WorkLane founders James DeNino and Kedar Frederic think they’ve found a workaround to a common trade show problem.
While expos and conventions are great for networking and generating leads, the floor atmosphere doesn’t exactly lend itself to closing deals. The solution the Boston-based duo has come up with is to take conversations outside.
“I remember my days working tradeshows in the candy industry. Trying to compete for a buyers time was always hard, especially when you didn’t have a large budget for a private space. I once had to pitch a significant client in a hotel room while they sat on a bed,” says Frederic.
The first of a forthcoming fleet of mobile private meeting space is now up and running in Boston. Up to five people can fit comfortably into a van to talk business face-to-face. Think of it as the food truck of meeting space. It’s also a more convenient option than renting a WeWork space, which isn’t an option in some destinations.
“Kedar and I have been in business eight years together,” says DeNino. “When we have an interest in something, we outright attack it. This was one of only a few times there was no such service available. We had to buy our own if we wanted it.”
“That’s when we knew we had a good business proposition,” he adds.
The first mobile office will be on display on the tradeshow floor at Connect 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Three to five people fit comfortably in the workspace, which can be rented hourly or daily. There are 48 to 52 square feet of work space, but the 6’4” standing height and colors present the illusion of a larger area.
It’s not an on-demand service yet—companies participating in events in Boston can book the service to finalize deals. As it’s a short-term space, there’s no bathroom on board. WorkLane plans to partner with companies to provide facilities and other needs convenient to customers.
In the old chicken-and-the-egg question, the WorkLane founders are evaluating markets that most need the service rather than running new vehicles in to build demand. San Francisco, home to George R. Moscone Convention Center, is an obvious target. Las Vegas is another hot bed for conventions that would make sense down the road.