by Matt Alderton | April 19, 2018
Even in the biggest cities with the most hotel rooms, finding somewhere to stay can be tough when there's a major convention in town. To make it easier, Airbnb has launched its first-ever tool exclusively for meeting and event planners, it reported today.
Called Airbnb for Events, the tool allows meeting planners to create an interactive map of Airbnb listings that are located near their meeting venue, which they can then share with attendees to help them find alternative lodging. All planners have to do is share a few basic details about their meeting, such as when and where it's taking place. Then, Airbnb will create a custom event landing page on Airbnb.com; planners can distribute a link to the page or embed it on their own website using a free Airbnb widget.

"We know cities often don't have capacity to handle sudden or expected surges (resulting from events), so today we're launching our new Airbnb for Events tool to offer event organizers and conference planners the ability to create an interactive map of Airbnb listings that are near their venues, and embed the map directly on their event website in just minutes," Airbnb announced.

While Airbnb for Events was designed especially for planners, the company also is marketing its event-based maps to other industry players, including event registration and ticketing platforms, event management platforms, wedding platforms, trip planners, and city guides. Sites already on board with the maps, for example, include Insider, Inspirock, Picatic, RSVPify, Taquilla, and WeddingWire.

Although this is Airbnb's first official tool for planners, the company has a long history of catering to meetings and events. In fact, when its three founders started it in their own apartment, their first guests were delegates attending a meeting at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Now, the home-sharing site has 4.85 million listings in more than 191 countries.

"In 2008, three travelers became the first-ever Airbnb guests when they needed a place to stay for a conference in San Francisco," Airbnb said. "Ten years later, we've come full circle."