We all understand the importance of events – they are mainly about people, networking and socializing as well as presenting ideas and messages to a large audience. The events industry has completely changed over the last decade due to the penetration of technology. The event tech landscape has enormously evolved and what used to appear impossible few years back has become a living reality. From wearables, radio frequency identification tags, to mobile apps and other event management software, the event industry has benefited tremendously from tech advancements. Mobile apps, an unheard thing in the mid-1990s, have become a standard for any event planner. Technology has also significantly increased the success of events, whether by automating and streamlining manual processes associated with event planning or injecting a little something to amplify attendees’ interest.
Can artificial intelligence become a reality in events?
Tech developments show no signs of cooling down and will greatly influence the events industry. One such development is the use of Artificial Intelligence in events. A recent news published by Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings shows how artificial intelligence can be used to enhance attendee experience. A networking solution tool uses Artificial Intelligence to match attendees together or attendees with exhibitors based on their interest. The matchmaking tool uses attendee feedback and sends it to a central hub, which then allows it to “learn” about the changing preferences of the user. However, this process has its own limitations. It appears to be an impractical process as attendees don’t necessarily provide continuous feedback and their preferences can change over time. With changing attendee preferences, the data provided year-on- year may not be relevant for the next event.
While the clever matchmaking between attendees, exhibitors and sponsors doesn’t sound like a true artificial platform, it is certainly a breakthrough technology in the events industry. To be true artificial intelligence, the tool has to learn from data like driverless cars gather data from cars and send it to a central hub. So is artificial intelligence far from reality in the events industry? Artificial Intelligence may have its own limitations and might not be appropriate at every aspect of event planning, and the matchmaking tool is just an example where Artificial intelligence may not be the right option.
So is there any aspect of the event lifecycle where Artificial Intelligence can be used well? While still in its inception stages, Artificial Intelligence can certainly work in some areas of event planning. For instance, it can be used to revolutionize how attendees use event mobile apps. A common problem attendees have with event mobile apps is lack of information. When they attend any event, they require a plethora of information at their fingertips, information like who all are attending the event, what is the itinerary, who’s delivering the keynote speech, etc. While a lot of mobile apps promise to deliver tons of information about events, they usually fall short of delegates’ expectations due to reasons like poor Wi-Fi or the app being filled with less useful information. In such instance, Artificial Intelligence can provide information on demand. What the event management software today needs is a voice activated personal assistants like Siri and Cortana that can provide all the information when required.
It appears Artificial Intelligence can prove promising in some areas of event planning and its advancement can help event planners deliver more streamlined networking experience and boost quality leads for exhibitors. Like event management software, Artificial Intelligence can soon be a reality and may be as sophisticated like driverless cars or other industries presently pioneering this technology. Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more efficient and can be used to increase attendee engagement. ‘Bots’ can effectively help with long term savings, as it can provide information to attendees and allow a smooth booking and check-in process.
It also has the potential to be used as an attendee engagement platform. But how sure we can be about these tech advancements, only time will tell. What we can certainly be sure of are drones and robots. These are definitely the ones to look out for! Drones along with drone-inspired technology use interactive and immersive first-person views that can easily boost attendee experience for those who are in different rooms or centers. This technology can also be beneficial for online or live streamed events. Similarly, robots at events can be of a great help at any events. They can be used for promotional or informative purposes to drive attendee engagement and enhance attendee experience. While event tech continues to revolutionize the industry, these new technologies, albeit immature right now, hold an exciting future ahead and can completely overhaul the way we envision events today!