Coworking operator Crazy Town sees office space as a communication channel

April 29, 2019


Where can you bump into Lennu Keinänen, the founder of Paytrail, team members from Prasos, a company behind the largest crowdfunding campaign in the Nordics or Harri Ketamo the founder of HeadAI, the awarded AI startup?


The answer?


At Crazy Town. Yes, I know, it’s crazy...


I had the chance to talk with Toni Pienonen a partner and one of the main shareholders of Crazy Town. “Jack of all trades” as he describes his role in the operations.


We talked about workplace communication, best practice tips for digital signageand the story behind the company name, among others.


Keep reading to find out more.




Crazy Town



Crazy Town is a community-driven coworking network of 200 companies and teams that cooperate, learn new and grow their business together. The company operates offices in four locations around Finland.


Crazy Town members include a mix of solopreneurs, micro-sized companies, startups and teams from larger organizations. Having a diverse member base is the key to having an enriching community.


There’s a big emphasis on peer-learning and matchmaking between the members. Crazy Town organizes over hundred events annually.




Office space as a communication channel


“The office space should also be seen as a communication channel. Digital Signage help in narrating the story"


Toni Pienonen, Crazy Town

“We use plenty of channels for both internal communication with our members and external communication.


We cannot force our members to follow our communication channels. But what we can do is to bring the digital channels into the physical space, to make it easier to notice and get exposure.


What I mean by that is we provide a lot of messaging using displays in the office areas throughout our locations using digital signage”, explains Toni Pienonen.


“The office space should also be seen as a communication channel. Digital Signage help in narrating the story”, he continues.


“As an example, we have seen members presenting the sites to the guests and pointing towards the digital signage screens as they use the messages on the displays as a context to their story.”



Communicating stories



“In our communication we showcase the local community, not just the organizations, but also the individuals. It’s the people and their stories that is the most interesting part in these types of communities.


Besides the community companies and the individuals, we promote the latest news, local events and happenings", Toni explains.



Using Valotalive in workplace communication


Crazy Town and Toni have prior experience from using Digital Signage.


“Our previous digital signage solution was difficult to update because of a proprietary content management system. Also, the service did not integrate with any of the other communication channels that we are using.


Valotalive makes it easy for our community managers to update the content on-the-go. Best of all, Valotalive feed is integrated with various apps and social media channels that we already use in their daily lives.


There is no need to always separately update the content for Digital Signage.

As a result, the content stays fresh and allows anyone using or visiting the space be exposed to it.


I would definitely recommend Valotalive as a solution”, Toni Pienonen notes.




Toni’s best practice tips for digital signage users


If you were to give best tips for someone that is going to use digital signage in the workplace communication, what would you say?


“We have used digital signage for a while already. My two tips for anyone who is using or is about to use digital signage would be:

  1. In case you have a lot of content, spread it out to multiple displays to ensure better exposure

  2. Use integrations to avoid duplicate operations for content updates. This saves us a lot of time”, Toni points out.



The physical space as aggregator for communication


I always ask this question when talking to people like Toni. “What do you think about the future of  workplace communication, what are the trends like?”


“There will be an increase in using the physical space as platform / aggregator for communication. There’s always some kind of community inside every office space, why not leverage this community in communication? It makes perfect sense”, Toni envisions.


He continues; “I actually would love to explore how Valotalive could help collaborating hubs and coworking spaces to share content and bring the communities even closer”.



The story behind the crazy name?


One last question, how did you come up with the unique name for your company?


“Back in the early 2000s, Mikko Markkanen and other co-founders came up with the idea that in Jyväskylä, Finland there should be a hub for companies and entrepreneurs, who want to join forces and cooperate.


They stated that this should be “yrittäjyyden hullu kaupunki”, loosely translated as the crazy town for entrepreneurs… and it stayed”


Sometimes you need a little bit of madness to start your business.





Image copyrights Crazy Town

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