On November 17th-19th, we presented Airbnb Open LA—a festival celebrating the Airbnb community and the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Thousands of hosts from over a hundred countries welcomed each other at historic theaters, unique venues, and lush gathering spaces at the event’s urban campus in Downtown LA.
Airbnb Open is our community’s moment to come together and become stronger and more connected. Over three days, festival participants discovered ways to become more successful and welcoming hosts as they took part in engaging talks and workshops. “I enjoyed learning new insights on how I can improve by doing things differently,” Verelyn, a host from Curaçao, said. “We love to travel, and Airbnb Open means we get to combine business with a holiday.”
The event kicked off with a major announcement from co-founder & CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb launched Trips, which creates new opportunities for hosts to offer experiences and multi-day immersions. With hosts’ homes at the center of the journey, travelers are already booking unique adventures and explorations in 12 cities around the world. Learn more about the newest way to host and travel with Airbnb.
The festival’s programs of keynotes, discussions, and workshops centered on topics that hosts tell us they care about the most. Airbnb co-founders Brian, Joe, and Nate answered dozens of questions from members of the community. Hospitality legend Danny Meyer energized the audience with his approach to hospitality. Which guides Shake Shack and his award-winning restaurant group. Business consultant and Superhost Rebecca Morgan taught hosts about ways to make listings stand out. Chip Conley spoke to us about the hospitality “moments of truth” that define a traveler’s experience. “I loved seeing Chip’s orientation talk at the Oasis,” said Tom, who hosts from St. Paul, Minnesota. “It’s inspiring to learn about entrepreneurship and ways I can grow my business.”
Other presentations touched on a range of topics related to travel, creativity, and innovation. Elizabeth Gilbert told us about the travel adventures that helped her discover hidden strengths and overcome everyday worries. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about his work to promote equality and fight discrimination. Frank Gehry discussed his philosophy on imagination and creativity. And Ashton Kutcher sat down with Brian Chesky to talk about Airbnb’s community-driven mission. Nancy, a host from San Jose, remarked that she “enjoyed Ashton’s remarks about breaking down borders and improving the world we live in by staying with each other to learn about what unites us as people.”
Throughout the city, hosts and travelers sparked friendships during neighborhood tours and community dinners. With the help of passionate local experts, our community discovered the hidden treasures of LA.
On Saturday night, the festival reached its crescendo at Open Spotlight: Los Angeles, presented by American Express—a celebration bringing together LA locals and the Airbnb community. At the Theatre at Ace Hotel, the audience was wowed by an advance film screening of Oscar contender LA LA LAND, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. At the Shop Small Market, festivalgoers browsed and bought unique artwork, apparel, gifts from some of LA’s best small businesses. And at the Bélo Awards, 2,000 community members came together to celebrate belonging and honor Airbnb’s most inspiring hosting stories. Host James Corden punctuated the show with wisecracks and one-liners as he introduced each of the four hosting awards. Learn more about this year’s Bélo Award winners and their inspiring stories.
On the main stage, Maroon 5 thrilled the crowd with GRAMMY®-winning hits. For the surprise of the night, Brian Chesky introduced the audience to Lady Gaga, who arrived onstage in sparkling gold sunglasses to perform at a white piano. To close the night, she led the crowd in an epic sing-along of chart-topper “Bad Romance.”
We’re grateful to every community member who attended Airbnb Open by joining us in person, or by following the action online. To enhance your hosting, we launched new features at the festival, including co-hosting and improvements for your mobile app to help you host from anywhere. Visit the hospitality blog for all the details.
Airbnb Open is celebration of a community that’s changing the way the world travels. We hope we’ll see you at a future edition of the festival.