"Coliving is the one industry in which instead of competing, we collaborate".
That is how Katia Dimova, founder of Chateau Coliving in Normandie closed our first Retreat for coliving founders back in 2022.
After 5 days of workshops, shared meals, outdoor games, early walks, late conversations (and drinks), field trips, and brainstormings, our group of attendees and hosts felt like our very own little Community.
This experience was very enriching for all of us, our team included and we are looking forward to our 2023 edition. Here are our key learnings:
1. A one of a kind location
Of course, Chateau Coliving is a magical place, but for us, it is the fact that it is a coliving that mattered the most. It was important to be hosted in a space that would understand our industry and where we could "Walk the Talk".
There we shared rooms and/or bathrooms, we met for breakfast, cooked some meals together, and hung out in the beautiful living rooms in the evenings, just like colivers do.
2. A strong program...
From Marketing to funding, expansion, collaborations, team building to onboarding, and Community we explored every important aspect of what it takes to start/launch/run a coliving space. This year, we will even address architecture and design!
3...and interactive workshops
We do not pretend to know it all. We want to learn from our attendees and we know they have a lot to bring to each other. Masterminds, hands-on exercises, and group sessions are often favorites among the participants.
4. Moments for rest and relaxation
It would be a pity to be in such beautiful settings and surroundings and not take the time to appreciate them. We are making sure to allow for downtime, to recharge on our own, or strike up conversations in informal settings.
5. Time outside & games
With such a gorgeous park at our doorstep, we had lots of space to play and there is nothing like spending time outside in nature with a group to immediately feel a deeper connection!
6. Great food
People who eat together do more together. It is no secret for anyone within the industry, that food has the power to bring people together.
That is why we wanted to provide delicious and healthy meals for breakfast and lunches thanks to an external caterer and the wonderful team at the castle. We then explored the regional food at restaurants in the evenings. This year we are adding stay-at-home meals that we will cook together!
7. Time for beautiful memories and connections.
After just a few days together sharing our challenges and hearing each other's stories, we felt like a team rather than independent coliving owners. On our last day, we shared feedback and gratitude, appreciating the importance of belonging, in any kind of group setting.
To sum up, we had a wonderful time. We learned a lot, we made new friends and meaningful connections. We continue to support each other today and we are so excited to see the Coliving for Digital Nomad industry grow in such a collaborative way.