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Event Managers, DMOs, Forge Partnerships with Players in Sharing Economy

23 Sep, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Airbnb, Lyft, Expected to Increase Meeting Options

If you can’t beat ‘em, join em. Literally.

Event companies and travel organizers have been circling around the conundrum of the sharing economy and its effect on the event planning industry. Recently, two providers announced partnerships with major players in the sharing economy:

San Francisco Travel, in announcing its partnership with Lyft, became the first destination marketing organization to strike an official agreement with a ridesharing app.

According to San Francisco Travel, partnering with San Francisco-based Lyft will benefit visitors by giving them a convenient transportation option. It will benefit the city, meanwhile, by increasing visitors' overall economic impact on the destination, supporting local drivers and making it easier for visitors to access businesses and attractions in less trafficked parts of San Francisco.

Successful Meetings noted that as part of the new partnership, San Francisco Travel and Lyft will collaborate on custom promotions and offers for visiting meeting and convention attendees. San Francisco Travel also will offer an ongoing "Ride About Town" credit of up to $10 for first-time Lyft users.

Experient, meanwhile, says its relationship with Airbnb will help give travelers more options, including at times of high demand, when hotel room space is hard to come by, and that it will allow planners to grow their events beyond the confines of the local room inventory.

Already, Airbnb is making good on that promise, having found overflow rooms for travelers at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and taking over as the title sponsor of the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon.

And if the Olympics come to Los Angeles, expect partnerships like these to increase exponentially, with service providers such as Bandwagon, Uber, Airbnb, Lyft and others turning into huge moneymakers for those living in the area.

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