Case Study

Airbnb's Open LA

Onsite Festival

Los Angeles

October 2016

I enjoyed learning new insights on how I can improve by doing things differently. We love to travel, and Airbnb Open means we get to combine business with a holiday.



Airbnb host from Curaçao

Key Results

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The Challenge

Airbnb Open LA 2016

Airbnb Open LA 2016 celebrated a community that is changing the way we travel. The 3 day onsite festival took over 4 entire city blocks of Downtown LA in November. 16,000 superhosts from around the world welcomed each other at historic theaters, unique venues, and lush spaces to debut Airbnb Experiences.

The festival had a jam-packed program of keynote speakers, A-List celebrity guests, live performances from Grammy winning artists, industry discussions, engaging workshops, interactive installations with sponsors, an awards ceremony, 700 dinner parties at over 60 restaurants, and much more!

Happily’s Experiential Team and Web Team were tagged in by Ryan Seacrest's Civic Entertainment Group to provide various ground operations and to build custom web apps and microsites for a VIP experience.

I loved seeing Chip [Conley]’s orientation talk at the Oasis. It’s inspiring to learn about entrepreneurship and ways I can grow my business.



Airbnb host from St. Paul, Minnesota

The Solution

Airbnb Open LA Web App GIF

Ryan Seacrest's Civic Entertainment Group executive produced and creative directed the festival, and just six weeks before launch, Civic tapped Happily in to take their plans across the finish line.

The Happily Web Team built two custom web applications for the festival. The first managed the real-time assignment and tracking of the 16,000 festivalgoers. We saved the day by salvaging and restructuring the data from an out-of-the-box registration app that was insufficient to meet the complex needs of personalized matching for these 16,000 guests. Festivalgoers were able to browse and choose from hundreds of festival activities with numerous filtration systems, all resulting in a smooth user experience.

The second web app managed the travel itinerary and event schedules for thousands of the Airbnb employees working throughout the festival. Our web app was able to create custom itineraries for these employees, as well as provide onsite troubleshooting for any aspect of the production.

We also setup and managed a third party app to facilitate onsite check-in for the awards ceremony, Bélo Awards.

Our Experiential Team oversaw the Airbnb teams' command center, as well as provide curation support and talent management to wrangle A-list speakers. The Happily producers, coordinators, and assistants also ensured every speaker felt supported and confident onstage, to result in an enjoyable experience for them. We composed 100+ page handbook to train and manage the onsite VIP concierge experience. During the Lady Gaga concert, Happily served as Tier 1 sponsor activation manager, and venue logistics to ensure plans for the experiential design, access, and guest security.

[I] enjoyed Ashton’s remarks about breaking down borders and improving the world we live in by staying with each other to learn about what unites us as people.



Airbnb host from San Jose, California

The Results

Airbnb Open LA

Airbnb Open LA 2016 won several awards, including Best Campaign of the Year! Happily came out victorious in every area that it touched, bringing a polished and calm experience to the most hot-button touch points of the production.

The onsite sign-up for last-minute dinner party reservations were effortlessly handled in minutes with just a handful of staff, due to the solid structure of Happily’s app build. Also, the employee event app built by Happily was praised internally as "better than the third party app for guests".

Just some highlights from the festival program!

  • An advance film screening of LA LA LAND, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was enjoyed by the festivalgoers at the Theatre at Ace Hotel
  • There was a Shop Small Market to showcase and purchase unique artwork, apparel, gifts from some of LA’s local businesses.
  • James Corden hosted the Bélo Awards where 2,000 Airbnb community members celebrated Airbnb’s most inspiring hosting stories.
  • Maroon 5 performed their greatest hits live on stage, and Lady Gaga surprised the audience when introduced by Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky
  • Ashton Kutcher sat down with Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, to talk about Airbnb’s community-driven mission
  • Elizabeth Gilbert presented on the wonder of travel adventures, and how they helped her to discover her own hidden strengths and to overcome daily stresses
  • Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia engaged in an open Q&A, answering dozens of questions from community members
  • Gwyneth Paltrow discussed how she transformed her own tastes, experiences, and sensibilities into various successful brands
  • Danny Meyer, Hospitality legend, energized the audience with his approach to hospitality, which guides Shake Shack and his award-winning restaurant group
  • Former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, shared his work to promote equality and fight discrimination, as well as Architect and Designer, Frank Gehry, discussed his philosophy on imagination and creativity
  • Business consultant and Superhost, Rebecca Morgan, taught hosts about ways to make listings stand out, and American hotelier, Chip Conley, spoke about the hospitality ‘moments of truth’ that define a traveler’s experience
  • There were workshops led by Airbnb employees
  • 700 dinner parties were hosted for festivalgoers at over 60 restaurants around LA

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