The next Unconference will take place at Transylvania Hostel in Cluj-Napoca, Romania!
Dates: 4 - 6 October, 2010 (we suggest arriving on the 3rd)
Location: Transylvania Hostel, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (www.hostelcluj.com)
Accommodation: FREE Accommodation at Transylvania Hostel (Please note that accommodation is limited, and will be given on a first-come first-served basis. Registration for the Unconference will close when the hostel is full in order to assure a productive event)
Reservations: Contact us by email at [EMAIL=[email protected]][email protected][/EMAIL] with the subject “Hostel Manager Unconference”
Participation Cost: FREE (You will be responsible your own meals, beverages, and transportation)
The purpose of this meeting is to share our combined knowledge and experience and to expand the professional network of all participants.
Following the Unconference theme previously established in this forum, there will be NO PRESENTATIONS at this meeting. Instead, we will conduct several sessions of round-table discussions on proposed topics, and we will organize similar discussion groups for topics proposed by our attendees. This is not a spectator sport! Please look over the proposed topics below, and come prepared to discuss your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with other hostels in order to gain the maximum benefit for everyone involved. All discussions will be in English.
We are open to any hostel-related topics that you may wish to discuss, so please do not hesitate to contact us with additional suggestions.
In order to keep this meeting productive, participation in the Unconference is limited to the capacity of the hostel. Advanced invitations have already gone out to hostels in Armenia, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and USA. Beds are going fast, so please contact us as soon as possible in order to reserve your place for the meeting.
Proposed Discussion Topics (in no particular order):
Summer summary – comparison of seasonal results across the globe and the reasons for peaks and valleys in occupancy (what can be done to improve in the future)
Winter season predictions and how to survive the upcoming low season (activities or partnerships in other cities and locally that could benefit all hostels involved?)
Analysis of alternate sources of income that work and that don’t work (charge for internet, linens, drinks, meals, laundry, tours, merchandise, etc.)
Creating atmosphere in the hostel (interior decorations, room layouts, activities, etc.)
Security measures (what is the minimum, what is appropriate, and what is going too far?)
Staffing issues (Minimal staff requirements, fair work schedules, places to recruit rock star receptionists, training methods, team building activities, disciplinary tactics, motivational techniques, etc.)
Benefits and drawbacks of running a hostel under different business types: sole proprietorship, partnership, publicly traded corporation, co-op (all employees have a share of the company) non-profit, etc.
Property Management Systems (front desk software) – what do you use, and (why) would you recommend it for other hostels? (Paper and pen, Excel spreadsheets, Backpack Online, ASSD, Hostel Office, Charts, Room Master 2000, Hostel Power, etc.)
Property Maintenance – how do you handle repairs, (contractor or part/full time maintenance staff) how often do you replace beds/mattresses/furniture, how do you fund unexpected breakdowns, etc.
Most useful ways to market your business – booking engines, hostel website, fliers, tour operators/travel agencies, Budget airline listings, guide books, etc.
How to influence local laws that affect hostels (how to develop a strong voice in the government, associations with power, changing laws that would inadvertently hurt the hostel industry, how to get local governments to recognize hostels as distinct from hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, pensions, etc.)
Best Practices (share your tips regarding anything your hostel does particularly well)
Please register for the Unconference and reserve your bed by sending an email to [EMAIL=[email protected]][email protected][/EMAIL] with the subject “Hostel Manager Unconference”