Airbnb Open 20115 Day 1 started with me rushing out of the apartment with wet hair to grab an Uber and get stuck in traffic. Got to the tent 10 minutes after our keynote was to start, but thankfully they were running later than I was.

Gathering before our first speaker
Hosts from All Over the World
Wilfredo and Evelyn Badia from Brooklyn

Chip Conley walked on the stage to welcome over 5,000 hosts from more than 110 different countries.

Chip Conley Airbnb Open 2015

Our Welcome to Paris

Ludovic Yken, an Airbnb host of France, welcomed us to his city. Even Jean-Francois Martin, Deputy Mayor of Paris, came on stage to welcome Airbnb and all of us to his city.

This remarkable beginning was a great segway into the next part of the day….


Brian Chesky:

Spoke about how kids, parents, and grandparents use the Airbnb platform. It isn’t just a young people thing.

  • “Belong Anywhere is a culture of inclusion.”
  • “How to take care of a stranger, how it makes us gentler.“
  • “How can you belong as a host when you don't feel comfortable in your city. We exist to strengthen the city we live.”

He touched a bit on the political and legal issues hosts all over the world are dealing with. He spoke about their San Francisco win, Airbnb’s commitment and the amazing way hosts came out to defeat this bill.



Brian Chesky Airbnb Open 2015 Paris

Brian then spoke about Airbnb’s commitments: You can read more about this from Brian’s post on Airbnb’s blog:

  • Commitment #1: Airbnb will collect hotel taxes. Always.
  • Commitment #2: Sharing of information: they will share the kind of hosting we do. But not our private information. (I wonder how that will look like).
  • Commitment #3: Affordable housing: Airbnb wants to be part of the solution.

People are primarily good.


San Francisco 2015 Prop F Campaign

Airbnb's Economic Impact:

Then Belinda Johnson, Chief of Business Affairs and Legal Officer, took the stage.

Belinda Johnson spoke about the economic impact reports of home sharing in multiple cities and how Airbnb brings in more tourists to non-touristy areas and helps small business and hosts.

A typical Airbnb host makes $7,530 a year.

After Belinda Johnson, Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs, came onto the stage and spoke about the creation of Home Sharing Clubs.

  • Organize – Led, built, and run by hosts.
  • Mobilize – Hosts voice.
  • Legitimize – Agreement to the city. Partnership with cities.

You can read more about it here:


Airbnb Protests

Joe Gebbia:

Offered a great sketch of a moment when he was lost in New York, carrying photography equipment, without no cellular service, and knowing Airbnb could shut down.


Joe Gebbia Airbnb Open 2015

Airbnb realized why the service wasn't growing. Pictures of listings were bad.

They were told by a mentor.  Go meet your hosts!

Listening to hosts has been one of the most important things they have done. Airbnb understands how sometimes they have neglected to listen to us.

They have over 600 Airbnb employees at the conference ready to listen to us hosts, with ideas, improvements.

Joe also spoke about their global disaster system. He talked about what happened in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy hit NY. Brooklyn host, Shell, emailed them about wanting to offer her home to displaced hurricane victims, so Airbnb changed the platform to accept non-paying guests. Over 1,200 hosts opened up their homes to New Yorkers in need of refuge.

New ways to communicate with Airbnb

  • Airbnb open is a way the company gives hosts the mic. Mobile ear team. Share your story or idea with them.

The big question for Airbnb was:

What is the one thing we need to do to support you hosting for life?

Then Cirque de Soleil did a beautiful presentation. A lovely way to finish the morning.

Afternoon Sessions:

After the performance, we broke out into our afternoon sessions:

Home Safety for Sharing your Space:

presented by Brad Bonney, Airbnb Trust & Safety, and Clark Stevens, Airbnb Justice.

Safety cards are now an item you can have to fill out on the Airbnb site. You can print them out, and they are included in the guest’s itinerary.

Safety checklist:

  • Smoke Detector
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • First Aid Kit
  • Safety Card
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Lock on Bedroom Door (yes, guests want this)

Safety Card:

Location of:

  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fire Alarm
  • Gas Shut-off Valve

Emergency exit instructions

Emergency phone numbers

You can view and edit the safety information on the: Manage Your Listing: Home Safety section

Emergency messaging for natural disasters. Airbnb will contact hosts and guests when there is a natural disaster in their city.

Global smoke detector program, where you can order a smoke carbon monoxide detector for about $30. Airbnb will deduct the cost in 3 payments. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors are currently offered for free.

Visit: safety

  • Safe listings: Communications and Expectations. Let your guests know about:
  • Pets – Describe your pet’s personality so your guest knows how to interact with them.
  • Hot water – How are the settings in your home? Will someone know this information?
  • Stairs – What kind? Steep, winding, no handrail, etc.
  • Personal items – Let your guests know what closets and drawers they can use, so they don’t rummage through your personal items.
  • Balconies – Being transparent, let your guests know about them.

Host Protection:


You can read about Host Protection Insurance changes at the link but some new initiatives are:

  •     Primary insurance
  •     Expanded to 16 countries

Host Guarantee it's now: Worldwide!!!!

I also attended a session called:

Empowering Women in Hospitality and Travel

Presented by Emily Gonzales, Airbnb Trust & Safety, and Anna Steel, Airbnb Trust & Safety

These two amazing women traveled the world to find out what was important to female hosts and guests. They partnered with programs from violence assault to harassment. Airbnb knows the importance of women in the hosting business.

The afternoon Keynote Sessions included the following:

Nate Blecharxzyk, Airbnb Co-Founder, CTO.

Nate spoke how he has been hosting and the difficulties of getting a call in the middle of a vacation that his cleaner couldn’t make it. He also talked about the importance of being clear in his listing. Since Nate and his wife have a one year they make sure to let guests know,

Want to sleep after 7am? His listing will not be the right fit.

Between Joe Bot, Airbnb VP Product, and Mike Curtis, Airbnb VP of Engineering, presented the different features, including:

Smart Pricing – We can set a low and high price for our listing and Airbnb will adjust the listing price daily.


Profile Photo for every guest (Yay!!!)

Hosting Toolkits

New Community Center

Business Travel


And then I was off to give my own presentation:

How to Maximize Your Reviews Data:


The Hosting Journey Followers Airbnb Open 2015

Airbnb also did a recap which you can read here: Airbnb Blog

Tons of information! I can’t wait for Day 2.


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