Survival Guide for Coworking Conferences

Crowdsourced from conference veterans for first-time attendees like us.

Next week we attend our first coworking conference (of probably many, many more).

And knowing that we can’t be the first one’s attending such an event for the first time, we called out to friends, partners operators and members of coworking communities around the world to help us put together a kind of ‘Survival Guide for attending a Coworking Conference’.

We wanted to keep it simple and informative, and so asked 6 do/don’t questions and a single open-ended question asking for any pro-tips to getting the most out of these kinds of events.

You can check out the full Survival Guide on our medium publication (by the very awesome Bernie) or check out the summary of some of our favourite and most popular responses below:


  • The 1 thing to do before arriving at the conference.


  • Sign in to the Copass Camp
    @AMChronicles

    Think of one thing you hope to learn, and one thing you hope to share with others.
    @alexhillman

    Do your research on who's attending and who you would like to speak with during the conference. Also make sure you know the agenda so you can make sure you don't miss anything.
    @lady_jecca

    Research the speakers and attendees; read through the different social media groups and introduce yourself!
    @thecoworkaholic


    Make a list of goals for the conference: things you hope to do or people you hope to connect with.
    @catjohnson


  • The 1 thing NOT to do before arriving at the conference.


  • Question whether you should be there
    @catjohnson

    Worry about not getting to meet people. The only way not to meet people is to actually hide.
    @kameraad52

    Planning so much stuff there is no place left for serendipity
    @shalf

    Worry about the schedule.
    @alexhillman


    overthink it.
    @cobot.me



  • The 1 thing to bring with you to the conference.


  • Your expertise in the industry
    @spheremail

    Stickers from your home-community!
    @shalf

    Snacks and an extension cord
    @thecoworkaholic

    Good notebook, pens, biz cards, questions
    @theMarkEaton

    Your curiosity.
    @alexhillman


    Something to take notes. I take my ipad with a keyboard, but a notebook or phone does the job, as well.
    @catjohnson



  • The 1 thing NOT to bring with you to the conference.


  • Your Ego!
    @catjohnson, @thecoworkaholic and @alexhillman

    a fancy business outfit you don't feel comfortable wearing
    @cobot.me

    Work, don't try and work and participate in the conference
    @theMarkEaton

    Your daily business to-do list.
    @shalf


    Your swim suit
    @spheremail



  • Things to do at the conference.


  • Listen, learn, connect
    @catjohnson

    Talk to the person sitting next to you.
    @alexhillman

    Introduce yourself to others. Make people feel welcome. Invite people out to dinner.
    Bo

    Listen to others. Talking about achievements from members of your local community. Document and share online as much as you can.
    @shalf


    Network and make friends
    @spheremail



  • Things to NOT do at the conference.


  • Come into workshops late and make a lot of noise about it.
    @kameraad52

    Spam people with news about your product/service/idea.
    @catjohnson

    Stay on your own/smartphone/laptop
    @AMChronicles

    Don't worry about impressing anybody. Don't talk about what you're GOING to do (talk about what you've done instead).
    @alexhillman

    Catch up on emails. Put on your OOO and enjoy yourself!
    @lady_jecca


    Don't assume that everyone else knows more than you.
    @alexhillman



  • Pro Tips: Things to get involved with around/before/after the conference.


  • Tweet!!! Live tweeting from conferences is fun and a great way to share info + ideas.
    @catjohnson

    For introverts: please follow me on Twitter/look me up at the conference and I will try to connect you with folks. I understand introversion deeply. Introduce yourself on the Google group and say you are coming and come to the European Coworking Assembly events and post conference sendoff!
    @kameraad52

    Try to go to dinner/drinks with small groups (no more than 5) in a place where you can have a real conversation. Ideally with people you just met.
    @alexhillman

    think about running an unconference session. hold a local event back home to share your findings with those who couldn't attend.
    @cobot.me

    If you arrive early, see how you can help the organizers...set up/pack up, etc
    @theMarkEaton

    Look for the Ouishare radio guy (a bald guy eating avocados and carrying a portable recording device everywhere :o))
    @AMChronicles

    Find one idea or action or activity that people expressed interest on working together on and be the person who actually does it. Keeps you in touch with great people.
    @thecoworkaholic

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About the Author

Hector Kolonas

Hector Kolonas

Passionate about connecting entrepreneurial communities, so that amazing people can take their businesses from anywhere to everywhere.