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Artificial Intelligence is transforming the events industry

How artificial intelligence is transforming the events industry

Posted on November 15th, 2017 in AI for Events

Artificial intelligence (AI) is  fundamentally changing the way organisations operate across the industries, and events are no exception.

These increasingly sophisticated computer systems can process and respond to data faster and more efficiently than human operators. Incorporating AI into events can streamline processes for organisers and deliver a more personalised and meaningful experience to attendees.

Australian events are lagging behind when it comes to AI adoption, which is threatening the competitiveness of an industry that’s already facing challenges on the global stage. Working out how to integrate AI into events can improve the experience for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors alike.

Benefits for organisers

Artificial intelligence is already solving problems identified across the industries, from driverless vehicles enhancing safety at mine sites to voice recognition technology improving productivity at call centres. Event organisers should consider the challenges their conferences are facing when deciding whether AI could help.

Although this technology is still in its infancy, AI and machine learning are already helping busy event organisers to find ideal venues and improve efficiency during events themselves.

Venue-finding services alert owners when someone is enquiring about their site. This allows them to reach out instantly if they have a vacancy, rather than wasting time and resources on cold calls.

‘Deep learning’ AI recognises patterns and can anticipate likely needs. By recording footfalls at a conference and learning from previous events, an AI system can calculate how many seats or refreshments are needed throughout the day more accurately than relying on registrations alone.

Benefits for attendees

As well as helping things run more smoothly for organisers, AI can also improve events for delegates by offering a more personalised experience. This ensures they get the maximum benefit for their time and money and are left with a positive impression. The larger the event, the more useful AI can be for cutting through the noise and providing each delegate with an individual experience.

Rather than choosing talks and sessions on a whim or relying on traditional matchmaking approaches for networking, delegates can receive tailored recommendations for activities to attend and people to meet. AI can base these decisions on attendees’ social media profiles, business interests and past behaviours, and will record their decisions and satisfaction from this event to deliver even stronger recommendations next time.

Many events are also finding success using chatbots to answer attendees’ questions before, during and after events, without the delays or costs involved with human operators. These interfaces can reply to common questions such as when tickets go on sale and learn from user feedback to improve their accuracy over time. The earlier you incorporate AI into your events, the sooner this learning process can begin.

Are you prepared?

AI isn’t just the latest tech buzzword – these systems have already proven effective for giving events a competitive edge, and will be increasingly in demand by attendees and sponsors as they become more familiar with the technology.

While AI is already widely used in the United States and other regions, Australia has been slower on the uptake. Google Australia managing director Jason Pellegrino recently urged local businesses to speed up their uptake of AI, with only around 8 percent of Australian-listed companies actively investing in the technology in 2018.

Organisations that adopt AI will have a headstart on the competition, but Australia is also suffering from a skills shortage. Research by CEB in 2016 found that the country had a talent pool of just 3,370 AI experts, mostly centred on Sydney.

With demand for AI skills rising by 50 percent each year, event organisers face the choice of hiring talent from overseas, hiring fresh graduates who lack experience or upskilling current employees with AI training programs to plug the skills gap and help their organisations get ahead.

Find out how to grow your business

Find out more about data as a driver of growth and change: a panel discussion on how to find and analyse relevant data to drive innovation and sales during the afternoon breakout sessions at The Business of Events Day 1.


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