GCUC North America Fundamentals of Flex: Meet the Speakers

By Stormy McBride On April 6, 2022 In SpeakersGCUC USAGCUC North America

When the pandemic first hit, well-known companies like Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and Google announced their departure from the corporate cubicle life. Ever since then, many more companies followed this initiative. The pandemic accelerated the inevitable timeline of companies’ work and brought more attention to a new efficient way of working: remote working.

The choice of workstation within the workplace structure is now in the hands of the employee and research shows they favor the flexibility that comes with it.

  • 56% of companies allow remote work.
  • 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home.
  • The average annual income of remote workers is $4,000 higher than that of other workers.
  • 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm.
  • 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.
  • By 2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers
  • 69% of millennials would give up on certain work benefits for a more flexible working space

Data Source

Many landlords, investors, developers and budding entrepreneurs are looking to shift into the flexspace market now that the focus is on our sector. Is this good news for our industry? It can be if the new players enter the arena with a quality offering.

This is where we lean into our collaboration over competition roots and offer up our expertise. The coworking world is a community with the interest of our members at heart, we want to make sure that the industry keeps community and collaboration at its core which is why we have set up a course to educate the new comer.

The details:
The Fundamentals of Flexspace course is led by industry professionals who will teach the critical learnings for Flexspace design, management structures, technology, operations, partnerships & community building all in one day in Seattle.

Coworking and flexible workspaces are booming in today’s workplace trends and we are one step ahead with our Fundamentals of Flex at Bell Harbor in Seattle this May. Let’s meet our Speakers!

Session One: Building and Marketing your Brand

How do you differentiate your business and space from all of the rest? We will teach you. The objective of this session is for you to understand what not only sets your business apart from the rest, but how to market and sell that. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of how to create a highly-engaged and loyal customer base by harnessing the power of a strong mission and how this sets up your brand for growth.

Garrett Tichy is the Founder and Owner of hygge coworking. A strong advocate for Charlotte, Tichy is well-known for his natural ability to build diverse and inclusive communities of professionals – both online and in-person – who appreciate and thrive on the power of connection to elevate an initiative, a workplace and a city.

Session Two: Real Estate and Financing

The industry is evolving and so are the financing methods. Before you enter the space you need to get a good grasp on all of your options. Do you bootstrap, partner, buy outright, take investment or other creative options? Once you have that down, your proforma has to work. The objective of this session is for you to walk away knowing your options and feeling confident in creating a financial model that will not only work for you but show you the path to profitability.

Giovanni has been in commercial real estate for over 17 years. He is passionate about working with companies to understand their real needs, creating a strategy and helping them implement. He values being an extension of his “clients” team.

Recently, Giovanni’s career focus has been on the flexible workspace industry. He has consulted and helped flexible workspace operators, companies and landlords with their business strategy, with a specialization in their overall real estate strategy. His work has included helping Executive Workspace, a startup operator and investor, launch and grow to 18 centers in less than 18 months. This growth was achieved through acquisition of existing operations and new spaces. Prior, Giovanni spent five years as the Regional Real Estate Director for Regus, where he first applied his retail knowledge to the flexible workspace segment. His experience with creating and implementing a real estate strategy helped him do over 55 deals for Regus across the country.Giovanni now finds his purpose in partnering directly with operators to achieve their business goals.

Session Three: Space Design in 2022

Hate to say it, but it’s not just about the community. Community thrives in a well designed and activated space. The difference between a well designed and activated space and just another space that looks good is make or break. It’s not all spec suites and it most certainly is not all open workspace.

The objective of this session is for you to understand how flexible/coworking space design is different from just designing a space that looks good. You will have a new understanding of the importance of wellness, why you need to invest in it and how you can monetize it. You will understand some of the new trends and practices coming your way and which ones you can put aside.

Mara founded 25N Coworking, a space to work for those seeking productive workdays supported by an existing network of friends, family, and acquaintances. She wanted to foster a place where coworkers could seamlessly flow from private, focused work to making useful connections. Mara guides the client’s “big idea” to an executable design that focuses heavily on brand building and high-level analysis including programming, product & amenities mix, adjacency diagrams, and fleshing out an often-overlooked question: “Who Do You Serve”? To date, Mara has led ideation sessions for over 40 existing coworking companies startups.

Session Four: Hospitality and Community Building

Member engagement and satisfaction is critical to your success as a flexspace owner. You will leave with an understanding of how the community aspect of coworking and flexspace sets it apart from traditional real estate offerings.

The objective of this session is for you to understand the “secret sauce” of coworking. You will understand what it takes to build community. You will learn why you need to invest in things like events, services and training that will activate the space, community and eventually your bottom line. This course hits the big four: hospitality, amenities and services, community and, lastly, people vs. space.

Here at GCUC, not only will we teach you to build it, we will immerse you in ours. How’s that for a real time demo?

A bit about Clark is that he was responsible for bringing the very first coworking space to the South East of Downtown Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh, a historically black neighborhood, had only 10 coworking spaces before this. Clark’s approach was extremely impactful because all of those previous spaces were located in primarily white neighborhoods. Clark believes it is important for the coworking community to be connected and in the importance of giving everyone an opportunity. His work allowed the residents of Downtown Raleigh a chance to benefit and be a part of Raleigh’s thriving startup ecosystem.

Session Five: Technology and Operations

Unless you are an IT guru, technology can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate (SO MANY OPTIONS). The business is complex and so are the systems to run it. Let’s talk about where to invest and where to tread lightly.

The objective of this session is for you to leave with a clear understanding of the product roadmap for flexible space. You will have a good understanding on where to invest and how to pick the right technology for your business. We will also cover the pitfalls, gotchas and areas we wish we would have had guidance on when building out our own spaces. This is an in depth one. We will discuss software, hardware, maintenance, security, monitoring, documentation, planning, wifi strength and more. Come prepared to take notes (and adjust your tech budget).

Barbara is the founder of The Satellite Workplaces and Satellite Deskworks, which started their first cowork center back in 2009. Her team has worked to build community-based centers that are accessible and can operate effectively with just one staff person, and Satellite Deskworks makes all of this possible. Barbare is very passionate about making a positive change in the workplace and is concerned about the impacts that come from any change within the coworking workplace.

To get tickets and more information please take a look at the full agenda here. If there is someone you know that could benefit from this course, we would appreciate a referral.