Back to Back Conferences for Hostel Owners

Dennis Pitcock
Written by Dennis Pitcock

For many northern hemisphere hostel owners and managers, the early months of the year can be slow and depressing. Some diversity their business by perhaps accepting a different type of guest. Others take much needed vacations, visiting other stressed out hostel owners in the busy winter sport and southern hemisphere destinations. Even few use the down time renovate or upgrade.  One thing for sure, is there is plenty professional events going on to keep you busy and help you make the most out of your next year. Here are they are:


1. Hostelworld’s HostelConference

(Jan 24th and 25th) – Dublin

Hostelworld has been known to throw one hell of an annual threw a party to show the owners they care, but this year will be different. Now that they are a public company, they must register some kind of return on the costs involved here, to keep their shareholders happy. It’s not like it wasn’t a proper investment in the past. They truly understand that a party pulls people together, and while everyone is together they use that opportunity to help educate the owners into ways to better run their business. In the past, they have hired outside speakers, who even talk about what hostels should do for their own best interests, that competes with hostel world directly.

The reasoning behind this is they want to push for the advancement of the industry in its entirety. Sure, when a medium sized hostel learns some proper revenue managements techniques, and moves off their BPO platform. They might not give Hostelworld all their availability, as they would put in some blocks. However, their occupancy will be up, and they will yeild better for high compression dates. Hostelworld will still get money. So it’s still a win-win, either way.

Hopefully they keep the spark this year that has mad many hostel owners line up to come to Dublin. Perhaps they will determine a reasonable way to measure ROI, and keep this conference for years to come. For more, visit

Also note, a side tradition has emerged of many owners and members of meet up in Killarney the days prior. It’s said to be a blast.


2.  STAY WYSE Hostel Conference

(Jan 28th and 29th) – Amsterdam

Yeah, that last full week of January is one busy week, but it is really rewarding for non-European hostel owners to conference hop. This conference is growing in popularity as it provides you with the tools to get the most out of the conference. STAY WYSE helps you focus on networking and making the right business connections to build your business. They have workshops, seminars “The conference will have its own online scheduler whereby you can search  and arrange an appointment with suppliers ( for organisations that send youth travelers and groups of youth travelers),  other hostel operators, bloggers (with influence over the youth travel industry), and resource suppliers (for SaaS tools and equipment).Think of something like a Tinder for the hostel business, where “You request a meeting and the scheduler then automatically schedules a business appointment slot for you both.”

They also have an event full schedule with both formal and informal sessions. This one is not to miss.

Don’t forget that while you are in Amsterdam, say hi to your friends at HQ.


3. ITB Berlin

(Mar 9 – 13) Berlin

ITB is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show, so it is huge. It consists of just about every industry player in all of travel, so it is huge. And, given the passion we all share for travel, we can easily get lost immersing yourself. This might appeal to only the large operators and chains, but still worth considering for the hell of it. If you have goals to set, such as networking or initiating new partnerships, stick to them. It is easy to get lost and sidetracked. If not, enjoy the ride. It has been ongoing for half a century years so this one will be no different.

During the show, the major hostels in Berlin put on some events for those in the hostel industry, so make sure you’re in the loop.

As a side note, we’d like to mention how we really sympathize for those running hostels  on the beaches of Brazil and Australia. Perhaps not at the moment when we are just trying to stay warm, but at some moment we will. Even those running ski hostels; we can feel your difficulty. Maybe someday you can take a break and attend these events too!

We hope to see you at some of the events.

About the author

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis jumped into the hostel industry after a summer backpacking Europe in 2008. He went from being a guest to a manager within weeks, and currently does consulting for large and small hostels alike in 3 continents. Prior, he worked in eCommerce, so he has passion for the tech side of the industry and is now deeply entrenched in the hostel and activities industry.

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