For 10 years now, Airbnb has been changing the way attendees stay in a destination, and now the tech company is making it easier for planners to factor in these stays with its new Airbnb for Events tool.
In this Shakedown, we speak with Ashwin Krishnan, partnerships and business development for Airbnb, about the tool and any questions planners may have about offering Airbnb as a more prominent option on their event website.
What sparked the idea of creating the Airbnb for Events tool?
Airbnb was founded on an event, so events have always been in our DNA, and millions of travelers around the world use Airbnb when traveling to attend events such as weddings, conferences, festivals, trade shows and more. We know cities often don’t have capacity to handle sudden or expected surges (resulting from events), so we launched our new Airbnb for Events tool to offer event organizers and conference planners the ability to create an interactive map of Airbnb listings that are near their venues, and embed the map directly on their event website in just minutes. Each available Airbnb listing also contains info around how many minutes walking/driving/public transit it’s located from the event venue, which helps attendees find exactly what they’re looking for.
What are the key benefits to a meeting planner or organization implementing the tool?
The first question that an event attendee has after confirming attendance is where to stay. Our product answers that question by surfacing nearby available Airbnb listings. Event organizers and conference planners simply tell us about their event. From there, they can create an interactive map of Airbnb listings for their event website to help their attendees find nearby homes. We’ll also automatically create a personalized landing page for their event on Airbnb.com that event organizers can share with attendees and use to market their event.
Are there any financial benefits or exclusive rates that planners can get, similar to working with a hotel?
We are open to ideas. Event organizers should feel free to reach out to email@example.com with thoughts on partnerships.
Why should a meeting planner work with AirBnb in lieu of area hotels? (Or would they typically only work with Airbnb as an added option for attendees?)
Airbnb is a great complement to a meeting planner’s existing hotel offering. Adding Airbnb as a recommended option for events adds more local accommodations, provides amenities hotels can’t and can help attendees save money. Our selection of more than 4.85 million listings in over 191 countries provides both prime locations and the comforts of home, allowing guests to see any city from a local perspective.
What would you say to a meeting planner concerned about working with Airbnb when they know their event partner hotels might see Airbnb as a threat?
Airbnb and hotel are offerings are complementary in nature. Our research has shown that meeting attendees are already turning to Airbnb as an accommodation option even when Airbnb isn’t formally listed as an option on their website. Meeting planners that work with Airbnb are helping to enhance the attendee’s experience and provide additional value. We see this tool as an added feature to any event. By including Airbnb for Events as an option, attendees get a wider range of accommodation options, including hotels that are listed on Airbnb.
Is there anything else planners should know or consider about the tool?
While this is the perfect tool for events, we’re also working with other companies to showcase the versatility of the interactive listings map such as event registration and ticketing platforms, event management platforms, trip planners and city guides. You can check out a few examples of this tool on sites such as Insider, Inspirock, Picatic, RSVPify and Taquilla.