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Airbnb Aims at Event Space Rental With Acquisition

By / Feb 1, 2019 (Peshkova/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The home rental platform, which is already seeing consumers renting spaces through it specifically for the purpose of hosting events, is formalizing the strategy with the acquisition of the Danish company Gaest.com.

Could you rent your next meeting location the same way you rent a house from Airbnb? A recent acquisition by the house-rental firm points at a potential future in conference planning.

The Silicon Valley mainstay recently acquired Gaest.com, which targets small events in particular, such as seminars, workshops, and team-building events. The firm, which started in Denmark in 2015, has grown exponentially in recent years and now operates on nearly every continent.

Currently, Gaest has more than 3,000 venues on its platform, according to TechCrunch, a number that is likely to surge under its new corporate parent, which has promised that the platform will remain active for the foreseeable future.

“Our dream from day one has been to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to list, discover, and book unique spaces that spark creativity, motivate interaction, and encourage knowledge sharing,” Gaest cofounder and CEO Anders Mogensen said in a news release.

The move reflects a growing interest in the business sector—with the company putting more focus on business lodging in recent years, though it has faced some resistance from skeptical employers.

But the idea of using Airbnb to book event space isn’t unheard of (and something TechCrunch notes the company is actively seeing even before the acquisition)—and sites such as Event Manager Blog specifically offer advice for event planners who want to book space on the platform for conferences and other cultural events.

In the release, David Holyoke, the global head of Airbnb for Work, notes that with the acquisition, the company hopes to improve its understanding of the event-space rental market.

“Bringing in a leadership team with strong domain knowledge allows us to accelerate our work in this area, and more importantly, Gaest.com and Airbnb share a vision of helping every space owner become entrepreneurs through sharing their spaces with those who need it,” he said.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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