Airbnb's new offerings will prove valuable for companies that don't want to source and plan their own intricate offsite experiences. A wider push into distributing meeting space, though, isn't here yet.
A few months ago, when Airbnb announced that people holding events could embed a map of Airbnb listings nearby, I posited that the bigger opportunity would provide spaces and sellable add-ons to people planning meetings. After all, embedded maps are so 2010.
Now, Airbnb is going to sell experiences to corporate customers and curate appropriate listings for those who want to try a meeting outside the usual hotel conference room. Airbnb trialed these new features and found that the demand for them outstripped expectations, leading them to shut down the experiment early.
This should come as no surprise to Airbnb-watchers and those who study travel trends. Companies are using more diverse internal events to build camaraderie and keep younger workers happy, and millennials, in particular, love Airbnb.
For the wider meetings and events ecosystem, though, this is likely a blip on the radar. For Airbnb, though, this could be just the thing to help supercharge demand for its homes and experiences without having to compete against event tech giants.
Check out my story, and much more from across the sector, below.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor
The Future of Events and Meetings
Airbnb for Work Brings Meeting Spaces and Experiences to Business Travelers: Before Airbnb makes a bigger play to bring add-on business travel products onto its platform, it’s going to integrate Airbnb Experiences and curated lists of meeting-appropriate homes into its booking tool. Initial feedback has been strong, so it’s probably only a matter of time until Airbnb builds partnerships in other areas.
How Studio 54 Shaped Ian Schrager’s Life in Hospitality: Ian Schrager opens up about his history in hospitality, and there’s more to come at Skift Global Forum in New York. Trust us — you don’t want to miss this interview.
Google Is Rigged. Just Not the Way Trump Thinks It Is: Google clearly places its own travel businesses front and center in its search results to the detriment of competitors. Google argues that this benefits consumers. If you buy that argument, then you also probably believe that Google always knows best.
Around the Industry
Texas Plans to Open the Largest Esports Stadium in the U.S. This Year: Arlington already has big-league baseball and football teams. Now it is spending $10 million to build an electronic sports arena to cash in on a growing new trend of watching people play video games. But will the investment pay off?
Airports Target Experience-Hungry Passengers With Video Game Booths: Airports are becoming much more sophisticated in the way they cater to passengers’ needs. If you don’t fancy checking out the duty-free goods, how about playing some Xbox?
Why Attendees Choose B2B Events: Checking out new products and educational opportunities lead the pack. Face-to-face communication with vendors and partners is still seen as vital.
Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.
Photo credit: A promotional image from Airbnb promoting its new curated choices for company events. Airbnb