BCA Research delivers a compelling case for the growth of the UK’s flexible workspace industry. Both workspace operators and industry suppliers stand to benefit from the myriad of opportunities available, yet the UK-wide industry has long suffered deep regional divides that often reflect economic challenges at local level.
To help industry operators and suppliers combat these challenges and meet the opportunities of the wider market, the BCA held a series of regional roundtable events across the country. The intention was to bring industry members together, enable new connections, forge valuable relationships and share knowledge for mutual benefit.
“The session was extremely relevant and addressed the key issues we’re wrestling at the moment. It was a valuable event that re-confirmed our thoughts and is helping to steer our business in its current direction” - Charlie Beck, Bruntwood (attended Manchester roundtable)
Like every business, flexible workspace industry operators and suppliers must overcome various barriers to growth. From considerable challenges such as winning clients and holding price, to day-to-day centre management matters, the BCA aims to deliver real value for Members at local level.
“I loved listening to Tom Ball from Desklodge about his funky coworking space and Derrick Dickinson from Rio Designs. It was interesting to learn how layouts can maximise your space and create atmosphere. I have since applied this to my designated shared workspace, and I am also now more confident in changing office layouts to fit more workstations” - Jenna Paynter, UBCUK (attended Bristol roundtable)
In 2017, the BCA hosted roundtable conversations in Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Islington. Each event tackles different topics and the challenges associated with each, for instance:
“I was very impressed with the speakers, who were all very knowledgeable in their field and well-informed. It was particularly useful to learn how other operators are faring with the same challenges, such as the fall-off of telephony and how to package communications services. It was good to hear the opinions of others” - Charlie Beck, Bruntwood
In addition to expert speakers leading short, focused conversations, each roundtable event invites delegates to participate and share ideas, issues, and solutions.
“It was really interesting to learn how others charge for Internet usage, and why it is a good idea to keep internet as a separate charge on invoices” - Katie Purchase, BDC Works (attended Islington roundtable)
BCA Members frequently noted that the opportunity to get together in a small, friendly environment was one of the most valuable aspects of the event, as it enabled them to learn from others and discover how to overcome -- or avoid -- certain issues before they take root. What’s more, the environment also enabled natural networking and facilitated new connections.
“One of my top takeaways was meeting the suppliers that I have previously worked with but not met. I think that is really valuable in building relationships” - Katie Purchase, BDC Works
Following the success of 2017’s roundtable conversations, The BCA has more regional events planned in 2018 for Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Each session will follow a similar roundtable format with the intention of empowering regional BCA Members and Partners to engage, collaborate, create new connections and benefit from shared knowledge, to take their businesses forward, together.
“I found it to be a really informal and friendly meeting, but also very informative. It was such a relaxed way to hear from the providers as to situations they are facing on a daily basis and I found the whole afternoon was a very organic and natural forum that people felt comfortable contributing too. Well done BCA!” - Patricia Norris, Hollis PersonnelInformation on future roundtable events can be found here.