Artificial intelligence (AI) can be simply described as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings (…), such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.” (Source: Britannica).
The majority of us are familiar with or even use AI in our everyday life, through movies or applications such as Siri, Alexa, or chatbots that answer questions on websites.
Therefore, it makes sense that artificial intelligence would become relevant for events and meetings.
In this article, we are going to show how artificial intelligence can be applied in the events industry and what type of benefits events stakeholders can get from it.
How artificial intelligence can fit in the events industry
Artificial intelligence can be used in two ways for events, by implementing AI activations or using AI to get better analytics.
- Facial recognition: “A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video. It compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match.” (Source: Norton). To incorporate this service at their event, organizers need to collect photos from consenting attendees during the registration process.
- Intelligent Virtual Assistants: “A software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on commands or questions.” (Source: Wikipedia). When the conversation is conducted via text or text-to-speech, we usually refer to this type of software as a chatbot. But you can also find voice assistants, the most famous of which are Siri and Alexa. During events, they can, for example, provide translation services.
- Machine learning/deep learning systems: “Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that gives computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmed.” (Source: MIT Sloan). For events, this can, for example, be used to provide intelligent matchmaking where exhibitors/suppliers are “matched” with potentially interested attendees.
It has never been easier to collect large amounts of data. Indeed, the accumulated digital universe of data was around 64 zettabytes in 2020 (which, incidentally, represents roughly 60 times more bytes than stars in the observable universe!).
This trend has not spared the events industry as an unprecedented wealth and richness of data are now generated by events, especially with new tech-oriented activations (beacons, wearables, facial recognition cameras, etc.).
The trouble is, analyzing, categorizing, and generating actionable insights and analytics from these data has become impossible for the human brain, especially with so many variables.
And event planners are aware they could do much better as recent research from CVENT showed that “81% of event professionals say integrating data from attendees’ digital and physical footprints is extremely/very important—but only 20% feel their organisations are extremely very effective at data integration. The interest is very high, but the execution is not.” (Source: CVENT “The power of live event data” research report).
That’s where artificial intelligence solutions, especially deep-learning algorithms, come in to help by collating the data, analyzing it, uncovering trends and patterns, and producing reports that give event planners actionable insights into ways to improve their events and deliver a better experience to their attendees.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the benefits event stakeholders can get from artificial intelligence.
Benefits of using artificial intelligence for events
AI can give a better grasp of data
By collating data from various sources into one interface, AI can make data collection easier and more complete.
It can also provide richer insights as AI can interpret and reconcile data from multiple data sets and give access to new insights, like sentiment analysis from the language used in chatbot and social media interactions.
AI can help enable real-time changes
Footfall heatmaps (through data collected via beacons, wearables, or facial recognition tools) will provide real-time insight into where attendees are at any given time. This means organizers can anticipate logistics problems, like bottlenecks, soon-to-be crowded sessions, shortage of food or beverages, or underperforming areas. They can therefore make on-the-spot adjustments.
AI can facilitate check-in operations
By using facial recognition, event planners can speed up the check-in process.
AI can also facilitate security, especially for large gatherings: facial recognition software, by sorting through databases, can recognize attendees or spot people on security lists faster and more accurately than any human being.
That means less manpower needed and a more accurate process overall. That also makes for greater convenience and a better experience through a smoother process for the attendee.
AI can improve attendees’ satisfaction/engagement
AI tools can help give real-time insights into attendee’s engagement and satisfaction through events apps with integrated AI, or chatbots. This can range from the most frequent problems attendees encounter to results from exit surveys.
This can help the organizer address critical satisfaction issues in real time.
For conferences, these tools can provide insight into sessions’ popularity and speakers’ ratings, for example showing the topics people are most interested in, allowing speakers and event organizers to adjust the content in real time.
Sentiment analysis conducted through analysis of social media comments, interactions, or conversations can also give insight into how attendees feel about the event and help event organizers meet their expectations.
Voice assistants and chatbots can act as personal assistants or event concierges. These tools are available 24/7 to answer any question and can provide personalized recommendations on which sessions to attend, which booth to visit, etc.
AI tools can give exhibitors opportunities for higher quality leads and better ROI
If provided with real-time insights into their booth’s performance through heatmaps, exhibitors can then act to improve their booth visibility in real time, for example, by sending notifications to potential leads.
It can also give them valuable information on where high-traffic areas are located (this can show high-value real estate for future participation).
Deep learning software can be used to match attendees with suppliers. Chatbots or event apps can then send recommendations to attendees to visit booths based on their interests.
Exhibitors can then personalize their offerings to suit the attendees better because they have better insight into their needs and expectations. Face recognition can also be used to greet each attendee by name, which really makes the experience more personal and memorable.
Artificial intelligence has a lot to offer to the events and meetings industry.
By providing new and exciting activations, AI tools can help create better experiences for the attendees and increase engagement.
And by helping event organizers make better sense of the large amount of data generated by events participants, AI-generated analytics can help detect patterns and gain richer insights that can then be used to improve the event in real time and for future marketing and engagement efforts.
We can help you integrate these new technological tools to make your next booth stand out! Contact us today if you have a project you would like to talk about.