Will The Coronavirus Affect GCUC? A Q&A With Founder Liz Elam

Liz Elam, founder of GCUC, answers questions relating to the coronavirus.
  • This is a special announcement from GCUC founder, Liz Elam.
  • Liz answers questions relating to upcoming GCUC conferences and whether they will be affected by the coronavirus.
  • While all events are currently going ahead as planned, Liz and the GCUC team are monitoring the situation closely.

Special announcement by Liz Elam, founder of GCUC (Global Coworking Unconference Conference). This article was updated March 10, 2020.

GCUC UPDATE: GCUC USA has been postponed to July, 2020. See below for a message from the organizers.

In an effort to protect the health and wellness of our community and the world at large, we have decided the best course of action for GCUC Seattle is to postpone the event until July given the coronavirus epidemic. As of last Monday, King County declared a state of emergency following the deaths of six residents. Seattle is considered ground zero for the outbreak in the U.S. The July event will be in Seattle at the same venue. This is an unprecedented situation and we greatly appreciate your support.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. We will have new dates nailed down this week.

Today I had six different people ask me about the Coronavirus and how it might affect the upcoming GCUC coworking conference in Seattle. So I asked my friends at Allwork.Space if they would help me clarify a few things.

Q: Will the Coronavirus affect GCUC?

A: We will be monitoring the situation along with the rest of the world. At this point we have no plans to change anything and are moving forward with our April event like planned.

Q: Will you be offering refunds if something does happen?

A: All our tickets are non-refundable. Should an epic unforeseen event happen, GCUC would work to reschedule the event. 

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To be clear, at this point we have no plans to reschedule.

Q: Can you get a speaker at GCUC to address how we can better prepare our workspace?

A: We’re looking into it but have thus far found that all the experts are busy at the moment working on the issue. However, the unconference format offers an excellent forum to share ideas and solutions as a community.

Q: Does GCUC have any events in Asia this year?

A: No.

Q: How can operators prepare for a pandemic — Coronavirus or otherwise?

A: I’m certainly not an expert but here are some great tips from Allwork.Space’s recent article, ‘How to avoid getting sick in the workplace’:

  • Reevaluate your cleaning practices. Are there areas for improvement?
  • Partner with your local drugstore or pharmacy to offer flu shots
  • Provide extra products for cleaning and disinfecting for your members so they feel empowered to clean their space
  • Lots of hand washing and sanitizer
  • Stay home if you feel sick and cover your mouth if you cough — influenza is still a bigger threat in the U.S.
  • Plan for an economic downturn if this gets worse
  • Read this guide from OSHA on how to plan for a pandemic.

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: We have tremendous faith in the CDC. Although this is certainly not over, we don’t feel that panicking will help anything. Please be healthy and wash your hands in the meantime.



Liz Elam is the founder and Executive Producer of GCUC, the largest coworking conference network in the world. Find out more at gcuc.co.

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