It’s undeniable that 2020 threw much of the world into extreme disarray, even if it did create some interesting new opportunities for the coworking and flex. workspace sector.
With many inspiring humans, companies and movements leveraging included.co to support their communities, we wanted to share what we worked on, and why, during 2020 – as well as some of the results.
We thank you for your trust, business and support in enabling entrepreneurship in neighborhoods all over the world.
Expanded Network Reach
Expanding the network has been our key KPI since launching version 1 of included.co in October 2015.
We’ve always believed that the most scalable and sustainable way to provide businesses with unprecedented access and buying-power is through business communities.
The more communities we partner with, the more businesses we support, and the better opportunities and business relationships we can create.
We entered 2021 with 718 public* partner communities, alliances and platforms registered on the included platform.
*This excludes any current private betas and all participating communities who’ve opted out of having public profiles.
Whilst this is just 5.4% up from October 2020, where we had 679 public partner communities, it is up 13% from our January 2020 numbers.
We share these numbers with an appreciation and understanding that a number of our partnered workspaces needed to make shifts and hard-decisions in 2020, including closing-up and/or regrouping.
We thank all our partners, past and present, for all they do, and have done, for local entrepreneurship.
The estimated total number of business decision-makers with includedPerks access has stayed consistent at over 60,000 taking into account both the lower utilization of physical spaces and the increasing engagement of virtual-only or hybrid communities.
New Diversified Offerings
includedPerks Premium was introduced in January 2020, introducing a paid-tier for our perks technology after 5 years of supporting hundreds of coworking spaces with just our Core perks offering.
These additions proved extremely useful in allowing us to rapidly roll out includedPerks for Virtual Communities to better support workspace communities who went fully-virtual or switched to a hybrid between online and offline offerings.
The original launch strategy of Premium was paused as we dove head-first into providing technical, strategic & emotional support to our partners facing lockdowns and other restrictions on the ground in 60+ countries.
In June we introduced includedExperts to bring expert-led fixed-price services to 1000s of growing businesses.
Our first includedExperts offering is WordPress support, bringing 3 tiers of affordable expert support packages for the world’s most popular content management system to both the members and operators of business communities everywhere.
Pilot Ambassador Program
We’ve always been extremely lucky to be supported by amazing people both inside and outside of the coworking world.
During 2020 we worked with a handful of coworking leaders to begin laying the foundation for a robust, global & rewarding ambassador program.
Whilst the ultimate goal is to work with passionate community leaders to better support regional and hyperlocal business communities, at scale, we’re building this slowly to try our best to get this right.
The aim of our first ambassador cohort is to refine what exactly it means to be an included Ambassador and how best we could all work together, asynchronously and across all timezones.
Be sure to check in with the first cohort here, and connect with your closest included Ambassadors, they’re all great humans and community leaders.
Global Resource Investments
Having supported communities through crises around the world, we know first-hand that sticking consistently to your mission during downturns is a good long-term strategy.
And so, we dug deep to see how best we could invest into resources that would support community leaders, and the local businesses they support.
ThisWeekInCoworking.com – in week 29 we launched a weekly newsletter curating and summarising some the coworking stories, resources, insights, event invites, conversations folks may have missed.
Newsletters in 2020 saw an average open rate of 62%, with 1000s of additional views online and across social media, so we’ll be doubling down on this resource and experimenting with new ways and mediums to create useful and interesting discussions around the weekly content and trends.
ProptechUpdate.com – the fun quarterly video challenge we launched in 2019 got its own archive, newsletter and domain in 2020.
We’ve invested heavily into this resource and will be releasing new functionality to better help connect workspace operators to the right software (and the teams that build them).
Coworking + Childcare challenges series – with schools in lockdowns, we explored how coworking leaders were trying to help tackle childcare challenges for their communities.
With the immense pressure so many parents are still under, we expect to invest further into this resource, hopefully helping more community leaders provide support programs for parents, students and care-givers.
Community Ops deep-dives series – video, audio and transcribed series where we invite an expert to deep-dive into a topic plaguing thoughts and forums across the coworking and business community sectors.
We’ve already got more interesting, but very challenging, topics scheduled for discussion.
There’s been countless optimizations, design and accessibility tweaks to the platform as a whole, but the most popular visible upgrades are listed below.
Embedded and hosted includedPerks portals can take custom stylesheets on the Premium tier, keeping deals on-brand and improving the members’ or tenants’ perk experience.
Double-check technology was added to better protect member perks from being claimed by non-members.