Office Evolution Conference 2017 Recap


We were in Brooklyn, NY last week for the Office Evolution Conference 2017, which brought together GlobalWorkspace Association and NAIOP commercial real estate development, for a first-of-its-kind event partnership. The event was a great success, and below are the details of how this unique conference played out.

We were proud to once again be a platinum sponsor at the event. Our team enjoyed speaking with attendees about our workspace management platform and showcased our new UI which will be available in Q1 2018.

We also got a chance to listen to some of the best in the CRE and Coworking industries speak on various topics. Here are some of the biggest takeaways and highlights from the sessions:

In ‘What’s your Secret Sauce?’ Sarah Fustine of Think Big Partners talked about the keys to having your shared office space in an accessible location. Walkability is vital. Suburban expansion is happening, but the majority of most successful Coworking happens in urban, walkable areas. She also said the average age of her members is 46, disputing the notion that the millennial effect is primarily responsible for the boom in Coworking.

John Arenas, CEO of Serendipity Labs, said he believes the “world’s worst business to be in right now is owning an office building,” due to cost levels being absurdly high and Coworking on the rise.

In ‘Creating Value in Common Spaces’, Chris Kelly, Co-founder of Convene, shared a statement that was very impactful. He said that while ‘The world is moving so fast…’ is a common line, the world will never again move as slowly as it is now because technology drives the speed of everything to be faster and more developed.

Creating value via extra amenities has become almost standard at this point, whether it’s a game room, workout areas, community programs, food trucks, etc. Richard Peiser, professor at Harvard Grad School of Design, said 89% of responders in a recent survey said extra amenities such as these were important to the workplace.

Casey Clark, CEO of Cultivate Advisors, spoke on the importance of marketing. The 3 main avenues to reach clients online is via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Adwords. Each has specific advantages and needs to be used effectively to maximize your marketing. There are 5 persona elements to follow, he explained, and if you don’t follow these, you’ll never get the ideal return on traffic or income. They are:

1) Problem
2) Pain Points
3) Demographics
4) Psychographics
5) Goals

Finally, Mike Ponticelli, VP of Bisnow, gave some stats in his ‘Going Viral’ session that were truly remarkable. It is estimated that CRE makes up between $500B and $1 Trillion of our nation’s GDP. That’s more than the majority of nation’s total GDP! He also shared that about 35% of employees in CRE are age 55+ which clearly signifies change is forthcoming in the industry as it gets younger.

And that’s a wrap from Office Evolution 2017 with GWA and NAIOP!  We had a great time seeing our industry friends and meeting new friends at the event.  We look forward to returning next year, and hope you are able to make it as well. It’s a learning, networking, and entertaining event that shouldn’t be missed.