Despite the geographic distance between coworking spaces worldwide, coworking space owners and community managers have done remarkably well at maintaining and building an online community of support to help one another grow the coworking movement. It’s not every day that you get to take a thriving online community and see it happen first hand in the real world. The Coworking Unconference and the Coworking Happy Hour brought together the coworking community like never before.
To coincide with SXSW, the very first U.S. Coworking Unconference was organized and brought to fruition by the fine folks over at LooseCubes. LooseCubes helps people nationwide find a “friendly place to work.” Attracting space owners, coworkers, and community managers from all over the country (and a few global folks too), the Unconference was a rousing success! The event ran smoothly all day, filled with breakout sessions run in a casual, lets-have-some-real-conversations approach. In addition to the breakout session there was also a keynote led by Tony Bacigalupo, founder of NYC’s New Work City and a moderated panel to close out the day. Here’s a clip of the panel moderated by Alex Hillman, founder of (Indy Hall), where he interviews a panel of other coworking space owners from across the country, “Who coworks now and in the future?”:
Here’s a great article from a Shareable writer who attended the Coworking Unconference:
Visions of the Future of Work at the Coworking Unconference
SXSW Coworking Happy Hour
With the flood of coworking enthusiasts already in town, we figured there was no better time than SXSWi to invite all attendees from the unconference as well as others passionate about the coworking movement over to our coworking home, Conjunctured, for a party. (Here’s the attendee list) So we partnered with local coworking spaces (Link Coworking & Creative Space) and a variety of we-love-coworking company sponsors to host a happy hour, 4-7pm on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Texas sun.
The coworking movement is huge
It’s crazy to think about how much coworking has grown in the last years. There were people visiting from all over the world, and we soon found out people are coworking all over – some as far as Berlin and Stockholm. And, the coworking movement has become so huge, spaces are popping up all over. Below is a map that shows everywhere our happy hour attendees have coworked. (We sketched a basic map on the dry erase board and attendees started filling it in!)
We met owners and community managers from all over the country – some with big, open spaces that can fit 80 people; others with smaller spaces that are better for just a few freelancers.
Coworking unifies people
One of the biggest things that was evident was how much coworking unifies people. Regardless of where the space is located, its general vibe or personality, coworking brings together people who may not have otherwise worked together. It gives them a reason to go into “the office” and get work done because that’s what everyone else is doing – and they know there’s a supportive community waiting.
Coworking is going to keep growing
Here’s a video of Liz Elam, owner of Link Coworking, here in Austin talking about the likely continued explosion of coworking spaces:
If you missed the 2011 Austin Coworking Happy Hour, take a look at some of the photos captured by Deskmag and some more here too: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=18547482893&aid=277409.
We want to give a huge thank you to the following companies that made the 2011 SXSW Coworking Happy Hour possible:
We’d like to thank the following sponsors for supporting copartying.