GCUC Manchester 2024: A Week Later and Still Buzzing!

posted on June 12, 2024 by Emilie Lashmar

We are now a week post-GCUC Manchester and still reeling from the event. As our first real physical event in the city, we were unsure what to expect, but we can now say that it exceeded all our expectations. The sold-out event was an absolute hit with all involved, and the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

Highlights from the Event

Anja Schellenbauer, Associate Director of John Robertson Architects, was absolutely blown away by GCUC Manchester! GCUC UK shone a light on the industry’s challenges with brutally honest accounts of successes and failures. The energy was palpable, and it was wonderful to see John Robertson Architects’ design for x+why at 100 Embankment in action.

Key Takeaways from Panel Discussions

Daniel White from CBRE, Sarah Kelly from Avenue HQ, Chris Mapp from Wizu Workspace, and Jack Maher from Bruntwood Sci-Tech discussed the boom of regional coworking and flex markets, highlighting the surging demand for regional coworking spaces in cities, towns, and even rural areas. They noted that flex space has increased by 20% over the last two years with no sign of slowing down, and regions are becoming more attractive than London due to the disproportionate relationship of salary to house prices.

Cecília Veríssimo from Hatch Enterprises, Claire Carpenter from Claire Carpenter Coaching, Efia Mainoo from BlackOwned Studios, and Karen Tait from The Residence Coworking enlightened us about the big impact of small spaces. Boutique coworking spaces focus on creating communities by understanding specific community needs and tailoring offerings accordingly. They emphasized the demand for unique, quirky designs that create a sense of place and the hidden value of being part of a coworking community whilst remaining authentic.

Sophie Turnbull from Huckletree, Alexandra Livesey from Clockwise, Will Kinnear from HEWN, Aceil Haddad from Matt PR, and Adam Sandford from Runway East shared their views on sustainable accreditation. They discussed the balance between environmental, social, and governance aspects of sustainability, noting that while sustainability badges are significant, they won’t drive behavioural change unless used with the right intentions.

Lucy McInally from The Inclusive Coworker had an absolute blast at GCUC UK Manchester. She reconnected with old friends, made new connections, and learnt a great deal across two days. Key takeaways from her experience include Manchester’s leadership in CRE regional growth due to affordable housing, reliable transport, and top universities. She also noted that “hotelification” is this year’s buzzword in the coworking industry, emphasising the importance of hospitality-led workspaces.

Rebecca Cox from Colony came away from the conference inspired by the wealth of experience and knowledge shared. Her key takeaways included the importance of collaboration, functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces, and the need for authenticity in building successful coworking communities.

Georgia-Kaye Berry, also from Colony, found the conference invaluable, highlighting the connections made, workshops participated in, and the stories shared. She emphasised the importance of communication and collaboration within the flex industry, believing it to be one of the most exciting industries to be in right now.

Cameron MacRae from PMR appreciated the event’s flawless execution and shared key insights, including the major players in the flex market and the importance of talent attraction and retention. He highlighted the inspiring nature of the flex community and the significance of impeccable commercial management skills.

Chris Mapp from Wizu enjoyed the dynamic and collaborative atmosphere of the conference, noting the focus on regional towns and cities. He appreciated being part of a panel discussion and complimented fellow operators and the event’s amazing after-party hosted by Clockwise and technologywithin.

Paul Nellist from Koba praised the conference’s organisation and seamless curating of panel conversations. He emphasised the importance of addressing industry waste and pioneering premium sustainable workspaces.

Additional Event Highlights

  • CBRE Market Insights: An inside look at how CBRE is seeing the market, followed by a chat with operators to confirm or refute the CBRE data.
  • Stunning Venue and Weather: The event was held at a beautiful venue with a gorgeous view, and we were lucky to have a sunny day to enjoy the rooftop post-conference. Thank you to the awesome team at x+why.
  • Interactive Roundtables: Discussions on revenue management, community engagement, and data utilisation.
  • Sustainable Accreditation Debate: An in-depth discussion on the merits of sustainable accreditation in the flex market brought out differing opinions.
  • Flex Fest Afterparty: A fun, festival-themed after-party with fancy dress and a glitter bar. Huge thanks to our partners at Clockwise and technologywithin for making it unforgettable.
  • Coworking Tours: Showcased various coworking offerings and models across Manchester City, including Orega, Colony, Huckletree, Cubo, Clockwise, and Industrious.


GCUC Manchester would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of our community. We want to give a big thank you to our partners, Yardi, and our wonderful 2024 headline sponsors. Also technologywithin, Koho.ai, Clockwise Offices, x+why, Wavenet, and Nexudus.

A heartfelt thank you to the speakers and experts who shared their insights and spent the day with us. Your contributions were invaluable.



To our attendees, GCUC is what it is because of you. It is built for you by a small team who wants to see you succeed and grow. Thank you for being willing to collaborate and grow the future of work together.

What’s Next

If you asked us if we will be back next year, well… stay tuned. For now, GCUC is headed to London this autumn, and we’d love to have you. The event details will roll out over the next month, so mark your calendar for October 10-11. Tickets are on sale now.


Stay connected, and let’s continue to grow the future of work together!