Coworking Software

Good, bad, and just plain weird meeting room rental stories

Coworking spaces don’t just rent desks and offices. A comprehensive business model of flex workspace includes meeting room and conference room rentals as part of their revenue stream. Many operators go the extra mile to attract diverse uses of their conference spaces. 

The varied use of meeting rooms in coworking spaces has been a crucial factor in attracting renters of all types and scales, from startups to multinational corporations. 

Meeting rooms are a valuable amenity for members, but they’re also a resource for the community at large. And often, external renters have creative and, perhaps, unexpected ways to use meeting rooms. 

Several members of The Lab, a vibrant community of operators and managers led by Cat Johnson, who also runs Coworking Convos, shared their unique experiences of renting out meeting spaces.

When a music video shoot goes... wrong

Many spaces are beautifully and uniquely designed, attracting renters who want a backdrop to their projects. The aesthetic of the space was definitely the appeal for several unique renters at FireWorks Coworking in Marietta, Georgia, as Community Coordinator Courtney Schwartz can attest.

“Due to our space’s vibe, we have had a few people come in and film in our space. We have had everything from podcasts to life coaching videos to music videos. We even filmed a movie in our space. We had someone come in who was being interviewed by Fox News and wanted to use our space for that interview that went live.”

They were nearly all good experiences. But the music video?

“We’d never do that again!” Schwartz shook her head. “We were not sure what to expect, as my Community Manager and I were both relatively new to the coworking industry and didn’t know how to properly vet individuals. But we were not prepared for the loud music, the costume changes, and the hair and makeup to go on during business hours. It was definitely not fit for a coworking space!”

When Kramer vs Kramer is in the conference room

In upstate New York, Cowork Kingston has had some memorable renters. Community Manager Melanie Cozzolino helped a virtual yoga class setup in their meeting room. 

“We also had a pregnant member who would work out in the room — that one was a surprise.” she recalled. “And then we hosted a deposition, during which the opposing parties screamed at each other the whole time. I had to follow up with a not welcome back email.”

Like many operations, Cowork Kingston is listed on aggregator sites and booking services. The deposition in particular was one such user.

“I cannot express how bad the situation was,” Cozzolino said. “No one should have to put up with the behavior we experienced that day. Not only did they scream at each other in the room and we could all hear it, but they would then come into the communal space and aggressively confront each other. So our regular community experienced that behavior. Bad review or not, everyone should have a limit and this was ours.”

When some performances are better than others

Katherine Chestnut of Alkaloid Networks coworking hosted a theater production in her space in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“It was developed by immersive, site-specific Found Spaces theater and called Empty Rooms,” she shared. “They wanted to do it in a coworking space since the story was about female tech developers.” The company used an open area that featured couches and a projector. “It was fun!” Chestnut said. “They were very respectful of the space. I would totally have them back.” 

Another music performance group called SoFar Sounds brought in an audience of 75 people, which proved a bit too much for Chestnut.

“It stressed me out like crazy,” she recalled. “The organizers were nice and respectful but I had dozens of people in here that I didn't know, and I was worried about members' property the whole time.”

When members bring all their friends

At The Shop Coworking Spaces, Community Manager Anne Olson welcomes a biannual conference of crypto/blockchain developers that calls for creative solutions to capacity issues.

“We used a combination of offices, conference rooms and commons areas to accommodate 100+ people,” she shared. “The founder was an existing member that wanted to upgrade the hacker house experience with us at The Shop! It was a learning curve for sure — and talk about a stress test to take on more than 75 new members overnight. But after some trial and error, it led to some really amazing stories/events.”

When software can help you with your meeting room rentals

All these stories are proof that meeting rooms help grow your member base, and connect you to the community. But also managing those meeting room rentals can be time consuming and chaotic! That's where the right coworking space management platform for meeting room rentals comes in. 

With user-friendly software and robust automation,  space management system Coworks can streamline the process, making it easier to keep track of bookings, availability, and payments. Coworks can also provide valuable insights into usage and trends, allowing for better decision-making. 

Here’s what your coworking space software should do to help you manage meeting room rentals:

  • Easily embed rental forms on your web site 
  • Update inventory in real time
  • Designate booking hours for teams within your space
  • Establish set hours of use for rooms
  • Generate reports of all your space's bookings and meeting room occupancy
  • Automatically assign (and revoke) door access for external groups who booked your space
  • Set minimum times in advance that people are allowed to book a space
  • Enable current capacity or occupancy status of bookable meeting spaces
  • Allow for automated padding between bookings for cleaning, etc
  • Assign custom permissions to meeting rooms and resources
  • Customize booking notification emails
  • Create blackout dates for holidays that fall outside your normal working hours.

Yes, Coworks software does all of this. And more. Get a short demo or reach out to learn more.

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