I’ve just returned from Airbnb Open 2015 held in Paris at the Park de al Villette where along with over 5,000 Airbnb hosts from all around the world attended.
This post will be the first in a number I will do covering the material that was presented at the sessions that I attended. I couldn’t attend every session that I wanted to, however I did manage to get to the two sessions that I thought would be the most beneficial.
First off let me say that overall the conference was well organised and staged with the very impressive keynote tent being the largest tent ever erected on grass. The main hall was vast with lots of places to sit and connect with other hosts from around the world as well as smaller spaces for the breakout sessions separate from the keynote sessions.
Overall here are my impressions of the conference.
- The overall organisation of the event
- The location was good and easily accessible from Paris with all sessions in and around the interesting Park de la Villette
- Some of the sessions – I’ll have detailed posts up shortly that cover these off. The standard of the sessions was much higher this year and much more detailed than some of the higher level information given last year.
- The keynotes and product information shared – Brian Cheskys final keynote following Alain de Bottons very impressive and persuasive speech was one of the funniest and cleverest speeches I have seen in years. Hopefully Airbnb will post it online soon
- The WiFi – especially Day 1 was terrible and basically inexcusable in 2015
- The food – whilst not the worst thing, the portions were quite small and food choices quite esoteric (not many i spoke to rated the food especially compared to last years)
- The app/site – difficult to use, buggy and a poor UI. I was allowed to book overlapping sessions, multiple sessions on Saturday that I apparently wasn’t supposed to be allowed to do. Please Airbnb, create your own next year.
- Power – the lack of charging points in the main hall was a real annoyance, with a handful of always full lockable smartphone lockers the only thing provided. Given that almost everyone had 1 handheld and others laptops it isn’t good enough at a conference in 2015.
- With the end of conference party and awards ceremony scheduled for the Saturday night after a day of activities it was quite predictable that it would be cancelled after the terrorist attacks on central Paris that I got caught up in on the Friday night whilst out with other hosts.