Online Experiences were launched in response to feedback from thousands of hosts who asked for the opportunity to host their experience virtually while travel paused due to the coronavirus. We know many of you are anxious to get online, and this article provides details on the submission process, publishing criteria, and status for online experiences.
Online experiences have become more than a quick fix
Based on the favorable response from hosts and guests, we are committed to building online experiences for the long-term. We are seeing Online Experiences meet a need and bring joy to our community in a way that can extend well beyond the pandemic.
As a result, we want to ensure that we are building the Online Experiences marketplace carefully and strategically with a commitment to high quality and differentiation. That’s why we are reviewing every submission to ensure that it is unique and interactive, and are growing the marketplace carefully so that guests have a range of diverse online experiences to choose from and hosts remain as fully booked as possible.
Why do I have to apply to host an online experience when my offline experience is already successful?
Online experiences are different from in-person experiences and have to be approached differently. We’ve seen that some activities that work well in person don’t have the same impact online, and interacting with guests online is very different and presents unique challenges and considerations.
While online experiences have to meet the same quality standards of expertise, access, and connection, achieving those standards in a virtual setting requires different strategies, skills, and techniques.
Online experiences also require some different considerations than in-person experiences:
- Time and effort. Since many people are staying home during the pandemic, the most appealing and inclusive online experiences only require 1-2 hours of time and minimal supplies to participate.
- Pricing and availability. There’s already a lot of free content online, and expenses for an online experience are generally less than what it costs to host in-person. Guests are looking for prices that are lower than in-person experiences. Since the online format truly makes your audience global, guests are joining from a variety of time zones.
- Set up and skillset. A camera and a strong internet connection are required so you can stream audio and video during your experience. Background, lighting, sound, and the way you communicate become important elements in the quality of an online experience.
You can read more about what makes a great online experience here.
What does the review process look like and how long does each stage take?
The review stages for an online experience are:
- Host submits online experience
- Airbnb team checks the submission to make sure it meets our quality standards
- If the submission meets the standards, then host is invited to schedule a live review
- Host gives a condensed version of their online experience in front of a group of Airbnb team members as part of the live review
- If the online experience passes the live review, Airbnb team assesses experience page photos and content.
- If photos and content meet standards, then the online experience is published.
Hosts will receive an email from the Airbnb team at every step of the process. Some of these emails require the host to take action, so keep an eye out so that you don’t miss a chance to advance your submission through the process.
The future of Online Experiences
As with every new product or feature, we are continuing to learn and get your feedback, and are committed to making sure we’re setting online experience hosts up for success. We know that the submission process can be bumpy at times, and we are committed to improving the submission and onboarding processes as quickly as possible, gathering all of the incredible feedback hosts have provided along the way. On an almost daily basis we are making changes and adding features and none of that work would be possible without the insights we have received from you.
More resources for you to read
The Experiences Resource Center has tons of articles about online experiences so you can learn more and optimize your submission.
We offer weekly digital events for hosts to learn more about online experiences from both Airbnb and successful online hosts.