If you’re an Online Experience Host open to private bookings, you might come across a guest looking to book for a large group of friends, family, or colleagues. To host a private group of more than 30 guests, you can submit a request using this form to find out whether you might be eligible to host a larger group size. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including your overall star rating, past bookings, and guest feedback.
You’ll hear from us over email on the status of your eligibility within a few weeks. If you’re not eligible to host private groups greater than 30 at this time, know that you can still host private groups with up to 30 guests. You can edit your private group size by going to Your Dashboard » Experiences » select Edit for the Experience you want to update » General Settings » Group Size. No matter the group size you’re hosting, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with recommendations for hosting a larger audience. Read on to learn firsthand tips from top Online Experience Hosts around the world on how they’ve mastered hosting large groups with their Online Experience.
Recommendations for hosting a large private group Experience:
1. Preparing to host
- Setting up and testing your technology: Here are some resources to help you set up for success:
- Adjusting your agenda: We recommend modifying the format of your Experience for a large audience.
- It’s a good idea to minimize individual guest introductions or conversations.
- Large group Experiences can run much shorter or much longer than expected. Consider being prepared to add or cut elements of your Experience to fill but not exceed your guest’s booked time slot.
- Consider a Co-Host: Many Hosts add a Co-Host to help manage a large group. There are three main areas where a Co-Host can play a pivotal role:
- Admin: The person who booked the experience will send guests a link to claim their seat (more on that below), which will give guests access to the Experience message thread. An admin can help monitor and respond to messages in this thread, in addition to managing your calendar.
- Chat moderator (off-screen): This Co-Host can help with behind-the-scenes elements during the experience, such as moderating the Zoom chat, handling props, and aiding in transitions.
- Co-facilitator (on-screen): Multiple on-screen Hosts can play off each other and balance the conversation. One Host can keep an eye on guests and troubleshoot in real time while the other leads the activity.
- Making accessibility a priority: Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, and this includes guests with disabilities.
- By adding accessibility features to your Experience page, being flexible, and encouraging potential guests to message you with any accessibility concerns, you can let guests know what to expect and help them feel welcome.
- Consider letting guests with disabilities know how you can adapt your Online Experience to make it more accessible. For example, for guests who are blind or have low vision, let them know if verbal communication, Braille, or audio information is available.
2. After the group has booked, but before the Experience
- Gathering details from the booker: Messaging the person who booked the Experience can help you to find out the goals of the group, and customize your Experience to the group’s needs. Here are some great questions to ask the booker:
- What is the goal and purpose of the event?
- Does everyone in the group know each other?
- Are there customizations that would make it extra special?
- Are there time constraints?
- Does someone from the group want to lead a formal introduction or kickoff?
- Setting guests’ expectations: You can reach out to your guest a few days prior to the event to help set expectations and make them feel prepared. Here are some tips for effective pre-event communication:
- Save time by setting up pre-written messages to send automatically before and after the experience.
- Send your guests an invitation link. The link will prompt them to click or tap Claim Your Seat, a special feature for large private groups that helps guests easily join the Experience, receive your messages, and leave a review once the Experience is over.
- Send clear instructions on how and when to join the Experience using Zoom.
- Provide a list of the supplies and any preparation that guests need.
- Setting the stage: Remember that your guests will see everything the camera sees, so it’s a good idea to organize your “stage” before going live.
- Learn how to stage your home so it’s camera-ready.
- Have all ingredients or tools you’ll need within reach and ready to go.
- Consider customizing your stage for the specific group. For example, you can set up birthday decorations or a themed Zoom background.
- Doing a test run: We suggest doing a practice run with a friend (or thirty) on Zoom. It can help:
- Yield good (honest) feedback from a viewer perspective
- Give you a chance to ensure your WiFi connection is strong
- Fine-tune your time management
3. During and after the Experience
- Logging in early: It’s a good idea to allocate 10-15 minutes before the Experience start time to get set up. You can use this time to:
- Troubleshoot any technical difficulties
- Sync with the guest that booked the Experience
- Welcome guests by name as they arrive
- Kickoff with a smooth start: Make your guests feel at home from the beginning and let them know what to expect. This could include:
- Outlining the Experience agenda for guests. Let them know when and how they should participate, and when there will be time for questions.
- Doing a Zoom walkthrough to ensure guests are comfortable with the features.
- Introducing yourself: You are, after all, the expert they’ve come to see.
- You can establish expertise by sharing your background and qualifications, and letting your passion and reason for hosting shine through.
- Consider limiting individual guest introductions. Instead, try leveraging Zoom chat for introductions and prompting folks to answer a quick icebreaker, such as where they’re from and something specific to the Experience.
- Encouraging participation: Online Experiences are meant to be interactive. Here are a few ways to encourage guests to get involved:
- You can use Zoom features like chat, polls, and reactions to help less-involved guests stay engaged, and give you, the Host, real-time feedback.
- Check in often and answer questions regularly throughout the Experience.
- It’s a good idea to prepare open-ended conversation starters to help fill in time gaps.
- You can use close-ended questions to help preserve time. For example, “What is your favorite recipe to make at home? Feel free to drop your answers in the Zoom chat.”
- Final touches: It’s a good idea to formally close out your Experience and leave your guests with a positive and lasting impression. You might use this time to:
- Wrap up with a Q&A session, highlights from the Experience, key points, or main takeaways.
- Ask for a review to help fuel the success of your Experience. It’s a good idea to let guests know (1) how to leave a review (2) why they are so meaningful.
- Let guests know if you will provide any follow-up resources after the Experience is over.
- Share the best way for guests to get in contact with you if they have more questions or would like to keep in touch.
- Send a follow-up message. This is your chance to wrap your Experience up in a bow, say thank you, and share a highlight like a photo, or a key element like a recipe.
Want to learn more?
Watch this video to discover tips and tricks directly from Hosts