Everyday’s a school day so consider this a reminder to provide forums where skill sharing can be formalised and maximised. The wealth of knowledge within a coworking community is endless, so your space is the perfect place for people to support each other’s ongoing LEARNING.
Learning within a coworking space is tightly intertwined with Peer Support. With Peer Support we were deliberately vague but here we’re going to be nice and specific, what we’re referring to is a curated learning events programme.
Learning events can take many forms, from an intense workshop to a laid back lunch and learn. How do you know what kind of events to run? Ask the experts – your members. They’re the primary audience for your events and although you might choose to open the programme up to the public, as always, you should prioritise the needs of your coworking community. They will be a fount of knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm which provides the perfect foundation for your events.
We would highly recommend co-creating your learning programme, why do everything yourself when you can fall back on that old coworking staple collaboration! Call on your members to see what they want to contribute to the programme. Don’t feel bad, you may be asking them for a favour but you’re also providing them with a platform to showcase their skills and business. Plus it’s nice to be invited to help, it’s all part of being a community. Working alongside your members you can provide an engaging, popular events programme that provides value to your wider community. This might mean you end up being approached by people who want you to add their event to your programme. This can be an easy win but do be careful, make sure you know exactly what they’re bringing to the table and sniff out anyone who’s masking a sales pitch as a learning event.
The scale of your programme is yours to decide! If you’re a very small staff team put the onus on your members, offer up free rooms for informal events that benefit everyone and free hours for the people who help you with getting the events organised. You don’t have to be running lectures for dozens of people each week, sometimes a designated hour for some peer led skill sharing is all you need. Perhaps you’re dreaming big and want to become renowned for learning opportunities that are open to the public. Do your market research, work out your niche and how you fit in alongside other training providers in your town. You can look at your learning programme as an opportunity for your members as well as your space, this is a safe place for them to try out new event formats and to bring those tried and tested sessions to a new audience. Consider creating opportunities for members and event attendees to mingle so you’re inviting folks into the fold from outwith your coworking community. And remember a bribe in the form of biscuits or pizza never goes amiss.
The Coworking Canvas
This blog is part of a series demystifying our Coworking Canvas – a practical tool for developing the 6 key areas central to a thriving coworking community. The canvas was designed by our sister organisation the Coworking Accelerator drawing on over a decade of experience building The Melting Pot. If you are considering starting your own coworking business come along to our EXPLORE Coworking workshop on the 18th & 19th June 2019 in London – you’ll work alongside other coworking leaders as our team shows you how to apply these tools to your coworking venture.
You can find the other blogs in this series here.