Qtly is not for everyone. The event (formerly known as CONVENE) is squarely aimed at shared space owners and managers.
Its objective is for the shared space community in the five boroughs to meet, share their tales, and learn from each other's experiences. The agenda is completely determined by the attendees - and it'll be coming to NYC on Tuesday, 6 June.
We caught up with its organisers to find out more about Qtly and what its New York leg will offer to the city's shared space community.
How would you describe the Qtly events?
Qtly is a series of local events for the shared workspace industry. Having been the former producer of GCUC and attending so many other larger “international” coworking conferences I know the value of attending, but there are so many spaces that can’t afford to attend or don’t know they take place. Touring spaces around the world for Coworkaholic I’ve also witnessed that many spaces are not communicating or building a local industry group. Qtly’s goal is to provide a foundation for local operators to connect.
What's the format?
It’s a half day event - not too long. We share data, facilitate two unconferences and do a “Mapping the Landscape” activity. You can find more detailed info here: http://bit.ly/QtlyNYC
What topics come up, based on previous events?
A lot of interesting issues. In LAX we tackled the secrets to working with the “big guys” jacking up AdWords rates; in ATL we talked about issues with taxes; in MIA there was a lot of talk about “capping your CAM” and finding a good tenant rep broker - the list goes on.
And how do you think New York will be different from other locations?
It won’t be - we might have more people attend, but will be the same for the most part. I’m hoping attendees will be more interested in attending. In some smaller cities, it’s surprisingly difficult to get operators to meet together - they are focused on competition, rather than collaboration.
With events like GCUC now coming to NYC, there seems to be a real buzz around coworking in the city - what makes your event stand out from the crowd?
In each city, there have been operators that meet each other for the first time. There are spaces that we “discover” that no one else knows about because we get more types of spaces using the term “shared workspace” rather than coworking.
If you had to pick one standout moment from all the other Qtly events - what would it be?
Meeting a woman in Mexico City that shared her story as to why sharing knowledge and resources is so important. She researched opening a workspace for woman-owned businesses for almost eight months before she discovered the word “coworking”. Upon learning the word coworking, she raced home and didn’t leave her computer for six hours as she discovered a whole new world of information.
And what does the future hold for Qtly?
More cities in North America, Europe, Asia. Three cities have already started working on creating local associations after participating in Qtly.