Meeting Rooms are an indispensable amenity in any coworking space for three main reasons:
- Members need them for their own meeting requirements, both planned and sometimes impromptu
- Meeting rooms are an important revenue center, and a very profitable one at that
- Hosting meetings in your coworking space draws very desirable traffic that may convert into membership
What’s important to full-time members is that the meeting rooms are there and accessible when they need to host a meeting that cannot be accommodated in their office. Everyone likes “free,” but the availability of the rooms are more important than the price.
This is important to realize because the opportunity to monetize the meeting rooms outside of your membership is significant.
If you have a coworking space with 50 to 200 members, maintaining two meeting rooms and one day office is the bare minimum to provide the level of service that shared office space members expect. Many centers, particularly those with a healthy virtual office business, will have 5 and sometimes 10 or more meeting rooms and day offices.
The average number of meeting rooms in the U.S. is 3.5 per location, with 75% at 4 meeting rooms or more. As a reminder, these statistics come from analyzing the CloudVO inventory of 2,500 meeting rooms published on CloudVO.com, out of 900 partners worldwide with two-thirds of them in the United States. In some cases, operators do not publish all their inventory for online bookings which may slightly under estimate the true inventory numbers.
Monetizing Meeting Rooms is Too Important to Ignore
Whereas some free access to meeting rooms for full-time members can be a good idea, the opportunity cost associated with “free” is very high and the ability to monetize the rooms to outside visitors is too important to ignore. A better idea is to make them available by the hour to the public, and market them via resellers such as CloudVO as well as via your own local marketing efforts.
Pacific Workplaces estimates that the revenue generated by its meeting rooms (over 100 rooms in 18 locations) is 125% to 300% what it could generate by converting the rooms as full-time offices instead. The larger the room, the bigger the opportunity cost. Hence, it pays to have an aggressive meeting room profit center strategy as many CloudVO partners have found.
Over the last 10 years, we have seen a drastic reduction in ‘free’ meeting room hours provided to full-time members by operators, and a significant increase in meeting rooms available online via resellers such as CloudVO, Liquidspace, or DaVinci.
Diversity of Meeting Room Size is Key
The below graph compares CloudVO operators with Regus in relation to number of meeting rooms per category. The data suggests that 54% of CloudVO operators offer at least one Day Office, 47% offer at least one small meeting room, 81% at least one medium size toom, 48% at least one large conference room, and 14% at one or more extra large rooms with more than 21 seats of capacity.
We did notice a slight decrease in meeting room inventory overall compared to our last survey in 2019, especially for small meeting rooms and day offices, probably due to meeting room conversion to full-time private offices during the pandemic. However, we suspect a rebirth of the meeting room business in the months to come. Therefore, we recommend you have a diversity of room size: at the very minimum 1 day office, 1 medium size room, and 1 large size meeting room. Make sure you have online meeting room booking capabilities that are compatible with your resellers and aggregators to make managing bookings seamless.
For more information on how to monetize your meeting rooms and day offices, please check out our updated 2021 Meeting Room White Paper.