Here and Now: How Two Architects Mind The Power Of Space for Network Events

Adi and Lihi

Adi and Lihi

Take me to church. Or a warehouse, boxing gym, art gallery, brewery, rooftop farm or club. But make it interesting so my work event has impact.The highly competitive event venue business is all about maximizing the productivity and creativity of the place where the business meeting, work event or other short-term special occasion happens.Two entrepreneurial female architects turned co-founders are harnessing the possibility of unique location to make any work event work for you as an experience. as they expand into new cities.[bctt tweet=“Two architects are harnessing unique locations to make work events work for you #WomenArchitects” username=“takeleadwomen”]“We understand the power of space and how much it costs,” says Lihi Gerstner, CMO and co-founder of Splacer, the world’s leading online marketplace for event spaces in Tel Aviv, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami with more than 1,400  event spaces worldwide. The group expanded into Chicago this month.Teaching and practicing as architects for 15 years in Tel Aviv, New York, Paris and Brussels, friends and co-founders Gerstner and Adi Brian, CEO and co-founder of Splacer, say that both the supply and demand for space is there. So there is no need to keep building more, just use what exists more effectively.“We don’t need to build so much, considering our environment and the cost of building materials. We can use our existing spaces and share them,” says Gertsner who in addition to being an architect, has also been a creative director in fashion, advertising and art. She has a bachelors degree from the Pratt Institute of Architecture and a masters in advanced architecture design from Columbia University.Splacer helps the building and location owner offset rents and other costs by balancing the costs of ownership with short terms rentals, while event planners are assisted with unique locations, vendors and services.“Demand for coworking spaces is growing at an average of 10-15 percent per year across all regions as firms look to cut their real estate costs by embracing the concept based on shared work spaces and collaboration. That is the key finding of a new report from Cushman & Wakefield,“ writes Neil Franklin in Workplace Insight.The trends for companies and organizations in considering the role of physical space in their culture is not just where they work every day, but where they hold events and special meetings. And that is where Splacer comes into play.“We understand the creativity that comes out of space,” Gertsner says. “The place is a character in the story.”Thirty percent of the Splacer venues are residential and the rest are commercial—factories, churches, parking lots, all sorts of spaces, Gerstner explains. But Gerstner says she does not find gender differences in how men and women use spaces for events. She also says there are no gender differences in the ways owners of the spaces rent out sites through Splacer, though the customer base is predominantly female, at nearly 60 percent.The narrative of the network events are connected to the owner of the space, the people who occupy it for the event and the community, according to Gerstner. The lighting, neighborhood, accessibility, surroundings, interior, exterior all of these are factors in the success of the venue space on the work event.The future of work and event spaces is all about flexibility and the shared economy.[bctt tweet=“The future of work & event spaces is about flexibility and shared economy #PowerArchitecture” username=“takeleadwomen”]“A space can have multiple functions,” Gerstner says. “Take an office, for example. It serves as a workspace for a company during the day, but when the workday is done, the space sits idle. By contrast, a bar sits empty during the day,  but the owner is still paying rent. So why not use the space for something else? Splacer provides access to underutilized spaces. We’re re-imagining the way urban spaces are utilized and enjoyed,” says Gertsner.“When you’re talking about the coming together of great minds in the industry or simply within your company, there’s potential for exciting ideas, socializing and fun to be had; you’re stifling the potential of businesses if your event doesn’t inspire or excite the people in attendance,” writes Thomas Oppong in All Top Startups.“Vibrant surroundings will lead to vibrant conversations, which is a positive whether you’re hoping to bring businesses together in discussion or simply encourage your employees to relax and get along in an informal environment,” Oppong writes.A new report, “Workspace, reworked: ride the wave of tech driven change”explores the impact of technology, data and digital disruption on work spaces and real estate investment strategies,” writes Sara Bean in Workplace Insight. “Occupiers, developers and investors will need to view real estate differently and adapt in order to enhance investment returns and create work spaces that are fit for purpose in a rapidly changing, highly-connected world,” she writes.It might be that for a global company, connected virtually, coming together a few times a year for meetings at a special venue may be the answer. And they need to have a space that has impact on the event itself.[bctt tweet=“For global companies, occasionally meeting at special venues may be the answer #SpaceSolutions” username=“takeleadwomen”]Splacer works with clients including Conde Nast, CocaCola, Uniqlo and others on fashion shoots in special venues, as well as annual meetings, business celebrations, parties, dinners, corporate events, exhibits, TV and film productions and more, Gertsner says.Both working mothers now working on the further expansion of Splacer, Gertsner says she and Biran are continuing to grow and learning about factors they can and cannot control. Recently, she says, an event was planned in this “amazing Park Avenue loft” in New York. And the elevator stopped working.Gertsner adds, “You just never know.”