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Artificial intelligence: the game changer for the event industry?
Summary of the blog post
How often have you been annoyed by terrible customer service or feels-like-forever waiting times in event registration? Well, times are changing - and they are changing your event experience.
A chatbot that writes about AI? What an irony!
(Note: the following article is 99.9% created by AI).
How often have you been annoyed by terrible customer service or feels-like-forever waiting times in event registration? Well, times are changing – and they are changing your event experience. [MP1]
Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to save the day. Just imagine having a personal chatbot that answers all your questions. Or facial recognition cameras literally checking you in within a glimpse of an eye. AI could take in the role of some cool cousin, showing you how to do things better and work more efficiently. So, taking the events industry as an example, everything would be so much easier with AI, wouldn’t it?
The current development of AI: GPT-3, GPT-4 and more
AI- driven solutions have made significant progress in recent years, especially in the field of language processing. Some of the latest milestones in this area, for example, are the GPT-3 and GPT-4 models from OpenAI.
GPT-3 is a language model that has been trained on an enormous amount of data. It is capable of generating human-like texts and thus can be used to copywrite content, answer questions, perform translations and much more. In fact, it is already used in many applications such as chatbots, voice assistants and automated text generators.
With GPT-4, the latest version from OpenAI, another milestone in the development of language models has been reached. GAPT-4 works multimodular, which means it can process both text- and image-based information n parallel. Although still imperfect in some more complex, real-world scenarios, it demonstrates almost human levels of performance in task completion and text generation in most professional and academic contexts.
Further solutions include, for instance, GShard, a model from Google that aims to improve the scalability of language models overall. However, it is not yet as advanced as GPT-3 or GPT-4.
AI in the event industry
In international competition, most German companies are still lagging behind when it comes to utilizing AI’s full potential. But there is plenty of promising opportunities to jump on the AI trend. In the events industry,for example, AI is already being used successfully and in versatile ways.
As an advanced technology which is helpful in various disciplines, such as customer complaint management and scenario calculations, AI is employed in all kinds of industries – from insurance to advertising. One of its most powerful application potentials, however, is to improve the ways to connect with your audience . Instead of hoping that random mass mailing will lead to mutually beneficial business relationships, we can now use AI technology to strategically bring together participants sharing similar interests, experiencing the same challenges and aligning in their business goals.
Let's look at this from an event management perspective.
For example: let's say you are organizing an event with 2,500 participants. At a traditional networking event, your attendees might find themselves in a room full of strangers – chatting over a coffee or cocktail but not really knowing who to talk to, how to find the people who have the same interests as you. Unstructured formats like those are not ideal. But thanks to AI there are ways to increase the quality and quantity of contacts your customers can take from their events – without you having to spend extra administrative planning time. AI-based data analyses of how humans interact with intelligent machines as their artificial counterparts, insights can be transferred to matching and connecting registred participants according to their expectations and interests prior to the event, for instance.
General AI trends
Overall, the use of AI has made significant advances in recent years. Predictions regarding major break-throughs in 2024 are hard to make, but there definitely are some cross-cutting industry trends that you should be aware of:
Process automation: AI is increasingly being used to automate repetitive tasks such as invitation planning, guest list management, and statistical reporting.
Personalized experiences: To create personalized event experiences, chatbots and voice assistants can be used to answer questions from attendees and give them recommendations. One example of this is the chatbot "André", which was used at the "transport logistic" trade fair. André provided the visitors with information about exhibitors, scheduled events and details about the exhibition grounds.
Improved security: Also, security of events can be improved through AI, given that, for instance, facial recognition technologies allow controlled access to events for authorized people only.
Data analysis: Above all, AI is an extremely helpful and powerful tool to gather, structure, and analyze data and generate valuable insights from the events. Those data-based findings about attendee numbers, engagement rate, and participant satisfaction build the foundation for improved planning of future events.
Using AI in event planning
Need more examples of how AI can assist in event management? Let the program speak for itself!
Prompt: "Please provide an example of an event that can be planned with AI. Go through it from start (event planning) to closure (event evaluation) and show how and in which phases AI can support the event planners."
1) Event Planning
Objectives: Event planners can use AI to define and supplement the objectives of the event based on valid data. AI can help to identify the target group, create overviews over their backgrounds, interests, or expectations in the event context, and hence tailor the event to the needs of the participants.
Budgeting: AI can help with budget planning by analyzing historical data and making predictions for the cost of the event under certain scenarios, and help you to find the best deals and time windows for booking venues, catering and other services. So, AI can help you to reduce and optimize your expenses.
Venue booking: Finding a suitable location that meets the stakeholders’ requirements can be challenging, but also here AI is used by online portals to filter for and send requests to the best venues based on factors such as geographical location, size and facilities.
Scheduling: With AI you can schedule the event at the right dates, by analyzing previous event series and making predictions for the the best time for the event based on factors such as weather, traffic and other competing events in the host city or industry calendar.
Registration: In client response management and attendee registration, AI can be used to automatically fill out and process registration forms and send notifications to attendees about their registration status, as well as reminders and follow-up messages.
Communication: Apart from that, AI can help with communication in the form of automated mailings and responses to participants' most frequent questions.
Personalization: By analyzing attendees' interests and preferences, AI-powered platforms or tools rely on big data and machine learning to provide personalized recommendations for sessions and program points to attend during the event.
Networking: As explained in the example above, AI can help with participant networking by bringing together participants with similar interests and goals.
3) Evaluation of the event
Feedback: Also after the event, AI serves as a powerful tool for event organizers. For instance, AI can help collect feedback from participants by automatically creating surveys and ratings and analyzing the results to generate findings and make sound recommendations for future events.
In sum, the development of artificial intelligence is already having a major impact on various industries, including the events industry. Open AI and other AI technologies offer great opportunities for more efficient event management throughout the whole project lifecycle. Automating tasks and personalizing the event experience are just some of the benefits they offer. AI is not just a cool gadget, but an important factor for the future of companies and societies worldwide.
However, it is important to note that human-machine collaboration remains essential to deliver excellent results in the long run. Put differently, artificial intelligence can support event planners in completing analytical, repetitive tasks based on structured data. But at the current point in time it is no substitte for the human creativity and multi-facetted expertise a human colleague can bring to the table.
Therefore, the key to improved event planning seems to lie in finding the right balance between the use of AI technologies, on the one hand, while leveraging human capabilities, on the other hand.
After all – if you allow me that remark - as an AI chatbot, I am happy to be at your disposal and to support you with your event planning. But in the end, I can’t do the job for you. It takes united strengths to make the world a little bit better every day.