In only a few weeks it’s time again for Coworking Unconference Asia – CU Asia; one of the biggest yearly coworking events in the world. It’s a 5-day program full of workshops, discussion, excursions and connection with thought-leaders and enthusiasts in the industry. It’s a big deal – people fly from all across the world to attend the event and after going once, they often return in the following years. I talked to three people about their CU Asia experience.
Uwe Allgäuer is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Coworking Bansko in Bulgaria. He attended CU Asia for the first time in 2017 and is going back this year. The same goes for Brittnee Bond, who founded and runs a consulting company called Bond Works and who travels all over the world and will fly to the event from Chiang Mai, Thailand. This year, she’s helping out with the unconference part of the event. I also talked to our own Cowork7x24 founder Serkan Kurtulus. 2017 was his first CU Asia year and he was so impressed, that he decided to be a gold sponsor for this year’s event. He’s flying in all the way from Istanbul, Turkey.
Knowing all three of them will return to this year’s event, it should come as no surprise that they were all very impressed with CU Asia 2017. Brittnee tells: ‘I LOVED last year’s event. There was a good mix of learning about the local entrepreneurship scene in the host country (Spotlight Thailand was great last year) and the global coworking scene. The coworking academy had so many good tips, but the unconference part was my favorite! But overall, even just the networking alone made it worth it!’
Thinking back of last year, Uwe, too, has fond memories. ‘The event was very well organised’ he says. ‘Not only did they do a great planning of the entire event but also the execution was amazing. It seemed like the right mix of people who came from all over the globe to meet in an amazing city! When I think about it I am really amazed of the location, the organisers, the attendees and the entire event! The venue was spotless and the program was very colourful and gave the participants lots of room to meet others, to mingle, to relax (they offered even a free massage for the participants) and to have time for yourself if you needed. Additionally, I had the feeling they really cared about every participant and they have been very open when it came to sharing information and their stories, also insights not only the obvious things. It felt like visiting friends.’
Serkan agrees with Uwe’s and Brittnee’s experiences. ‘It was simply great,’ he starts to tell. ‘What really amazed me was the level of positiveness, collaboration and energy among all the participants, and the vast amount of hands-on learning and sharing opportunities that was present, which is usually quite rare in such events. That makes CU Asia stand out!
The one thing that stood out for Uwe was that he saw that coworking consist of many things and can include a lot more than he initially thought. ‘The speeches and the Coworking Space managers have been so different from one another so that what they offered has been just as diverse,’ he explains. Brittnee was especially impressed with the community. ‘It struck me how much this community wants to collaborate and share ideas with each other and I was grateful to CU Asia for providing a space to do that.’ Serkan’s take-away from last year’s event builds on that sense of community: ‘One key learning was that while everyone talks about its own community, coworking is actually one BIG inspiring and collaborative community that we all are part of, and that nourishes each and every one of us, that we all should appreciate and must give back to!’
Needless to say that the lucky Cowork7x24 team members who will attend CU Asia 2018 can hardly wait to get on that plane! Serkan will be joined by our Expert Storyteller Madison Hanna (fun fact! She joined Cowork7x24 after meeting Serkan at CU Aisa 2017!) and by our very own Dr. of Coworking Anita Fuzi. If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, you can still do so via the CU Asia website. Will we see you there?