15 November 2010 ~ 5 Comments

The Coworking Host – A Freelancer’s Resource

3D Character and Question Mark

Go ahead - just ask your coworking host!

By Angel Kwiatkowski

One of the keys to a successful coworking environment is conversation, collaboration and interaction with other coworkers. Hopefully you’ve tapped into the amazing resources and brains that surround you and have discovered ways that coworking helps your small business. But have you also asked the host at your coworking community for their help and expertise?

Whatever it’s called at your coworking space—community manager, community animator, host/hostess—there are more resources in your coworking space than you might imagine. Whether you have recently joined a coworking space or have been coworking since the dawn of time, don’t neglect the fantastic resource that is your host.

So, what might you ask your coworking space host? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Can you recommend a good (accountant/lawyer/executive coach/etc.)?
  • May I run this (demo/logo design/ad slogan/etc.) by you for honest feedback?
  • Could we brainstorm for 10 minutes about my new project?
  • Do you know any local meet-up groups or events related to my field?
  • How would you respond to a client in this situation?
  • Do you know any other coworkers or people in the community that I could collaborate with on this project?
  • Would you be willing to host a seminar/workshop about (contracting/managing tough clients/easy small business accounting/etc.)?

Your coworking host will bring their own experiences and skills to the table (and likely the feedback & war stories they’ve heard from other independents and freelancers as well!). Although they may not be able to answer all of your questions, chances are good that he or she can point you in a helpful direction. So go ahead—ask your coworking host to help you grow YOUR business!

Share with us: Do you have a story about how a coworking host has helped you in your business? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: Flicker – SMJJP

  • Dave Ruzius

    Although I see the benefits of a ‘host’ (have a bit of issues with that term as it reminds me of someone carrying some nasty disease..) I truly believe it’s up to a Coworking project or place to merely facilitate the mechanism of sharing (by members rather than the host) exactly this type of information and knowledge you mention. Most of the information should come from members having an extensive and searchable profile by other members, members feeling like sharing events in their business space to a shared calendar provided by the project etc. Also why would you ask a host about dealing with clients and not your coworkers?

    I believe creating an environment (maybe using technology) that allows for aggregating collective wisdom is one of the key elements to make a coworking crowd a ‘wise crowd’.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds#Four_elements_required_to_form_a_wise_crowd

    Facilitation by a ‘host’ yes, but at the end the real wisdom is with the coworking community themselves…

    • http://www.dangerouslyawesome.com alexknowshtml

      I’m with Dave on this. If we’re going to use the host metaphor, I think of coworking like a great cocktail party. The “host” of a cocktail party should be making sure that the environment is primed for people having a great time, but not necessarily drinking with, talking with, or dancing with every single attendee.

      If you make sure the drinks and snacks are handy, and the music isn’t too loud, everyone’s going to have a great time.

  • http://www.coherecommunity.com Angel K

    I think it’s important to not get hung up on the title host, manager or facilitator. The argument here is, the host does more than make coffee and unlock the door. A good community curator serves as a flashlight in a thickly wooded forest. Perhaps the person has already polled their coworkers for a solution or maybe the person they need to talk to is a brand new member or isn’t in the space that day. The best host/curator/manager should have at least a cursory awareness of everyone’s skills/interests/niche to fill in the gaps.

  • http://twitter.com/juliesutter Julie Sutter

    Is an active and involved host necessary for me to cowork? No. Does an active and involved host make my coworking experience better? Yup.

  • http://www.salsabil.org Web Design

    I hate Co-Working ..