Do you remember the first time you worked out of a coworking space? How about a time you tried a coworking space that was new to you? As space owners and community managers, it’s our job to create a welcoming environment for drop-in coworking guests and set them up for a successful day of work.

Here are tips for welcoming new people into your community and creating a friendly and inclusive environment that encourages visitors to return to your coworking space.

Provide a Tour

Tours of your coworking space are a great way for visitors and potential members to feel instantly welcomed. It’s an incredible opportunity to chat, explain community norms, point out amenities and conference room locations, as well as make introductions to other members. Make sure your guest knows how to get online, get coffee, access the printer or handle any other important needs.

Find Connection

Ask your drop-in questions. Where is home for your guest? Why is she visiting your town? What’s her job? Is the drop-in familiar with working out of a coworking space? And how did she hear about your space? An engaging conversation like this is naturally welcoming and equips a community manager with important information moving forward.

Make Introductions

Take what you’ve now learned about this visitor and choose a few members in your space that you think would be most compatible for an introduction. This could be a member who is in a similar line of work, grew up in the same area, or simply tends to be the most friendly by nature.

Introducing a new visitor to your members is a great way to build up your community and show customers they’re appreciated. Plus, it’s a way to show how your coworking community supports each other, which is one of the many perks of coworking.

Don’t Overwhelm the Customer

Being hospitable and genuine are vital roles of a community manager, but make sure to listen closely to your conversation and read the drop-in’s body language. The last thing you’ll want to do is overwhelm or distract your visitor from his work.

Sometimes a drop-in might need to focus on a project with an urgent deadline while another visitor may be stopping by to work socially. It all comes down to circumstances of the individual, so make sure you understand what your guest needs. In the end, your goal is to make the visitor feel welcome and to provide an environment for effective work and connection.

Offer Lunch Suggestions

Invite your guest to join your community for lunch or offer recommendations of where to go. Do your members usually eat in the kitchen together at a certain time? Lunch is a perfect opportunity to get to know a new member. If your guest is interested, offer up suggestions for the best places to eat in your area.

Inform Your Community

Whether it’s in a Slack channel, Facebook group, or quick email blast, let your members know that you have a visitor. Include the important details you’ve already learned and encourage your members to personally welcome this guest to your space.

Offer a Coupon Code

Give a first-time visitor a free day pass or offer a discount code for future purchases to incentivize a returning visit. This is a great way for your guest to feel welcome and likely come back to redeem the offer.

Follow Up

This one goes a long way. Always make sure to take time to follow up with your guests. It’s a great way to start building a relationship and potentially gain a new member. Follow up with the visitor via email or suggest finding a time to grab coffee together. This is an excellent opportunity to receive feedback. If your guest had a great experience, ask for a review on Google My Business or Facebook.

If your coworking space isn’t using Google My Business, this Coworking Community Call explains how to fully optimize this free tool. 

What Should You Do If Your Space Isn’t Staffed?

Does your coworking space operate without a staff person? If you don’t have a dedicated community manager there are several ways you can still communicate with drop-ins: 

  • A digital concierge service such as Proximity Wave is a perfect way to greet and check-in visitors, manage requests for tours, and notify your members of guests of deliveries. Proximity Wave is included with the Proximity Platformall you need to do is set up a tablet by your door or front desk.
  • Optimize signage around your space to communicate with members and visitors. This can be a welcome sign with the wifi information or you can create table signs for desks with instructions on how to register as a drop-in guest.
  • Add a page to your website called Book Your Free Trial Day to schedule a drop-in visit or tour. Calendly is a useful tool for easy online scheduling.

Overall, make sure your coworking drop-in guests feel comfortable, welcome and seen. It’s really easy to feel out of place in a new community but going the extra mile with these best practices will help your visitors feel right at home.

To help you gain confidence in building your community, Proximity is here to support you with free programs, resources and training that will spark new ideas, boost your skills and provide useful information. Happy coworking!

This post was originally published on October 31, 2018 and updated on February 6, 2020.