This is the stage where Airbnb changed the future of travel forever.
The day of the event was exhilarating. Thousands of attendees poured into the auditorium, buzzing with anticipation. They settled into their seats, the crew gave the all-clear, and CEO Brian Chesky nodded, signaling that he was ready to deliver his long anticipated announcement.
What happened next was the culmination of months of research, planning, and rehearsals — all to anticipate any of the infinite problems that could detract from the presentation. Chesky’s nerves must have dwarfed my own in comparison, but the seconds before he walks on the stage are terrifying and thrilling.
Airbnb Open, the third rendition of their yearly festival of hosting, is “a community-powered festival of travel and hospitality that celebrates a city and its neighborhoods”. Magnet Media partnered with CEG eight months before the event to strategize and produce content for Airbnb Open 2016.
Airbnb isn’t the only company to invest heavily in experiential marketing (and livestream) — brands like Pepsi, Apple, Sonos made major pivots in 2016 to cement experiential marketing as part of their on-going marketing strategy. Even media companies are grabbing a piece of the pie, with both Vox and The New York Times making major acquisitions to grow their experiential offerings. This shift puts an even larger emphasis on emerging technologies, like livestream, to help bring these activations to life for viewers outside the auditorium.
Chesky’s groundbreaking keynote presentation was livestreamed to millions of viewers via Facebook live. Along with setting the tone for the entire week, he revealed Airbnb’s newest innovation, “Trips”, a game changing strategy that is set to revolutionize the tourism industry. It was essential that the livestream was perfect. When producing a livestream, every team member works tirelessly with the same mission: deliver the best show possible. There is only one shot to get it right for Airbnb, for the audience in the room, and for the viewers around the world tuning in for the announcement.
Producing a livestream is much more than flipping on a webcam and hoping for the best. Video producers work across multiple departments, coordinating with hundreds of people to ensure success. Projects of this scale required partnering with CEG and Authentic to connect with writers, producers, directors, ushers, even catering crews, all working in sync to ensure flawless execution.
After several rehearsals and countless hours, Chesky stepped on the stage and made history.
The audience cheers. The stream is live. 3 million views later, I exhale.
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