Most of us have heard a lot about AI and its potential consequences lately, both good and bad, but what could it mean for events? We investigated what this tech trend could mean to our industry and the opportunities that lie within it.
In this blog post we wanted to really dig deep in order to understand how the events industry could make the most of this technology. Hopefully, we can spark some new ideas on how to use AI in order to make events better, more useful for guests, and more cost-efficient for organisers.
1. AI Can Help You Cut Down on Staff
A good way to use AI in events is to cut costs by using less staff. In many cases, new technology can replace staff and streamline processes by not needing manpower for the smallest things. This is true for many industries. What we all probably know from own experiences is that we still need some staff even though we’ll need far from the same amount.
A good example of how AI has been implemented at many events, especially trade shows, is facial recognition. Most of us know about this technology from iPhone’s FaceID but it can also effectively be used in events.
The most popular way to use this is to check people in and access their tickets at the entrance. This could solve issues of lost tickets, long queues, and the number of people needed to check tickets and ID. For any of us that’s ever used the automatic passport control at Heathrow though, we know there might still be a need for some staff to help out.
Another way AI can help you cut down on staff is through chatbots that can answer the guests’ questions. This can be utilized both before and during the event as a convenient feature for the attendees. Our preferred way of using chatbots is to always be transparent with it being a bot and not a human. It’s also always good to offer some human interaction if the bot isn’t able to answer the question.
Key takeaway: AI can cut unnecessary costs for staff but can’t replace people completely. Facial recognition and chatbots are both useful tools in events.
2. Networking Will Get Even Easier With AI
It’s no secret that networking is the main reason people attend a lot of events. As we’ve become used to not having to always attend events in person people are pickier than ever with what’s worth their time and as organisers, we should make sure we give them what they want. If people want to network (and they do), make it super simple for them.
One way that AI can help with this is by matching people with similar interests and goals at the event. This way people no longer need to blindly network their way through the crowd. As people become pickier and pickier about what events to attend, good networking opportunities is most likely going to be their most important priority.
A recent survey showed that 69% think the most significant disadvantage of online meetings is the lack of networking opportunities. With AI this could change as people would get the chance to be matched with people whom they might be interested in networking with. It might still not be the same as meeting in person yet it could be the perfect balance between the two.
Something else where AI could expand social circles is through translation. This is an area where AI has completely changed the rules and made it easier for people from all over the world to communicate. By leveraging translation services and tools this could be an opportunity to connect people in new ways and help attendees broaden their horizons.
Key takeaways: By using AI we can make it easier for event attendees to form meaningful connections through translation tools and algorithmically decide who they might want to network with.
3. More Data Can Improve Events Over Time
New tools help us collect data that we could only dream about before. By collecting data about attendees and behavioural flows you’ll be able to get feedback straight from behaviours rather than self-reporting. You can collect data about how many people attended compared to how many RSVPs you got, you can see how many people attend different sessions, and how long they stay for. These are just some examples of how data collection could help make your next event even more fantastic.
Collecting data is made super simple if you’re hosting an online event but in-person events can be equally important to collect data from. Just remember that if you’re collecting the data you should also make sure to analyse and use it. A lot of companies collect data and we’re firm believers it’s not worth going through the hassle if you’re not going to use it.
Another great way of using data is to collect information about individual attendees in order to personalise future invitations and make their overall experience better. When collecting data about individuals you should always be very careful with how it’s handled as it could be illegal to let it get into the wrong hands. This applies to all data so remember to not take data collection lightly.
Key takeaways: Data can help you make the experience better for attendees at future events. Remember to be careful and only collect data you actually intend to use.
Keep an eye out for our future blog posts on technology trends and how they will affect the events industry. If you’re looking for a venue for your next event, fill out our venue finder form or browse all our venues.