Toward the end of Friday morning’s welcome session at the Airbnb Open 2014, Chip Conley—the company’s head of global hospitality and strategy—returned to the stage and asked hosts to look under their chairs. There, they would find a “Random Acts of Hospitality” booklet, created just for the event.
The business card-sized volume is filled with suggestions that will make a stranger’s day and maybe even turn them into a friend. Or, to lift a line from Superhost Fred Reid: “Create an unexpected smile.”
Here’s a sampling of the Random Acts of Hospitality:
- Give a stranger in passing a high-five.
- Invite someone you don’t know to get a coffee.
- Chat with someone who is by themselves.
- Laughter is the best medicine. Try to make a stranger laugh.
- Hold it! Hold the door for someone else.
- Share a ride with someone to your neighborhood.
- In Barcelona, on Dia del Llibre men give women roses and women give men books. Find a stranger today and give them a token of beauty or wisdom.
- Toast someone you don’t know in a different language. “Chin Chin” in Italy, “Salud” in Latin America, or “Prost” in Germany.
- In China, it is considered impolite for a person to pour their own drink. Ask a stranger if they need a refill on their coffee or water.
- In old Irish tradition, monetary payment was never expected from guests, but exchanges of traveling tales, poetry and songs were welcome. Share your favorite travel adventure with a stranger.
There’s no reason these can’t be practiced well after the Open comes to close. If you have any Random Acts of Hospitality that you engage in share it with #AirbnbHostTip
This is a guest post by Anh-Minh Le who attended Airbnb Open and is the editor in chief and cofounder of Anthology Magazine, as well as a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and SFC&G. She is also an Editor at Large for California Home + Design. Travel and design are among her passions, and browsing Airbnb listings never fails to give her a serious case of wanderlust.