On Friday June 6, 2014, CloudVO hosted the first annual LOCAL-MOBILE Workplace-as-a-Service ™ Conference in San Jose, in conjunction with the local GWA Meeting that featured Larry Sharpe in the morning of the same day. The idea of the afternoon event was for The idea was for Landlords to join on-demand providers in a forum that would reflect on the evolution of the Workspace-as-a-Service industry, explore the workspace users’ shift from Regional to Local to Mobile, and understand how industry players are embracing new ways to respond to the growing demand for flexible workplaces.
The meeting exceeded expectations in so many ways. It was an occasion for members of the industry to meet with each other. It was an opportunity for folks from outside the industry, including Landlords and Enterprise Players, to get acquainted with on-demand service providers and their formidable and diverse value proposition. Our speakers captivated the audience with thought-provoking statements and analyses:
Laurent Dhollande, CloudVO CEO, inspired us by solidly inscribing the Workplace-as-a-Service ™ industry in the Sharing Economy, the #1 buzz in Silicon Valley. He placed local operators in the same breath as some of the sexiest Shared Economy companies in the Valley today. Laurent showed us why local providers have an advantage over large companies and why users’ criteria differ when they are MOBILE compared to when they search for a recurring LOCAL solution.
Scott Chambers, COO of Pacific Workplaces and President-elect of the Global Workspace Association, drew an exciting picture of a $10.9 billion industry growing at 15%/year, and he shared an ambitious vision for embracing new segments of our industry that we may not have always thought of in the past.
Steve King, Partner at Emergent Research, let Scott use his slides that confirmed Scott’s estimate of the size of the industry. Steve’s slides also showed a phenomenal growth of the coworking segment, the fastest growing large segment of the industry. Steve’s forecast of 1 million coworkers by 2018, or 5X today’s number, fueled more excitement in the audience about the opportunities available to all operators.
Keith Warner, Managing Partner at Pacific Workplaces and Co-founder of CloudVO, shared amazing insights on the Network Effect by Regus, why it is such a critical value to them, and what independent providers can do about it. His anecdotes and colorful insights gained from the CloudVO ™ team’s mystery shopping of Regus were invaluable.
Andrea Pirrotti, Chief Marketing Officer at HappyDesk, explained why this new venture was formed. This was a vibrant testimony to the multiple opportunities available for all players in the industry, operators and service providers alike. She brought to bear her unique insights as a former VP of Global Marketing at Regus, and helped us understand the importance of technology and open standards in the industry.
Fred Pilot, Co-founder of Work Anywhere Nation and former policy analyst for the State of California, gave us insights into two decades of discussions within the State of California on telework… with little results so far. Fred gave us a sense of the tremendous resistance to change within the State administration. Realizing the tremendous progress made by the Federal Government in that respect, Fred also gave us a sense that this situation could change fast with the emergence of a new generation at the helm of the state in the years to come. Meanwhile not much may change without the necessary top-down political will, but we can all be ready and help with the conversation.
The LOCAL – MOBILE conference followed a fantastic workshop organized by the GWA local San Francisco Area network, featuring Larry Sharpe, Partner at Neo-Sage, who was attended by more than half of the folks who attended the LOCAL-MOBILE afternoon session. The consensus by all participants was that Larry’s Persuasive Presentation workshop was nothing short of extraordinary, equipping the participants with new tools and philosophy to approach workspace users. Thank you, Larry for the enormous impact you had on us all!
The success of the first event is leading us to plan a repeat next year on a much grander scale. We envision this annual LOCAL-MOBILE Workplace-as-a-Service ™ conference to be a cross-roads for On-Demand Office Providers to meet; and for Investors, and Enterprise users, who share a common interest, to understand how the various forms of Workplace-as-a-Service ™ can help better achieve everyone’s objectives. We will plan on a full day event, where Operators meet Landlords, Investors and Enterprise Users, to possibly come out of these meetings with new partnerships and joint business plans. Join our Workplace-as-a-Service ™ LinkedIN Discussion Group for more data-driven discussions with our community of workspace providers, one chewable data-bite at a time.
CloudVO ™ Analysis Team