What are the guidelines for creating an event?

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Couchsurfing Events are a forum where travelers and locals can meet up, explore a place, or experience an event together. They are not meant to be used to find hosts/surfers, hangouts, rent rooms, ask for advice or advertise for commercial or business purposes. Please adhere to the following guidelines when creating an event:

Event Guidelines

  1. Events should include important information

Events should have a specific date, start/end time, meeting location, and a complete description. It should be clear what the event is about and where and when members should arrive. The organizer of the event should be present for the entire duration of the event. 

If you are organizing a Couch Crash, please see this article here. 

  1. Events should be new and unique  

For events that recur, please use the recurring feature, or create a new event for every date in which the event will take place. Please do not change the date of an event before it ends, thus re-using an old event to advertise an event in the future. This is called 'recycling an event' and is not allowed. Members should have an accurate estimate of how many members will be at an event and have the most up to date information. For this reason, we do not allow members to re-use their events by changing the date to the future. 

  1. Events should not be commercial or promotional 

Commercial events are any event where the creator is attempting to use Couchsurfing for financial gain (either directly or indirectly) or to grow a business, organization, or brand. We do not allow any commercial or promotional event on Couchsurfing.

Examples of what is not allowed:

  • Bar, Club or Party promotion, where the organizer is attempting to gain financially. This includes entrance 'covers', minimum consumptions, entrance passwords or any 'club promoter' activity
  • Business promotions, where the organizer is attempting to attract members to their website, blogs, shops, classes, etc.
  • Tours that charge a fee or ask for a donation
  • Any event that includes a cover charge, or if the organizer is collecting or receiving a percentage of the cover charge
  • Lessons, classes, meetings, etc. that cost money to attend or where the organizer is collecting the money

Examples of what is allowed:

  • Splitting gas/food costs (this should be clearly outlined in the event description beforehand and the final bill must be publicly visible)
  • Letting members know that the event has an official cover charge or fee for attending. The fee must be paid to the official venue (like a concert ticket or museum visit where tickets are purchased from the official website)
  • Organizing meetings in bars or public places where purchasing food or drinks is not mandatory.

We only remove events for commercial reasons if we have adequate proof. If reporting an event to us, please include as much proof as possible. We can not accept third party reports, so make sure that the member who experienced the violation of our commercial policy is the person reporting the event.

  1. Events should be exclusive to Couchsurfing  

Couchsurfing Events are only intended for Couchsurfing members. Events must not be copies of Facebook, Meet-Up, or other externally posted events. Couchsurfing Events must be specifically tailored to the Couchsurfing community and can not be external events advertising on the Couchsurfing Platform.

  1. Events should not contain external communication information or links  

We ask that all of the event information be posted within the event description, and all updates be posted to the discussion. Providing external links (e.g WhatsApp/ Facebook/ Telegram/ etc) or telephone numbers are not allowed, as this is a safety risk. We ask that all communication is kept within the Couchsurfing platform. 

  1. Events should not be Public Trips

Events are not a place for you to look for a host or post about an upcoming trip. If you would like to find a host in the location you are traveling to, please create a Public Trip, not an Event. When you create a Public Trip, your request can be found by other members (Hosts) in that location through the Travelers Search section of the website. Hosts can then choose to invite you to stay with them.

To create a Public Trip, you can click the "Create a Public Trip" link in the "My Travel Plans" section of your dashboard. 

  1. Events should follow our Community Guidelines, Policies & Terms of Use

This is the same across all activity on Couchsurfing, but just to reiterate, all events should also abide by our Community Guidelines, Policies & Terms of Use. Please review them to ensure there are no violations. 


Virtual Event Guidelines

In addition to in-person events, members can also post online events on the Couchsurfing platform. If a member chooses to create a virtual event and would like to post it in more than one location, the event must follow the above guidelines as well as the following virtual event guidelines

  1. Multiple virtual events should be unique 

Members are allowed to share a common meeting link, but cannot copy/paste the same event description in different cities. Organizers should tailor the event description and the city/time zone that they are posting it in. Copying/pasting an event into multiple cities is considered spam and is not allowed.

An example of what is allowed:

“Hello San Diego CSer’s, I live in Boston and I am organizing a virtual travel story event to connect members in Austin, Detroit, and Miami. During this event we are going to share some of our favorite travel stories, so come ready. Please join at 6pm PST using this link www.zoom.com/1234567. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below and I’d be happy to answer them” 

An example of what is not allowed:

“Join my virtual meetup here: www.zoom.com/1234567” 

  1. Multiple virtual events should be managed individually

Event organizers are responsible for updating event pages and responding promptly to all attendee questions. If a host posts a recurring event in a city but forgets/neglects it, action may be taken on all recurring events.

 

How to report an event

If you see an event that is in violation of any of the above guidelines, please report it to safety@couchsurfing.com or fill out a support ticket here. All reports are confidential. Please note that event removal is up to the discretion of the Couchsurfing Support and Safety team and is not usually reversed.

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