Prototyping How People Use Airbnb for Work

by IA Collaborative on 05.09.2019

At IA Collaborative, we’re working with the world’s leading brands to design disruptive products, services, and business models. Airbnb has featured our latest collaboration, now live on Airbnb for

Through extensive design research in the executive travel and hospitality space, we’ve learned that executive-level VIP events have an opportunity to be completely redesigned to meet the actual needs of senior executives. We took advantage of a natural prototyping opportunity surrounding the 2019 Design Thinking Conference in Austin, TX where Dan Kraemer was keynoting along with David Holyoke, Global Head of Airbnb for Work.

IA Collaborative conceived, designed, and hosted a live business prototype – what we’re calling the “New Executive Offsite” – to disrupt the traditional travel and hospitality space, and within it, the conference-related VIP “executive dinner” model.

This was a prototype on two levels: a prototype of a new engagement and business model for IA Collaborative, and a prototype that represents the future of Airbnb for Work offerings and services.

This represents the future of how people will use Airbnb for Work.

  • Dan Kraemer, Founder and Chief Design Officer

Instead of hosting a standard “happy hour” and VIP dinner at a restaurant for key clients and design leaders at the conference, we created a bespoke thought leadership event at an Airbnb for Work listing tailored to the individual needs and interests of our guests. We talked to executives ahead to the event to learn about their interests and challenges, and reflected those in a physical installation called our “Pursuit Panel” that reflected everyone’s challenges via individual pursuit cards. The cards sparked connections and conversations throughout the event.

We invited guests – all design leaders interested in new tools and methods – to visit our prototype staging room to gain a “behind-the-scenes” look at how IA Collaborative prototypes new experiences and offerings for our clients.
Fun fact: The entire IA team lived and worked in the Airbnb listing where we held the event, and the prototype staging room was in the loft area that we converted into our working space!

The conference and event industry is saturated with many standard “rinse and repeat” elements – keynotes, breakouts, raffles, and VIP happy hours. We believe there’s an untapped opportunity to create truly exceptional experiences that break out of this traditional business model, and IA Collaborative is leading the charge to do just that.

We are constantly seeking ways to disrupt the status quo, for our clients and for ourselves. We are convinced that the entire industry surrounding how people gather at work – including this type of ‘offsite’ experience, is ripe for disruption.

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