Airbnb is growing rapidly, and its impact on the events industry could be even bigger a few years from now, one conference pro argues. Also: Those browser extensions you rely on might be more malicious than you think.
The sharing economy is having a moment right now. Between taxi alternatives like Lyft and task-sharing companies like TaskRabbit, there’s a lot of potential for peer-based startups to break into well-entrenched industries.
One popular startup that’s giving the hotel industry fits, in today’s Lunchtime Links:
Airbnb vs. room blocks: As Associations Now‘s Rob Stott noted in a recent article, a campaign targeting convention-goers is touting the value of traditional hotel room blocks set aside for conferences, but it comes in the face of a tough competitor: Airbnb. Conferences That Work author Adrian Segar ponders the issue, considering the value proposition Airbnb offers, and ultimately sees the potential for the fast-growing company to make a big impact on the meetings business. “As meeting designer who is occasionally given responsibility for attendee accommodations, I fully understand the reasons for room blocks and will continue to use them myself whenever possible,” he says. “The question remains whether more meeting attendees will, like me, join the Airbnb bandwagon and add it to their list of alternatives to the room block. Only time will tell, but my gut feeling is that over the next five to 10 years Airbnb will noticeably reduce the demand for in block housing, creating a significant impact on how we’ll need to plan our meeting accommodations.”
Alarming add-ons: For many users, they may be the best parts of Chrome and Firefox. But according to a series of recent reports from Ars Technica and LifeHacker, a number of popular browser extensions or plug-ins may be adding a few things you probably don’t want on your computer—including adware and cookies that track your every move. The problem for users is that the apps’ status as malware was something of a bait-and-switch. Users would install the extensions, only for the developers to sell them to companies that later added an automatic update placing unwanted ads on various sites. The tech site HowToGeek has a list of plug-ins to watch out for.
What’s the coolest association site you’ve seen lately? Tell us all about it in the comments.