Edouard Cambier is the founder of Seed Factory, a Flex Workspace and Coworking Space operating in Brussels since the early 2000’s. Edouard is also the president of the Belgian Workspace Association (BWA), which gathers more than 200 Belgian Coworking and Flex Workspace members. Find out more about their way through Covid-19 and the consequent learnings in this interview with Edouard Cambier.
The highlights from our conversation are summarised just here:
- Seed Factory pivoted immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The space, which normally hosts more than 150 people, created its own PR and news agency for its members and started a communication campaign both on mainstream local media as well as on social media networks.
- The coworking space engaged with local organic food producers and created its own local market on the parking slots.
- As of early June 2020, one third of the tenants are back in the walls.
- Leads are coming in again. But the average profile is changing: “We were focused on communication and media professions and agencies; this was our ecosystem and community. Nowadays, we start to receive demands from corporations. They are considering to change their workspace stock management strategy. We really start to see it”.
- As the president of the BWA, he also expects the big shift to take place. The BWA sees 4 main categories of coworking and flex spaces:
- 1st quartile very profitable and automated, located in the Industry parks of suburban area in Belgium, where services and catering are seldom, personal connections are sometimes weak but many employees in the area join and create the circulation of people.
- The 2nd quartile is more community based with very professional services and minimum 2000 sqm of surface. It’s slightly less profitable but the business is successful and the operations are good enough.
- The 3rd and 4th quartiles are made out of too small spaces, not well enough managed or capitalized, with often a lot of public funding: “They might play a role but there is a lot of room for optimization and improvement”, adds the BWA’s president.
- The Belgian coworking market is still very fragmented, with a lot of very small players. Edouard Cambier expects a wave of consolidation.
Watch the full video conversation with Edouard Cambier below.