in revenue for you, diversifying your membership and facilitating connections between multiple ages and stages of life.
Free coffee – who loves coffee more than a college kid who has pulled an all nighter after writing their thesis? Maybe a sleep deprived parent. But almost no one.
Finals program – free food, free rooms for studying or tutoring, extended hours – I found coworking when I was in college and let me just tell you that knowing there would be breakfast and coffee at the office once a week was a game changer. It took some of the stress off of my plate during that time and made me oh so thankful. Libraries study rooms are over run during finals week making it hard to find a quiet place to touch down. If your meeting rooms are not being rented at 8pm- why not open them up to the students?
Internship programs– so many universities have requirements put in place where students need a internship credit to graduate. If your space is partnered with a local university, it is as simple as asking your members when they sign up- does your company offer internships? We are partnered with X university and would love to add your company and contact to the list to reach out to when we get a request. This can also be seen as a value add to your members.
Mentorship programs – Sometimes startups, entrepreneurs or young adults are not looking for an internship per say but someone to help guide them. Mentorship is perfect for that. We genuinely believe that everyone needs a mentor.
Offer volunteer hours – Philanthropy is key. Many student orgs require students to log hours. Got something that they could do like help organize the supply closet, staple flyers, inventory the surplus furniture, this is a good way to interact with the local student community and get this tasks off of your plate.
Networking opportunities – Self explanatory but host networking events and extend an invite to local university students.
Membership trade – If you have tasks that need done that a student could easily do for you in trade for space to study, draft up that agreement. Many students don’t have the financial means to be a member but have the time and work ethic to commit to your space for a trade. Maybe they work a short shift at the front desk, help you craft your tweets and instagram posts, or input tour updates into a spreadsheet weekly. Think of the things that you specifically don’t have to do, that you could pass off to someone else. Its a win win.
Job fairs/board– much like internships, this is a good value add and exposure for your members but also for students that are on the hunt for a new job.
Community, geared towards them – Host events and experiences that are not expensive or have a high barrier of entry. Things that 18-26 year old you would like to attend (not taking about raging parties).
Offer “adulting” classes – kidding but not at all. We have run an internship program for years and one of the things that strikes us every time is the day to day skills that some students and young adults don’t have. We have taught interns how to grocery shop, meal prep, apply for jobs, register their vehicles, update their linkedin pages. The works. Can you offer financial planning classes? What about crypto? Suitability and coconscious programing?
Have other students in the space – like anyone else, we tend to gravitate to places where there are others like us. It makes us feel comfortable and at home. By hiring younger staff or part time workers, you signal that others like them are welcome there. Simple, but true.
Support causes and programs that matter most to them– You likely already do this but what do you do to support DEI, Philanthropy, health, wellness, the environment, sustainability, etc? Show it off. The younger generations like to see that they are contributing to something that is making a difference.
Have a resource library – this is fairly specialized but many campus libraries keep a couple copies of the books that students need but may not want to purchase on file for them to reference while on site (not check out). This is no different that a startup joining a space for the printer and meeting room resources. If you are a specialized or niche space that wants to attract a certain vertical of students- this might be a good way to get them in the door.
Meet them where they are– Right now, that’s probably social media, a campus or a coffee shop. Consider making a reel or placing a flyer at the local spots that gives them a free trial day.
There you have it. If you are doing other things in your space to get students and younger generations in, let us know. We’d love to hear other ideas.
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