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Reimagining Experiences in a Covid World

the work of a hunt master

· scavenger hunts,online games,virtual experiences,Airbnb Experiences,Trip Advisor

Like most tour guides and small business owners my Scavenger Hunt business was down 100% for about 2 months. I normally host scavenger hunts in Sedona, Jerome, Grand Canyon, Tucson, Santa Fe, Taos, Kona and Kauai. I did my last hunt in Kona on March 20th.

Since then I have been trying to build a new game based on my hunts to be done in peoples homes. It is called the Connectivity Game and the idea is to build connections between the guests who play from different locations.

Despite the fact that I have been remote hosting games for two years, there was still a really big learning curve to move it into people living rooms and still provide the same high quality fun creative experience and value.

As I have a great standing on Airbnb with hundreds of 5 star reviews I had felt pretty confident my application would be accepted. Unfortunately it was not. It was hard to see other hosts doing so well and gaining hundreds of reviews and not even be given a chance when my income and business were 100% down.

Luckily I was able to be part of a listening session with Trip Advisor Experiences. I had been doing pretty well on TA before the shutdown. I didnt have the large number of reviews I have on Airbnb but I still had about 60 which made my events viable and seen. It was enough to have one of the execs give me a chance with my new game. They agreed to promote it. Initially I got only 1 booking. Later I got 12 in 2 days.

Creating something new is like throwing out the first pancake.. In my case the first 4 pancakes. I have a great desire to create and curate something fully amazing for my guests and to have it be a great value. I started by giving myself a C for the first 2 games. I then went up to a B for a couple, then a B plus and finally with the 7th game I hosted, Mothers Day,for a group of 13 people I hit it out of the ball park. You just know. By trial and error I learned about the flow, the time needed,the technical issues, how to start and how to end, what missions interest and engage people, what info to offer pregame and how to conclude. There is no way I could have known any of that except through experience. Airbnb Experiences have a rehearsal prior to approval and I know I would have failed if it had been the first or second try.

One of the reasons I wrote this is that I want to encourage other hosts to keep cooking those pancakes.. throw them out, till you get it right.

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