14 Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, in our homes and in our workplaces. If the traditional office holiday party elicits a been-there-done-that sort of feeling, we encourage our CloudVO partners and friends to shake things up with events and projects that build community both inside and outside of your space.

Here are 14 tips for spreading holiday cheer and giving back to your community inspired by the community managers from our sister company, Pacific Workplaces (PAC).

1. Potluck Lunch
Keep things low-key with a potluck lunch. Invite employees and members to join and have each person bring something. This is a great addition to any of the other events, drives, or contests you’re planning to hold in your space. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring members together to enjoy food and chat. Themes can be around a specific holiday or just to celebrate your community.

Pacific Workplaces Oakland Holiday Potluck Event

2. Charitable Drive
This holiday season, several PAC locations are hosting charitable drives for clothing, food, coats and jackets, sleeping bags, blankets, toys, monetary donations, socks and more. The East Bay spaces have a competition to see who can collect the most food donations for the local food bank, the San Mateo location is holding a relief drive for those affected by the California wildfires, and Greenhaven is doing a blood drive.

Pacific Workplaces Oakland Food Bank Drive Holidays 2018

The Sacramento Capitol location is doing a donation drive for My Sister’s House, an organization that helps women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a safe haven, job training, and community services.

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento My Sisters House Dontation Drive Holidays 2018

3. Celebrate Member Strides
PAC Sunnyvale is hosting a New Year’s Social and “champagne day” to celebrate members whose businesses have made great strides during 2018. Members of the space have published books, had multiple FDA approvals and landed major accounts, so the community wants to celebrate with them.

4. Workspace Decorating Contest
Bring holiday cheer to your shared workspace by holding a decorating contest. Encourage members to decorate their dedicated desk, meeting room, or office in an effort to win best décor. Winners can be voted on by community managers and the award ceremony can take place during a holiday activity.

5. Gift Wrapping Stations
One of the simple joys of the holiday season is wrapping presents in cheerful paper and ribbons. Make it easy for members to wrap their gifts (and keep them secret) with an in-house wrapping area. Pleasant Hill and Palo Alto PAC teams create gift wrapping stations or rooms for members. PAC provides the wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, tape, hot cider, snacks and holiday music.

6. New Year’s Wish Board
A wish board is a great way for members to participate in something and have it displayed for everyone to see. In preparation for the new year, have members fill out a paper star, snowflake or other design with their 2019 resolutions and anything they’re looking forward to in the next year.

Pacific Workplaces Greenhaven Wish Board for Holidays

7. Ugly Holiday Sweater Day
Spark fun and laughter all day long with an ugly holiday sweater day. This is also the perfect opportunity to snap some pics for social media.

Pacific Workplaces Ugly Sweater Party Holiday Member Event

8. Care Bags
Holiday traditions at NextSpace San Jose include making care bags for the homeless. These bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event

9. Secret Santa
A Secret Santa is a fun way to spread holiday cheer. The Bakersfield team makes Secret Santa gift buying easier on members by displaying a poster in the lounge showing all the Secret Santa participants’ names and “Things I Like” underneath each name.

Pacific Workplaces Bakersfield Secret Santa Display Holiday 2018


If you want to add a new twist to your workspace Secret Santa, try doing a “modern” secret Santa where members exchange e-gift cards. No one has to worry about running around and shopping for something. Plus, who doesn’t love Target or Amazon? Tip: You can still draw names the old-fashioned way.

10. Holiday Tree
In Palo Alto, PAC members participate in a group tree decoration and lighting event, complete with popcorn strings, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

11. Gratitude Projects
You may have heard of a gratitude jar, where people write down things they’re grateful for and put them in a jar to be read later. Pacific Workplaces San Mateo is putting a twist on the practice with a Thankful Tree, where members can write what they are thankful for and display as little notes on the tree.

Pacific Workplaces San Mateo Thankful Tree Holidays 2018

12. Cocktail Classes
In San Francisco, PAC VO member company SF Mixology does various cocktail-based events for the space’s annual holiday party. This year, they’re teaching a cocktail class for members.

13. Giving Tree
The San Mateo PAC team has an annual Giving Tree to helps kids in need. The tree has a list of children’s names and what they need (basketball, toothbrush, backpack, etc.). Members can choose a name and supply the requested items.

14. Here Comes Santa
PAC Capitol in Sacramento invites Santa to make an appearance in the space. They have a member who volunteered for Santa duties and they invite parents to bring a small pre-wrapped, pre-labeled gift before the event for Santa to give to their child(ren). It’s a great photo-op and a good way to spread the holiday cheer to members and their families.

However you celebrate the holidays in your workspace and home, be safe and may your days be cheery and bright. Happy Holidays from all of us at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces.

Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays

Written by   Cat Johnson  and Sasha Bonar.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

The Importance of Customer Reviews to Market Your Coworking Space

If you’re not focused on getting customer reviews for your coworking space, you’re missing out on a golden marketing opportunity. Reviews for your workspace can be found on Yelp, Google, Facebook and more. Potential members pay attention to these reviews and you should, as well.

Forbes reports that online reviews are the best thing that ever happened to small businesses, explaining that “97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and three in four people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby end up visiting a local business within a day.”

The Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces

When people search online for a coworking space in your town, reviews can attract them to you if they’re positive, or keep them scrolling if they’re negative or if you don’t have any.

Customer Reviews and Social Proof

We rely heavily on social proof, including customer reviews, when making decisions about where to shop, eat, visit and work. We tend to search for these things when we actually need the product—meaning that people searching online for a local coworking space are likely to need a space right now.

“When a consumer uses a review platform like Yelp or Google My Business, the decision and urgency to buy are exactly what prompted the person’s search,” the Forbes article points out. “If traditional advertising is a megaphone that enables businesses to shout and see who’s listening, review sites are tractor beams that pull consumers toward local businesses precisely when they’re actively looking to spend money. That’s an invaluable opportunity for small businesses with tight — or non-existent — marketing budgets.”

Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces NextSpace San Jose Yelp Reviews

The Importance of Reviews for a Coworking Space

Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces explains that customer reviews are important for workspace operators because they:

  • Help provide a baseline for prospective members because customers rely on reviews from peers more than they trust the taglines of a brand.
  • Boost local listings for SEO. The more reviews, the more likely your local listing appears in search results, including, Yelp and Google. These local listings are integrated into organic search, paid ads, and map views.
  • Search engines see that you are an active brand when you receive a steady stream of reviews.

Customer reviews can also help strengthen your brand and, as Patel points out, “Brand reputation is everything.” Here are four ways customer reviews can help with your branding and marketing, from Patel and Kim Seipel, Marketing Manager at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces:

  1. Reviews establish brand authority and trust. Reading what others have to say about your space and services will move prospects further down the sales funnel.
  2. Having a healthy mixture of ratings allows customers to trust that you aren’t soliciting reviews or incentivizing for 5-star reviews. If a brand only has 5-star reviews, customers are less likely to trust that brand.
  3. With coworking spaces becoming increasingly popular, prospects have more options to choose from. A solid establishment of reviews can differentiate your space from another.
  4. Customers trust online reviews as much as they value personal recommendations. They look to reviews in helping them make their final purchasing decision.
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot Review

Using Third-Party Review Products

The CloudVO team recently started testing Trust Pilot, a reputation service that enables companies to automate the review collection process for online purchases. Trust Pilot users can add rich snippet widgets to webpages, which optimize those pages in an organic search by displaying a Google Seller Rating (GSR).

Google gathers ratings about your business from licensed review sites, including Trust Pilot. Strong seller ratings not only speaks to the validity of your business, but also helps the performance of your Google Ad Campaigns.

As Seipel explains, “There are 32 Google licensed third-party review sites, and after research we decided Trust Pilot would serve our particular needs best. Pricing and features vary between all the review sites, so it’s best to compare several and choose the platform which is aligned with your business goals.”

Benefits of using a third-party review platform for a coworking space include:

  • Automating the collection process saves time
  • Space operators don’t need to remember to follow up with all new purchases and incoming members on a daily basis
  • Space operators can trigger invites for new purchases by sending people a customized invite several days after a purchase, with at least one reminder if they haven’t submitted a review. “The invite template is easy,” says Patel. “You just select the star rating and add a comment if you wish.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot invite

Soliciting Customer Reviews for Your Coworking Space

When soliciting reviews, make it easy for customers. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Be consistent with how you ask, and when you ask, for reviews. Creating a process will also allow you to keep track of members you have asked per time frame (month or quarter)
  • Do not set a precedent with incentives for reviews. Members will expect a reward for submitting a review.
  • Use templates for your community managers to send out with customized information, links, do’s and don’ts.
  • Handle negative reviews with patience and understanding. Responding to a negative review is a potential opportunity to mend a relationship, demonstrate your brand values, and express your calm, cool handling of an uncomfortable situation. You can use a template for this, as well, but be sure to personalize your response to address—and fix when possible—the complaints of your unhappy customer.

Turning Casual Searches into Marketing Leads

Customer reviews can (and should) be part of the strategy for marketing your coworking space. Reviews help showcase your space and community, they provide social proof to people looking for a workspace, they provide a glimpse into your brand values, and they’re a powerful tool for turning casual web searchers into marketing leads.

How do you use customer reviews to market your workspace? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Crush Workspace Tours with These Five Tips

When giving a tour of your space, keep in mind that it takes as little as seven seconds to make a good first impression.  Maya Delano, Community Manager of NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz has compiled a “NextSpace-tastic Tour” video where she breaks down the art of touring a workspace prospect into five important steps. Read along and watch the video to see the “must-do’s” when giving a workspace tour that have been successful in curating a cohesive and involved community at NextSpace.

Get the digits

Introduce yourself with a handshake, exchange names, and have them sign into the iPad (this is very important). Having them sign into the iPad allows you to gather some information about them that you may use to follow up with them after the tour, and helps keep track of who toured and when.

CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices Capture Contact Information

Engage your prospect

People usually like talking about themselves.  Get the conversation rolling by asking your potential new member about what they do: What brought them here, what projects they are working on, etc. You can do this right at the beginning or spread your questions throughout the tour (it shows that we’re genuinely interested in our members’ work, and gives us a good feel if they are a positive fit for the community). This is important, because as much as you want to fill up your coworking space with hard-working and involved community members, not everyone will be a good fit, and that’s OK.

Your unique elevator pitch

Give them a well-rounded elevator pitch about what makes your space unique. We’re talking who we are, what we do, why we do it, and why they want it! Keep it simple, but have a little fun with it too, because this industry is fun! Nothing brings folks to snores quicker than a lame and over-the-top “salesy” elevator pitch. Be sure to put a strong emphasis on our commitment to combining space and community.

Coworking Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz First Friday Special Day Pass
CloudVO Partner NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Meeting Rooms and Workshop Events

Know your tour footpath

Map out the exact path you want to take for the physical tour of the space beforehand.  The order in which you show particular areas of your space should be intentional.  Space tours should have a nice flow that naturally highlight the uniqueness of your shared workspace environment.  Since all coworking spaces are not created equal, you’ll need to come up with the footpath that works for you while making sure to hit the following points:

  •   Membership levels you offer and all of their perks (Open Coworking, Dedicated Desks, Private Office, and Virtual Office plans)
  •     Show off all your meeting rooms
  •     Phone Booths
  •     Kitchen (showcase coffee, tea, appliances, cleaning policy, etc).
  •     Touch on mailbox services
  •     Printing, scanning and faxing
  •     Events board (give some examples of networking events held in the space, including happy hour and member lunch)
  •     Member wall (explain the importance of having one in every space i.e. for networking, a sense of community, engagement in the space, etc.)
CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Member Wall
NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Events Board

Always remember to periodically break for questions, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with too much information. Although your space may not offer all of these exact amenities, it’s imperative to showcase the amenities you do have. You want prospective members to feel empowered and visualize themselves in the space and utilizing the amenities.  

Offer a test drive

The final step is to let them know they can contact you with any questions and thank them for coming. Be sure to give them a rate sheet and one of your business cards, and, after using your trusty ‘superhero senses’ to determine whether they’re a good fit, offer them a free Day Pass to come and try out the space for themselves. Offering them a Day Pass is ideal because it will allow them to feel welcomed into your space and help them to determine if the space will work for them. Lastly, kindly show them to the door, shake their hand(s) and release them back into the world.

We offer resources for shared workspaces operators. Get more invaluable information like this when you join our global network of 700 locations.   Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


About CloudVO

CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Checklist for Terminating A Member (from your coworking space)

You just received notice from a member that although they loved being part of your awesome shared workspace community, it’s time to move-on.  After consoling yourself from that “break-up” feeling, you make note of all that has to be done from an operations perspective to terminate the member from your space.

Whether its remembering to stop recurring monthly invoices in your billing system, or ensuring their electronic key card access is de-activated once they move-out, there are several actions that need to be completed to ensure a smooth termination process.

Termination Checklist for Workspace Operators CloudVO Resource Library

Our Termination Checklist details what typically needs to be done to streamline this process and get you focused on what you really want to be doing – onboarding new members and connecting with existing members in your space.  

Workspace operators can download our high-level Termination Checklist below and customize to fit your specific processes and procedures.

Want access to resources specific to shared workspaces operators?  Join our network of 700 locations around the world. Visit us at  www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


About CloudVO

CloudVO    is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Nextspace Coworking Acquisition by Pacific Workplaces: Why? How? And Lessons Learned.

Laurent, CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces CEO, recently shared Pacific Workplaces’ experience with the recent acquisition of NextSpace Coworking locations in a presentation to Coworking Europe in Dublin, Ireland. That presentation led to much discussion, interest, and requests for slides by coworking operators that did not have a chance to make it to the Dublin conference.

Laurent accepted to record the presentation after the event, and make it available for viewing through our blog, thinking that the slides alone fell a bit short to understand his responses to the questions he had been asked to address:

  • What drove the acquisition?
  • Why Pacific Workplaces refer to it as a merger?
  • What were the motivations behind the acquisitions?
  • What were the challenges
  • Lessons learned

What attracted much attention to this merger/acquisition was that the companies came from very different directions in the shared office industry.

NextSpace is a legendary name in the open coworking industry, with charismatic co-founders that attracted the spotlights as leaders of the coworking movement in the last decade. To this day, people come from all over the world to see how coworking is being done at NextSpace Santa Cruz and NextSpace Berkeley. In the last few weeks alone co-founder Ryan Coonerty hosted delegations from China and Japan of folks wanting to learn about how the best of coworking was being done.

Our partner (and CloudVO’s sister company) Pacific Workplaces, which at its inception came from a serviced office concept, has attracted its own spotlights from the industry, thanks to its methodical building of a highly performant portfolio of flexible office spaces, it’s success with virtual offices, and its own leaders highly respected profile in the coworking and flexible office space industry.


About CloudVO ™

CloudVO   is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 600 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

About Pacific Workplaces

(Pac) manages 19 shared office space locations, mostly in California, that offer a wide range of part-time and full-time office space, including virtual offices, private offices, open coworking, and mini-suites, with curated communities of professionals who help each other be successful in their respective enterprises. Members have access to furnished offices, hot desks, meeting rooms, VoIP telephony, unified messaging, phone answering services, IT support, admin support, online legal library, and to our CloudTouchdown network of day offices and meeting spaces with over 650 locations worldwide, under a subscription or a pay-per-use hosted model   Pac refers to as Workplace-as-a-Service.™ Pac partners with landlords to develop and operate coworking and other types of shared office spaces. The  Pac model responds to trends toward a more distributed workforce, increased flexibility, sustainability, the desire to join professional communities, with a growing demand from professionals associated with small and large firms alike.  All   Pac centers are operated by PBC Management LLC under the Pacific Workplaces, Enerspace Coworking, and Nextspace Coworking brands.