About experience hosting
Experiences are one-on-one and small-group activities led by passionate local hosts. They can be as diverse and varied as the individuals or businesses who create and host them.
From florists who can teach flower arranging and wreath making, butchers who share butchery secrets, actresses who tell ghost stories and craftspeople who’ll help turn scrap metal into works of art – experiences create memories that last a lifetime.
All applications to become an experience host are reviewed by our editorial team. If your experience ideas meet our requirements, you’ll get to set up a host profile and list experiences you’d like to offer – along with the dates and times when you’re able to host the experience.
To help create exciting experiences, we ask all hosts to meet the following basic requirements:
- Avoid cancellations: We take cancellations seriously and ask all hosts to avoid cancelling on bookings.
- Be responsive: Maintain a high response rate by replying to enquiries and bookings within 24 hours.
- Maintain positive reviews: Make guests feel welcome and provide a consistent level of quality.
Guests like to know what they can expect, no matter when or where they book.
No. The Oxford Magazine is a leading online magazine curated for people who live, work or play in Oxfordshire. Everything that we do is focused on enabling and encouraging people to explore and experience Oxfordshire.
Not just yet. We know that experiences make fantastic gifts. So we’re planning to add features to make it easy for people to find, choose, buy and gift experiences. Watch this space.
Virtual experiences are brilliant, but we are sticking to in-person experiences, for now, so they can help build vibrant and resilient local communities.
Yes, please. We are always on the lookout for new exciting experiences and would love to be introduced to individuals or businesses who already host or would like to host an experience. You can send them a link to our website or use the refer an experience host form.
One of our favourite things about experiences is how people love different ones.
This means it is difficult to decide if something is good. The best thing is to provide comprehensive descriptions – setting expectations on what you’ll be providing (or what’s included) as part of the experience and what’s not.
Furthermore, after completing an experience, we encourage that you ask customers for a review. They can do so by logging into the website and going to their past purchases. Only logged in customers who have purchased an experience may leave a review.
Reviews are displayed under the ‘What people are saying’ tab on the product description page.
It is your responsibility as a host to ensure adequate insurance protection is in place to cover in the event of third-party claims of bodily injury to people or damage to the venue or equipment during an experience.
Hosts who need insurance protection are encouraged to speak with qualified professionals about their requirements and ensure they have this protection in place before hosting commences.
Do not assume your existing Business Liability Insurance provides coverage. Check with your insurance provider.
Creating your listing
Yes. Our creative studio specialises in visual, digital, and social content creation for local brands, so they can really look the part. We work with local brands to help them conceive and develop content that will engage and resonate with their target audience. We may be a small team, but we pack a punch by working with a network of highly experienced content production professionals – from writers and editors to photographers, videographers, graphic designers and more.
Please note that we have a house style and editorial guidelines that our Digital Editors apply to every directory listing – to help ensure a consistent look and feel across the website.
Not every part of the form needs to be completed. The parts that are required are clearly indicated. You will not be able to submit the event if you do not complete a required part of the form.
Please ensure that you have the photos and images to accompany your event listing. You can upload your photos and images directly. You can tell us about the images (captions) or whom to credit.
Subscriptions are annual and renew annually. Features and support are provided only for the duration of an active subscription. You can cancel your subscription anytime, but it will not take effect until the anniversary of the subscription.
Managing your listing
Regrettably, for now, you cannot edit an experience listing directly. We’re working hard to add this functionality to the website. You’ll need to contact your host support team to make changes to your experience listing.
The price you charge for your experience is completely up to you. To inform your decision about what price to set, you can search for comparable experiences to get an idea of market prices.
It is better to incorporate all additional fees into the overall price of your experience. However, if you provide optional extras, we can help set these up as bookable options on the experience listing page.
You must disclose any additional charges that are, or might be incurred, outside of the booking, such as equipment rental or activity licencing fees, on the experience listing page.
You can set different prices for different sessions of the same experience. For example, if you anticipate that demand for your experience might be higher, say in the evening or at the weekend, you can set different prices for these.
Do bear in mind that too much of a price variation on the same listing might create a feeling of mistrust with potential customers, so we’d suggest considering separate experience listings if that be the case.
You can offer potential customers discounts before a booking is made in the form of coupon codes. This can be per customer, per experience, or time-based. Please contact your host support team to discuss offering discounts, promotions and special offers.
Please note that we want to ensure that discounted offerings represent a price that’s lower than usual. So as a discounting principle, hosts are required to offer a true discount – that means a listing’s discounted price is lower than its typical price compared to past bookings of comparative experiences.
Additionally, you, as the experience host, are solely responsible for setting prices, offering discounts and ensuring any price discounts you offer comply with applicable laws and regulations. You are also responsible for ensuring that any discounts you offer are genuine and not misleading.
We reserve the right to conduct spot checks or audits and to remove any discounting from your listing(s) if it violates the discounting principles or any applicable law.
Payouts, taxes and other financial considerations
We charge a service fee when a booking is confirmed to help cover the costs of the website and the services we provide. Only the experience host pays the service fee. We do not charge guests any fees.
Most hosts pay a service fee of 20%.
This fee is calculated from the booking subtotal (excluding any taxes) and is automatically deducted from your payout.
As a provider of electronically supplied services, we include VAT charges on service fees.
You’ll receive your payout monthly, anytime between 24 hours and one calendar month after the experience has been delivered. The timeframe is set differently for each host to take into account multiple factors.
If you have multiple listings, funds will be deposited as a single payout.
There is a minimum payout amount set for each host, and your payout won’t be released until that amount is met.
Once your payment is released, your bank and payout method will determine how long it will take for your funds to arrive in your account.
Banking systems don’t process transactions on weekends or holidays, so if your payout date falls on any of these, it will be processed the following business day.
As a host, you may be required to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) or other taxes from your guests. We encourage you to consult a tax advisor if you need assistance assessing taxes on the services you provide.
If you determine that you need to collect VAT, guests must be informed of the exact tax amount in the booking.
Do bear in mind that we charge VAT on the service fees for the electronically supplied services we offer. A VAT invoice is issued with every payout. Guest do not need to be informed of the VAT that we charge or any other input VAT that you incur.
If you’re a business host, you should be able to recover the VAT.
The VAT invoice is finalised and issued when the payout is made and includes your information (name, address, etc.) as you’ve provided. We are not able to modify a VAT invoice after it’s been issued.
Our platform allows guests to make payments via PayPal and all major debit and credit cards. We also support transactions in a range of currencies.
Other useful information
We offer free experience host profiles to hosts that provide community-interest experiences – these are experiences set up to benefit the community, with little or no commercial consideration. The experience host(s) must not have any significant commercial ties, but can be supported by the local council, local bodies and local businesses. Please contact us to check if you qualifies for a free experience host profile.