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Coworking... served hot: pop-up coworking spaces

‘The pop-up was an amazing way to teach people about coworking, and to introduce them to the idea of working in an open environment', said Marko, 'it was important exposure for Slovenia Coworking,’ which hopes to open a space soon.

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Certainly, a community cannot be built in a matter of days. But these events serve several purposes.

First, such huge visibility raises the profile of the movement and introduces the concept to a wide and diverse audience. Unlike an article or a discussion, the audience has the opportunity to experience the connections that are possible within a community-oriented space.

Second, for visitors, the connections and learnings that they take away from an event are more significant than what is normally experienced in a ‘networking area’ of a conference or fair.

‘They know that people want to connect,’ said Jaime. ‘They come with their business cards, they bring catalogues, but in 30 minutes you can see them sitting by themselves, looking into infinity, and thinking to themselves, 'what happened?' The difference [compared to what we’re doing] is quite big.’

Third, it is an effective way for a host to promote their own space or talents. 

It’s not quite like being a ‘coworking consultant’, since they are not teaching others how to fish. The aim is instead to promote the idea, existing spaces, and – in some cases – diversify their income.

Whether pop-up coworking spaces in environments like these are the most accurate representations of what a coworking space really is, is a point of contention. This said, it is unlikely that there will be a saturation of pop-up coworking spaces on the market, since to put on a project like this is a mammoth undertaking. Each of the three hosts notoriously has more than one large-scale project going on at any given time. These projects are not for the faint-hearted.

Whatever the outcome, these projects are nonetheless valuable to promote the movement, which will soon be more accurately described as an industry.

Perhaps Jaime says it best: ‘We love coworking, but we’re in business, too. What we’re selling is fast food for trade shows. But in between the hamburger buns, we're giving them nice food. The fries are ecological.’

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