How happy is Coworking Bansko in 2018?

We love Bansko and the growing coworking community. But do our members really love us back? We often get the feedback that Coworking Bansko is a life-changing experience and having 16 members in the last 18 months move their residence to Bansko seems to indicate we are doing something right.

This season is shaping up very nicely with currently about 40 active members and we were able to optimize a lot of processes in the last few months that improved our operations significantly. So Uwe and Matthias were super happy with themselves. Yet, there were some incidents in the past related to pricing and the expectation that friends should get services for free or heavily discounted that also made them wonder how much our members really value Coworking Bansko and the significant amounts of money and time that the founders spent to create the Bansko magic.

We have some good books about coworking & communities. So not completly making stuff up :-)

So with the help of Bansko regular visitor Maria an anonymous survey was devised to capture some structured data from everyone. We were already doing semi-regular Food for Thought events where members share their feedback and ideas in a safe environment, but a survey would really allow everyone to participate — even if they wanted to share something that might be hard to hear.

You can see the full survey questions and results here, but the most interesting learnings for us are:

  • The majority of the responses are from members that are here for a month only. The next time we run a survey we need to check how we can reach more of our long-term members and maybe even include alumni.
  • Nearly a third of our members have never been to a coworking space before.
  • The way how members describe their experience is very much in line with the small town, family-like, activity focused community vibe that we were aiming for.
  • The vast majority of members is extremely happy with 82% rating their experience as extremely satisfied. And two-thirds feel that Coworking Bansko and its team exceeded their expectations.
  • Infrastructure like desks, chairs and internet are most important for members. Professional networking least important.
  • The members value our social events very highly. This is especially great as about half of our social events are actually organized by members of the community.
  • The local, nontouristy experience, is important for our members.
  • About 75% of our members came to Bansko because of Coworking Bansko. Only 14% didn’t know about us before they arrived.
  • 71% of our members believe that their experience gets better the more they contribute to the community. And 100% believe that differences between members qualifications or level of success don’t matter.
     This is a great sign for a healthy community and we are very proud of our member’s attitude.
  • One aspect that members believe require improvement is pricing and billing. We already hinted in our members Facebook group and in various conversations that pricing is on our mind, so maybe we influenced this answer inadeptly. 
    But yes, we will announce some tweaks to our pricing model soon. And we are working on fully automating the billing including online payment.
  • One thing we were wondering about is how to keep engaged with members when they are not in Bansko. Traveling is a major life choice for our members, so it is expected that they do not stay year-round in Bansko. Even Uwe and Matthias travel half of the time.
     So we introduced the idea of a supporter membership for members not in Bansko and about 25% could imagine getting one. We also toyed with the idea of allowing members to pay significantly more for a seat on the board to run the coworking space, but only 1 member was interested in this level of philanthropic involvement. And we were thinking more along the lines of bringing 4–5 members in to create a real ownership stake for them.
  • Only 2 members were interested in having a fixed desk, but many could imagine getting an add-on to receive mail or store things overnight in the coworking space. So our new pricing will unbundle these services from our current fix desk offering.
  • One interesting comment was about providing long-term storage for ski equipment or bicycles, so we will also offer this as an option in the future.

So yes, we got some valuable insights from the survey and will probably repeat in 6 months or so to constantly fine-tune and improve Coworking Bansko.

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