The first part of this post was written by Marc Navarro, frequent Cobot contributor and an organizer of the Coworking Spain Conference. The Coworking Spain Conference will take place April 26th and 27th in Valencia, you can find more information on their website.
When we program CWSC we are actually doing two things at once. On one hand, we are trying to reflect what is happening in the market by solving the immediate needs of users. On the other hand, we are trying to detect trends in the market and transfer that knowledge to the attendees so that they can anticipate what’s coming next.
In terms of content, it is a mix of classic coworking and coworking as an industry. That is, you can find a talk given by an operator of a massive coworking/coliving space in Madrid–and an hour later you can be discussing whether this is, at last, the year of Rural Coworking. Community and business are together in a single conference, whether neither topic is treated as a cliché but instead addressed with a critical perspective.
The content takes on a diverse range of perspectives. The program is designed to accommodate both veterans and novices (see the FlexWork Academy). It must accommodate attendees from Madrid, Barcelona, the rest of Spain, and other parts of the world (35% of the attendees are not based in Spain) without excluding anyone. It needs to be for coworking large and small, for employees and owners... Everyone who comes to the conference should leave the event having learned something new.
In this edition we have increased the content to 27 presentations, 80% of which will be in English (either because the speaker is English speaking or thanks to simultaneous translation). This is the second time in which the content of the conference will be dubbed to improve accessibility for all non-Spanish speakers. We have tried to make the experience more accessible for everyone, including the Agoras. What are the Agoras?
In 2019 we created a new format that replaces the unconference, which we found had stopped working the way it was designed to. Instead, we have a moderator with experience and a topic that we have carefully chosen. From there, on the content management side we connect that speaker with attendees that we know have experience in that topic to ensure that the session flows, is dynamic, and the content is up to the expectations of the attendees.
In terms of content, we have leading industry players in talks such as "WeWork's vision of the future of work" or "New types of spaces and products" and "From coworking to the ecosystem" by Utopicus and Aticco respectively. In the rapidly expanding realm of the connection of coworking with hospitality, we have talks by individuals from Wojo (Accor) and The Student Hotel.
By 2017 we had already incorporated a coliving track, the first to do so. We continue to address the topic with different talks ranging from why a traditional real estate would explore coliving to an Agora focused on the current and future reality of the concept. And after 2 years of a highly volatile coworking market, we have four talks dedicated to the data behind the current situation.
Moving away from the basics of the industry, we will dive into other topics such as creating a local coworking association, eliminating single-use plastics in your space, working from a space as if it were a collaborative project studio, or the challenge of managing a community in 2022. And since 2018, we’ve offered bookable 1-on-1 short sessions with industry veterans to have a personal chat with them.
Another aspect that we also try to take care of as much as possible is the user experience outside of the conference itself. Attendees not only learn inside the conference, but the sharing of experiences with other operators adds value and we consider it to be a part of the event. We kick off the conference with a dinner (usually well-attended) the day before the conference officially begins. Although it is an off-program dinner, you can see from the very first moment how close this coworking community is and that we love to welcome new entrants to the world of coworking. These activities are not only for the operators to learn but, in many cases, for them to feel for the first time in two years that they are surrounded by their peers.
If you decide to attend, you may be interested to know that we have a discount code that we can share with you to make it easier. Use the code COBOT_CWSC22 when you purchase your ticket for a special discount, and remember that there is a parallel event after the conference: the Flexwork Academy.
Why do we love CWSC at Cobot?
Written by Sam Bender, Senior Communications Specialist at Cobot
The organizers of the Coworking Spain conference have consistently been at the forefront of driving the coworking conversation forward. We’ve been attending since 2017 and in that time we’ve gotten to hear from some of the most engaging and insightful speakers around. And even better, the conference is structured in such a way as to make it easy to meet and get to know the speakers and attendees personally.
Before you touch down in Spain, the most important thing to know is that the conference is more than a series of talks. It’s an opportunity to join a community of people shaping coworking and coliving globally. That means communal dinners, lunches, and activities that form the heart of the Spanish coworking industry.
This is one of our favorite events of the year and we are so excited to see the speakers that the organizers have put together as it may be one of the best lineups I’ve seen. And after two years, we’re excited to see all of our old and new friends in one place once again!