Building the events feature

Calling all future event organizers! :slight_smile:

The contributors are in the process of deciding what the most important aspects of “events” are for our members. We’ve heard many of your ideas already in the forums and in chats we’ve had with some of you, but consider this one last chance before the beta release to help us narrow down what tools you want the most.

Things to consider:

  • What’s missing when you create events on other platforms (CS, BW, TR, FB, etc)?
  • What would help you make your events more fun, safer, easy to find/access, etc?
  • What tools would simply make creating and running events more convenient?
  • What can we do to help you run virtual or online events during COVID times?

Thank you for your input! This is an extremely important issue for us and we really need your help to make sure we get it right. :smiley:


I think it’d be great to get the option to subscribe to all events in a city, so I can get notifications whenever a new one is made, both for when I’m travelling and when I’m at home.

Also it’d be great to see events on a map.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else wants as well!


I think CS got it pretty well in this aspect, better than other apps. Things I like about it that other platforms lack:

-Start and end date mandatory (so events don’t stay in the calendar forever) (On BW there’s a problem because events can be made even a year long, so they stay in the calendar forever, please set up a maximum length that is reasonable, like 24 hs, and make longer events require approbal, this really ruins the experience)
-location with link to map (CS ruined this when they moved to mapbox, you cannot add custom locations and end up having to put the address manually in the text)
-comment section
-chance to invite people
-report commercial events

I’ll be more than happy with just that :slight_smile:


My biggest turn-off in CS events were the spammy / recurrent events that polluted the events feed, plus the discoverability of some events in a geography.
If we can tackle that, I don’t think the feature needs not be too complex; I’d just add: export / sync the event with external calendars, sharing geolocation.
No need to upload photos (other than maybe a header), not to overwhelm the server costs. People can always post a URL to some photo sharing app.


If I can add my two cents here after just creating an event for the first time.

  • Would it be possible to slap on a google location link in the location box?

I can understand that you may not use google maps due to traffic/licencing/cost reasons but was just curious if this functionality would be possible kind of link the insert link from any other message box on the platform. Because currently I get an improperly filled field error in case I slap a link there.

Would it be possible to enable anyone not logged in or registered to view the event details (without attendees list) as long as they have the provided link?

I really do like the message box being so rich in general, particularly the insert link feature feature.



Agree that this is a very necessary/desired feature! I believe it’s in the plan eventually to have it be clickable (but perhaps use a different map provider).

You can always add a Google link in the event description for now!


I don’t think this is a good idea, for safety reasons… What if someone misbehaves and gets banned? They would still be able to see events and attend :confused:

100% agree on the google link. Even if it’s not embed it is what most people use to get directions.

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How about hiding the location and time as well? I still believe the benefit outweighs the bad side of it.

Think of it this way:
If you open an event link and you dont even see the content of it, unless you register, you are just going to ignore the link. However, if you open a an event link and get to see a description, now this may peak your interest enough to register for this new and cool site to see what this is event is about.

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We have plans to make some parts of events public: this will help move existing couch surfing communities onto Couchers. We will probably have a “privacy” check box for the event organizer, where they can choose “make this event visible for existing Couchers members only”, or “make this event visible for everyone, including non-logged in users”; or similar.


As for the COVID - part: i think it makes sense to tell what is mandatory in some way (Maybe a box where you can check off what to bring) - for example in Vienna you got to be vaccinated to enter a bar, cinema and so on -but its different in every country.

So maybe it would make sense to have boxes to check whenever you create an event like:
Please bring a: - test -mask -vaccination certificate etc. - and the creator of the event can check of what is mandatory or what he/she prefers.


What I’m really missing on all the other platforms is to add directly a (co) organizer(s). On CS you first have to make an event and after you first have to invite your co organiser/friend and after they confirmed you can make them organiser as well.

And when you invite people to an event it would be great to have a function to select directly all your friends from example your city. Or other parameters or the option to invite friends you invited before. On CS for example you have to select every friend individually so it takes ages to invite people.


Actually, could be cool to be able to invite not only friends but anyone in the city. I organized a meeting on CS recently and had to send everyone personal messages :woman_shrugging:t2:

It is certainly far from ideal to have to have to regularly check one’s communities’ event listings to keep up to date on what’s happening, but what you’re proposing might (without filtering) not scale very well: Members of large communities would likely receive an uncomfortable number of messages/invitations. It might be better implemented as a community-level subscription setting, e.g. one could subscribe to all community events, only to popular ones, or only to ones by certain organisers, or similar. I imagine the default setting should be “all events” for smaller communities (below a threshold), and “popular” events (or “select” according to some other filter) in larger communities. Ideally, the algorithm’s selectivity should correlate with membership size, and even more ideally, it should be user-customisable. :sunglasses:

Or maybe notifications aren’t necessary and a list of events, or selected events, is instead displayed on the dashboard. :slight_smile:

Edit: I fundamentally do not really like the idea of weeding out less popular events anywhere by default, but think some filtering would be nice in the long term. But yes, it would be premature optimisation at this stage.


How do we plan to handle fake events?
IMO those who are clearly spam should be reported & taken down, but other events may fall in a bit of a grey zone, such as “I’m looking for a travel buddy around x dates

Also, would it make sense that the parent communities inherit the sub-communities events?
(e.g. events organized in Paris, Lyon, Nantes, etc would all show up under the France events list)

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I agree with your first suggestion. As for “grey” events, maybe it’ll come down to people reporting them and therefore flagging event/organisers in the process if needed? Is “finding a travel buddy” even an event? What other kinds of grey events are there?

Makes sense to me to keep events as organised as possible, for ease of use / search etc.


I want the parent communities to inherit events too! I’ve been wondering the same.

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