The final countdown…day 3

The end is near, I’ve survived a conference, wow.

Was it better than expected? Yes, as I have learnt, finally, to have no expectations of others or anything that is outside of my control.

Could it be better? Well, I think the even better question is, can it be even better? It was overall a great 3 days, where I connected with existing friends, made new ones, I learnt many things about coworking and I could make my coworking business even better, and I laughed, heard great stories and made some very exciting new connections.

So how could it be even better?

Well, for me, more of the open discussion forums and topics suggested by the participants and facilitated by them.

Slightly less of the talking at us and reading slides, but that is a personal thing and I could always choose to go grab a coffee or do some work when those sessions are on.

Overall, well done to Coworking Europe and the team who put it together.

Thanks to all the great people who participated and shared their knowledge and stories.

What next? Who knows other than there will be many exciting conversations to come in the coming weeks and months that have been ignited from the connections this week here in Dublin.

Finally, as a Copass Camp veteran, I always come away with renewed energy from the collective inspiration that their camps bring, I have come away this time with an extra boost from attending the conference.

That is the value I’ve gained from attending.

Now we are talking…talking coworking

Day 2, Coworking Europe Conference and Copass Camp Dublin.

I am still here, day 2 of a conference, WTF. So yesterday was mixed, the morning was painful for me, too much jargon, serviced offices, real estate and slides, with exception of Hector’s amazing and very funny slides in his ‘best of the day’ talk.

The evening was great, we had a small group connecting over dinner and sharing and chatting. The human element that keeps bringing me back to Copass camps.

I knew today would be good. It is, sorry to break into jargon, unconferencing day, open sessions put together by the participants and this is the real practical, knowledge sharing stuff, that has huge value. Listening to people who are doing it.

The other thing that signified a good day was ahead, we started off learning 5 different handshakes and practicing them on each other. Great physical human connection, this is what is often missing from conferences and life.

One of the first sessions, which was a session suggested by Bernie, Jeanine and me, was an open group discussion simply based on the struggles/problems that small independent coworking spaces face. The dirty end of coworking as opposed to the 5 million-member super shiny desk factories, filled to the brim with their happy shiny people sitting in leather sofas, perfectly chilled, and sipping their low fat chipa-mocha-latte-cinos polishing their investor-ready slide decks on their Macs(OK so that’s sounding a little bitter Philip).

The discussion was passionate, and I felt it could have gone for another hour with topics ranging from noise, commisions, optimum size for a coworking space to work, cleaning, loneliness, and a few more. Talking about the everyday lives of a struggling space owner.

I then moved onto a session discussing systems, software, invoicing, platforms and so on. Not an area I know much about, admitting again in public that I don’t know everything. Again, an open discussions, with some very short pitches from software providers. I realise from this session that I’ve been a complete idiot running a coworking space for 5 years without software to manage it. Wow, I love this listening and learning stuff.

OK, so I am going to spare you the complete blow-by-blow of each session. The point is, this is what makes me want to come to conferences, shared real human stories.

Real human connections, not a person talking at me or worse still reading a slide that I can read myself.

Day 2 has been fab, it has been great learning, thanks to all the people who shared their knowledge and stories.