Online experiences are a virtual version of Airbnb Experiences. Introduced as a way to give hosts and guests the chance to connect with one another during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, each experience is a live, interactive video session.
Just like the offline product, online experiences introduce guests to expert hosts, provide a way to meet and interact with new people, and offer a remote-friendly format for everyone who’s quarantined and at home. With engaging activities and intimate group sizes, online experiences are so much more than the passive, pre-recorded “entertainment” options currently out there.
People can join online experiences from home or anywhere in the world. All they need is an internet connection—guests shouldn’t need to be in a specific location or bring or spend a lot in order to participate.
Why should I host one?
Online experiences are a way for hosts to continue earning money for as long as the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lasts. As an online experience host, you can:
- Host from home. Share your expertise and a window to your world.
- Meet global guests. Make the world feel a little smaller and a lot friendlier.
- Build your business. Expand your audience with tools and support from Airbnb.
How do I express interest?
Submitting an online experience follows nearly the same process as offline experiences. When you get to the Location step, simply check the “Yes, this is an online experience” box.
In-person experiences previously published on Airbnb can’t be converted to an online experience. If you want to adjust your in-person experience to offer it online, or want to submit a new idea for an online experience, you can do so on the online experience page.
Our team will then review your submission and let you know if it’s been approved within 2–4 weeks, then set up time to watch and review a rehearsal of your online experience. Once it’s approved, you can then activate your free account on Zoom, the cloud video conferencing platform where you’ll host your experience.
What’s different about hosting an online experience?
While the same standards of expertise, access, and connection apply to online experiences, hosting them requires some slightly different considerations:
- Time and effort. Since people are quarantined and staying home, the most appealing and inclusive online experiences only require 1-2 hours of time and minimal supplies to participate. For example, a cooking class with hard-to-find ingredients won’t work, but a tea party where guests simply need to bring a warm beverage and snack is much more manageable.
- 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, so consider reducing what you’d typically charge per guest. Since the online format truly makes your audience global, try hosting in more than one time zone.
- Set up and skillset. In addition to a camera and an internet connection so you can stream audio and video during your experience, your environment and how you navigate it are factors. Your background, lighting, sound, and the way you communicate become elements in what can make your experience stand out.
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