We launched a city-wide Coworking Passport. We're fighting back against the office-heavy space

Denver Coworks launched a beautiful coworking passport book this week. The goal is bring back more remote workers and freelancers to coworking since office-heavy spaces are starting to dominate the media coverage.

The passport breaks down the spaces by neighborhood and highlights the vibe and community the space has or trying to create. It also gives the user a place to review the space based on the community, culture, wifi, coffee, and some other things. The goal is to channel their reviews to go beyond just the physical basics and visuals of the space.

We’ve already had over 50 people RSVP to pick one up in the first three days of it launching. They all seem to be remote workers and freelancers, the very target we are trying to invite back.

We had to limit it to 17 spaces because it would be too thick otherwise. We could have added a few more now that they are printed.

Offices have priced hot desking (traditional coworking) out of advertising
The problem in a competitive market like Denver is that the PPC campaigns for coworking is over $20. All of these advertisers are advertising offices so they are justified in spending over $20 just to get a person’s attention. This has made it cost prohibitive for people to advertise coworking plans that target remote workers and freelancers. We needed to do something because the traditional coworkers are the soul of our community. The more we have of them the more our office members are engaged.

Working together to create the passport
Denver Coworks is an alliance of over 25 spaces in the metro area that promote coworking and help support each other. We meet monthly for education events, round table discussions that are open Q and As, share trends we are spotting in our community, meet and greets with brokers, share leads and availability, and to get to know the different communities.

Our website ranks second on most coworking terms for Denver. This helps us capture leads for our spaces and help direct them to the spaces we think would be the best fit for them. We share all leads in a Slack group.

We pay a $250 annual fee and attract sponsors that helps support the meetings, website, and allows us to do experiential marketing like the passport.

Here is a little video we put together to promote the passport

I’ll provide updates on the results
I’ll keep the group posted on results and how big of an uptick we get in coworking members. If this successful, I would love to see this be in more cities.


That’s a really clever idea and I’m hopefully that it works as you envision - please let us know!

Trevor Townsend

It’s so darn beautiful, Craig! Bravo. Please do keep us posted on how it goes!

Loved seeing it in person at GCUC! Awesome idea and I hope others take it to their city too!


Great idea. We need that in our area.

We have wrapped up the passport. Overall, we are pleased with the results. However, it took a lot more time than we expected to keep momentum. We distributed several hundred passports and most spaces got at least one new member from it. Some spaces got several offices rented out because of it. All wins, but we needed to do more to reach its full potential.

Note: This was put on by Denver Coworks, which is the all volunteer local coworking alliance in the area. We paid for the design work and printing, but everything else was done by a volunteer. Things feel through the cracks in the weeks and months after the initial launch. In the future, we would dedicate more money to paying someone to help push the message out.

Lessons Learned:

  • More automated marketing
    We only had two emails go out after someone reserved it. A lot of people picked it up, went to a space, and then just stopped using it. We should have automated more emails to get feedback on how they liked the space, where they should go next, gather passport holders on a Tuesday at one spot, etc. We always had an uptick in useage once we emailed them.

  • PR is key
    We worked on PR when we launched it, but stopped right away. We got 30% of our total users from one article that was written about us. If we put more effort into PR and got another article or two then we could have spread the coworking awareness out to hundreds more.

  • We need to have boots on the ground
    We always talked about distributing them to spots around town or setting up booths at events. We never did. It took too much time in planning. There is a difference when more and more community managers are paid staff versus owner/operators. As more spaces are run by paid staff, odd hour objectives are more difficult to pull off. This limited our exposure to word of mouth,SEO, and PR.

  • Social Media
    We did VERY little after launch. We had a beautiful booklet that people wanted to show off. We could have done a lot more. Once again, this would take time and someone to execute.

Overall, I love the passport, but it is a big project for a volunteer group of space owners to execute on to really have the impact it could. In the future, I would love for the coworking passport to be a centralized small business/project for someone that can dedicate the time and energy to execute. It’s not hard, but it’s work. Denver Coworks works better at putting on events, bringing in speakers, and creating a safe space for community managers to help. A long year-long thing is hard.