by Michael J. Shapiro | April 19, 2018
Airbnb is launching Airbnb for Events today, the company's first tool tailored specifically for planners. The new feature of the sharing-economy platform encourages attendees to book Airbnb lodging via an interactive map of Airbnb listings embedded directly on the event site. The widget is free for anyone with an Airbnb account.
The alternative-lodging giant is marketing Airbnb for Events as a helpful tool for and during citywide events, when a demand surge is likely to make available hotel rooms difficult to find. To use the tool, planners simply provide the event details to Airbnb and then create an interactive map based on available homes near the event venues. A personalized landing page is simultaneously established for the event on, so that event organizers can easily share the URL. For planners who already have embraced Airbnb as a lodging option, particularly when hotel occupancy is high, the new tool provides added convenience for attendees.
Having a dedicated landing page also lays the groundwork for data collection: Airbnb can theoretically get a much clearer idea about just how many attendees are using the platform during an event. That insight, however, will remain with Airbnb. The data gleaned from this self-serve tool won't be shared with the event organizers using it, according to a company spokesperson, and the company is mum on whether a more robust, data-sharing program is in store. "At this time, we are focused on providing the best experience with the self-serve tool," noted the spokesperson.
Airbnb is also marketing the interactive map tool to other suppliers, such as event registration and ticketing platforms, event-management platforms, wedding sites, trip planners and city guides. The tool should be launched today on Insider, Inspirock, Picatic, RSVPify, Taquilla and WeddingWire, for starters.
Airbnb has more than 4.85 million listings, in more than 191 countries. In February, the site expanded its rental categories to include more boutique hotel and B&B listings, in addition to the private-home accommodations it's best known for.