Monday, 23 April 2012

Getting the co-working message out!

A great day was had at the North East Expo exhibition last week.  Business people from all over the North East region congregated at the Racecourse in Gosforth to exhibit their businesses, or to attend a series of business development seminars and see what was on offer. Networking, marketing, selling, relationship building; it all happened that day. 

This was also the day I unveiled our new promotional banner and literature for Colleagues on Tap to the North East, and the feedback was fabulous!  

The benefits of co-working are hard to argue with - virtually everyone that approached the stand on the day enthused about the concept and recognised how or why they should get involved.  That's great news for the region's emerging co-working spaces, and of course for the homeworkers themselves - the greater the variety of businesses that attend Colleagues on Tap the better, ultimately, the co-working experience will be.

Colleagues on Tap provides people the opportunity to 'dip their toe in the water' to experience a new way of working, but critically this can complement working from home rather than replacing it.  Providing opportunities for people to get out of the home office for a change, have a change of scene, meet new people, in the way hundreds did at the Expo, but with the added benefit of being able to get their work done too, is definitely the way forward.  Of course some people do find that once they've experienced co-working, or working away from home, it really suits them and then start to look for workspace that will provide them the co-working experience.  These spaces, in the North East region at least, are pretty scarce, but I'm working on it!  

We've now teamed up with a couple of great businesses in Newcastle area that are evolving as dedicated co-working spaces (Newcastle Business Village and The Beacon), and through our newly launched Colleagues on Tap Associate Scheme we're hoping to encourage people who have space sat empty to consider co-working as a viable use of their space.  The Associate Scheme enables venues to run their own Colleagues on Tap co-working days to connect them with the local small business and home-based business marketplace, and to test out whether the development of a full-time space would be viable.  Demand for Colleagues on Tap days is rising as people discover the benefits of co-working as an antedote to working at home, so the more venues that take on this opportunity the better - so it really has to be win win.

For details of planned Colleagues on Tap co-working days go to the Co-working Calendar