Last week, armed with my tiny demo painting, plenty of printed artbnb info, and clad in recently created artbnb merch I was excited attend the Short Stay Show at the London ExCel. The first of its kind, this show is dedicated to all things short term rental.
In honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. What I found was a bustling, lively exhibition space, with a real buzz. Two stages in the exhibition space provided talks for those starting up and scaling up their short stay business. Another space was dedicated to the premium, big-scale players. Only established two years ago, the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) are seeking to establish the UK as a global leader in short-term accommodation, and from what was on display, this emerging industry looks set to flourish!
My goal for the event was to make some industry contacts, learn about trends and hopefully garner some tips for success, which I’m glad to say I achieved – and I came away learning so much more.
As I entered the exhibition area, I found a crowd gathering for the scale up stage for a talk about insurance. Not your typical attention-grabber, but quickly became my surprise highlight of the show. Artbnb presents some interesting insurance conundrums, and I was curious what light Pikl may shed. Lending art to short term rental properties and offering it for sale to the guests is not something accounted for in your typical home insurance package, not even for landlords. Presenting about their survey of the home and landlord insurance industry, Louise Birritteri, CEO and Founder of Pikl described an insurance landscape for short stay hosts more complex than I had previously appreciated, with only about half of providers even offering cover for landlords participating in short-term rental. Of course, the good news is that as this industry grows, specialist providers such as Pikl are springing up, understanding the nuances of a short stay business, and ready to discuss bespoke cover when needed.
I was also happy to discover Short-Term-Rentalz, providers of the latest news, opinion and intelligence on the fast growing short-term rental industry.
As you would expect in an industry born from tech, technology continues to drive the industry forwards. Of course, Airbnb, booking.com, HomeAway, HolidayCottages.com and Sykes are big presences. Beyond these, many talks on the Start Up and Scale Up Stages revolved around technology for property management, analytics, assistance from artificial intelligence, and smart key safes. I’m a technologist by background, with artbnb’s business having a technology component and roadmap, so I certainly appreciated the innovation on display.
A refreshing change of focus came from Morel & Co, specialist consultants and designers in the world of glamping. I am excited by the possibilities for outdoor art in a yurt, and have a (no longer) secret aim that artbnb may one day provide this. It was a pleasure to meet founder Kate Morel, and later hear her inspiring talk about a burgeoning world of Urban Glamping, with an imaginative range of alternative accommodation including glamping on rooftops in NYC, and converted cabins on urban cranes.
All in all, a day packed with interest and some great discussions. I will look forwards to the show’s return next year!