Marketing technology company Splash uses Airbnb for Work to come together as a team in ideal accommodations at festival-style events
When teams at marketing technology firm Splash travel to conferences for work, they’re not just looking for a comfy place to sleep or the lowest-cost lodging. They’re looking for unique spaces with room for collaboration, and they need those accommodations to be close to the action.
“We want to be comfortable and close to the event action,” says Amy Barone, Chief Strategy Officer at Splash. “But it is also important for us to be together.”
Splash, whose technology solutions include event marketing products that have generated 21 million RSVPs and powered over 700,000 events, sends small teams to big conferences every year, including those in Austin and San Francisco. They attend the festival-style events to support customers on the ground and generate new leads. But those conferences draw tens of thousands of people and accommodations are in high demand.
In the past, Splash employees had to take hotel rooms far away from the conference, at times spending 30 minutes or more traveling to and from the event. And when each attendee has to hire a ride every time they’re attending a breakout session or workshop, it racks up costs.
“These big conferences are intense,” Barone says. “There’s often a lot of pressure, and not a lot of time, to get to the next customer meeting, or the next event. When you’re not close it can really be a burden to have to go back and forth, or have to schlep around all your stuff for the day.”
Not only were the teams having to stay across town in a hotel, their budget demanded they put two people together in an already cramped room. Collaboration was impossible, while limited and less-than-private meeting spaces at the conference offered few good alternatives.
Airbnb has helped to make it possible for Splash employees to stay close to the conferences in welcoming accommodations with the things they need and want, including space for collaboration and kitchens to cook meals. And the company’s Airbnb for Work travel booking dashboard has provided transparency and convenience to the marketing team in charge of sending people to the events.
Before making Airbnb for Work an official travel solution, employees at Splash were randomly booking places to stay. Some were expensive, some were not. There was no consistency or efficiency. But once the marketing team took over and offered Airbnb for Work as an option, its dashboard allowed the team to easily manage logistics and costs, and to book work-friendly accommodations.
“Staying at a home really helps the team,” says Clare Geithner, a marketing coordinator at Splash who travels to many events. “At a conference last year, it was so nice to be able to go through the rundown of the events at our house rather than doing it onsite.”
Airbnb for Conferences
And now, Airbnb for Conferences is making it even easier for Splash and other companies to showcase just the right places for the events they plan to attend or host. This new option allows homes and other unique places to be displayed as accommodation options within an event’s website.
During team debriefs after every conference, Barone says Splash employees rave about how incredibly convenient everything is when they stay in a place booked on Airbnb. They note that communal spaces, private bedrooms, home-style kitchens, and close-in locations all make for a better experience, higher productivity, and more meaningful connections with their peers.
“We’re attending these conferences for four to seven days,” Barone says. “Staying in a home is so much more comfortable. You can be more self-sufficient.”
And there are some fun surprises, she says, like the time they booked a luxury condo in San Francisco and were offered an onsite gym and a wine reception. Or a recent accommodation in Austin that had a roof deck. “The team spent a lot of time hanging out up there,” Barone says. “That was really cool.”
According to Splash, using Airbnb to book accommodations has also lowered their travel costs. Savings from fewer paid rides, fewer restaurant meals, and a lower average nightly rate for each person ($200 a night instead of $300 or more for hotels in Austin) benefited Splash’s travel budget. When using Airbnb, Splash estimates 66% to 83% savings for accommodations during major conferences. And everyone gets their own room and their own bed.
The bottom line: Having the Airbnb for Work platform as an option in its travel program boosted the team’s efforts and cut costs, while helping Splash employees feel happier and more engaged.