Next up in our Community Spotlight is Advent Coworking! Located in the heart of the Queen City, Advent opened in 2015 and has since grown to over 250 members. Founded by Kevin Giriunas, their mission has been to “Build a Community of Creativity to Better Ourselves and the World.” After talking to their community manager Charlotte, we were able to learn more about Advent and their innovative community.
For Advent, authenticity is key. Advent strives to create an environment where members feel empowered to be productive, grow, and collaborate. A huge part of this open collaborative environment stems from the diversity of their members. Advent is home to podcasters, artists, marketers- the list goes on. With so many members, it is vital to still create a connected community.
Advent offers unique events to not only their community, but to the city as well. One of the most notable events is F*** up Night- a night where panelists share their stories of growth following mistakes they’ve made. Open to the Charlotte community, this night draws around 100 people interested in something different than just hearing success stories. Often times we learn more from our mistakes than successes. Most of their events are member requested which shows their dedication to serve each member’s needs for professional and personal development.
Collaborating with the larger Charlotte community is essential to Advent’s identity. Advent partners with different organizations such as Innovate Charlotte, Tech Talent South, Central Piedmont Community College and many others. Making connections in the community has been a huge factor in Advent’s growth. The space is expected to double in size by September, but how?!
“Word of mouth has been really big. If you focus your energy on really taking care of the people you have, you’ll get more people because they tell their friends. A lot of the growth that we’ve gone through has been because our members have reached out to their networks and said, “This is a great place.” – Charlotte Laun, Community Manager
Finally, we asked Charlotte two last questions about her experiences of managing a growing coworking space.
Q: What advice would you have for other coworking spaces starting out?
“Make sure your accounting is straight from the start.This is for any business but bookkeeping is very important. For community managers, you always have to be available to people. You learn the most when you interact with people and build those relationships with everyone and know your members personally.”
Q: What has been the most rewarding experience of managing your space?
“Being able to see other people’s development. You might have someone that comes in for a tour and they are just starting their business. And then they get a membership and then a year later they add another employee so they want an office. You get to see those steps in another person’s life and it is really rewarding to watch.”