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Refuge From the Conventions

Pity the poor office worker in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte N.C., as the Republican and Democratic political conventions approach.

In the dog days of August, commutes in your typical city get shorter and the overall busy vibe mellows. But not this time for those two Southern cities, which are bracing for an influx of as many as 35,000 political and media visitors for each convention.

To avoid the nuttiness that comes with Secret Service security perimeters and the like, some companies are doing a little temporary relocation, opting to drop out of competing with delegates from Wyoming and Hawaii for lunch lines and parking spaces.

You’ve all heard of a pop-up restaurant or art gallery. Now meet the pop-up workspace, provided by Regus, a company that provides temporary workspaces for just about any occasion, in this case the quadrennial political trade shows.

Regus has space set up outside the convention perimeters of both cities to give local firms and workers a breather from the crush of political visitors.

In Tampa, for instance, the Phelps Dunbar law firm has already inked a deal to steer clear of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, instead decamping for the Regus Westshore Plaza, near the airport.

In Charlotte, according to Regus, tech firm DiscoverReady, whose normal offices are located close to the Time Warner Cable Arena, is heading north to the Regus University workspace near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus.

The workspaces provide a “fully furnished and wired” environment, according to Kim Hoover, Regus’ marketing director in Washington. That includes everything people need to get through a regular workday but rarely think about: copiers, staples, conference rooms, phones and the like. The Regus folks expect more clients to sign on as people start to see how “hectic” it’s going to be, Hoover said.

And what about the one substance everyone truly needs to get through the day? Not to worry, Hoover said: “We have wonderful coffee.”

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