As early as 2007, there were only 14 registered co-working spaces in the United States. Now they number more than 11,000, with a projected 26,000 in operation by 2020, according to Forbes. Not limited to the U.S., these concepts are making an international impact thanks to millennial and Gen Z workers in search of networking opportunities, urban-centric workspaces and lower costs – all things co-working concepts can supply.
Located in Paris, Comet Meetings allows companies or individuals to rent space to work or host meetings; the flexible concept is designed to optimize efficiency through its myriad clever visual details and interactive touchpoints.
“During the creative process, the first [challenge] was to express the brand’s identity and to define the structures of the flagship,” says Jean-Baptiste Coissac, Founder and Creative Director, Generous Branding (Paris), which was tasked with the design. “The second was to identify strong brand markers for the concept’s future deployment in various locations in France in the coming years.”
The project’s target demographic is a mix of big businesses and small. “Eighty percent of Comet’s customers are companies listed on the CAC 40, [a system] which indexes the top companies in France, whereas the remaining 20 percent come from various small and medium businesses,” according to Coissac.
After booking a space online or in person, clients are given a mock passport, which serves as a guide and sitemap for the environment. The simple welcome desk inside the entrance is meant to introduce guests to the space without creating a queue of waiting patrons. Postcards, notebooks and pencils, among other items, are free for customers to take home.
Furniture and decor throughout help drive the experience by providing useful opportunities – faux wheels on the wall in one section act as a smartphone charging station, for example – and aim to persuade workers to focus on their tasks.
“We integrated a ‘cell phone garage’ in each room, encouraging [visitors] to put aside their cell phones, therefore favoring concentration,” Coissac explains.
Graphics are crucial to the journey and include motivational thoughts like, “Stretch your legs! Steve Jobs had his best ideas while walking,” and “cabin chic” in playful standee-style lettering in a wood-clad working area. A mix of contemporary, shabby chic and classic seating designs in conjunction with tactile materials creates an eclectic feel, while colorful graphics help tie the various elements together into a cohesive package.
Other on-site benefits include a chief wellness officer (to provide event breaks like energizing workouts), independent experts, catering services and “meeting scientists” who anticipate visitors’ needs during their experience.
Separating itself from the competition with brand tone and inspirational design, Comet Meetings is quickly becoming the co-office concept of the future.