In a day marked equally by celebrating the past and planning for the future, over 100 members of the Chicago home sharing community came together recently for the first annual Chicago Airbnb Host Day.
The day began by honoring those within the room whose advocacy and hard work helped foster the new clear, fair rules that protected the rights of everyday Chicagoans to share their rooms and make some extra money.
Most notably, Chicago’s new home sharing ordinance allows people to share their homes on a short-term basis in every neighborhood, ward and zone without a cap on the number of nights per year hosts can rent a room in their home.
The sentiment at Host Day reflected what we’ve always known – when our community comes together to speak out for home sharing laws, we win. In addition to celebrating the law that will continue allowing hosts to make ends meet through home sharing, attendees collaborated closely on tips to better accommodate visitors and serve as ambassadors for their neighborhoods.
In regional breakout sessions, West Side hosts discussed how to build the area’s brand as a new destination for visitors and tourism; South Side hosts traded lessons learned on making guests feel truly at home in Chicago; North Side hosts debated the best ways to utilize the new Guidebooks feature that steers visitors towards neighborhood restaurants and establishments.
Following the breakout sessions, some of the more established hosts led workshops on how attendees could hone their hosting skills and enhance guests’ abilities to live like a local. Beatrice from Lincoln Square discussed how to create quality binders to give guests a sense of the local neighborhood, Oliver from Uptown delivered an overview of potential interior design enhancements, Mark from Logan Square offered insight on last minute room preparations, and Beth from Evanston offered tips on how to encourage visitors to make their Chicago trip an annual occasion.
The celebratory mood of Chicago Host Day ushered in a new wave of excitement as hosts in Chicago and throughout the world prepare for Airbnb Open 2016, a three-day festival aiming to reimagine hospitality’s future with community members from around the world.