Zahra Al Darwish
Right now, the future is here. Some technologies were once considered a mystery but are now a reality. A revolution is taking place in the events industry due to Artificial Intelligence, in particular. Whatever your knowledge about artificial intelligence, it’s clear that it can drastically change the way events are planned, attendees experience them, and the practices in which you collect the clients/ customers/ attendees feedback.
However, before we explore how artificial intelligence is changing the event industry – and how your event can incorporate it – let’s look at the basics.
What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
It can be hard to pin down precisely what artificial intelligence is. Different industries have different definitions of AI. Regardless, in the event industry, it generally refers to technology or machines that can understand an environment or interact with it using statements, syntax, or intelligent learning.
The truth is that we all utilize artificial intelligence daily, whether we realize it or not. For example; Can you tell me where is the petrol station, Alexa? You can ask Siri to call your spouse. You got the idea, right?!!! There’s much more to chatbots than what you see in the media or in the media itself, but they’re one of the most widely used AI technologies.
How does AI affect the Event Industry?
Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we do business and how we interact with others. AI simplifies processes and allows us to save time while keeping the human touch; no one benefits more from this than event organizers!
Before we can hire virtual concierges and take self-driving cars to the venue, we still have a way to go. Up to now, there are some exciting innovations and developments in artificial intelligence for events.
Check out what AI is already achieving in the event industry, and see what it will accomplish in the future.
1- A practical and Targeted Marketing Strategy:
Thanks to artificial intelligence, it is easier than ever to attract the right people to your event. By leveraging big data on potential customers, digital marketers can leverage AI. As a result, marketing campaigns and social media strategies are created using this data.
Using AI, the buyer journey can be improved using consumer data. By identifying trends, digital marketers can optimize their efforts where necessary. Demographic data allows advertisers to create more effective ads and target specific audiences with tailored messaging. Using AI marketing for events can help event organizers promote their events and sell registration packages to exhibitors.
A chatbot can emulate how a human will respond to site visitors and event app users by conducting conversations. As well as answering questions, they can provide information upon request and keep in contact with attendees. Users can integrate chatbots into third-party messaging apps they already own without downloading an additional app or extension. They give you room to focus on other aspects of planning an event because they’re simple to deploy across different platforms and save time and energy by responding to frequent queries.
3- A Facial Recognition System:
Security is essential at significant events with thousands of attendees. The role of artificial intelligence in hosting a safe event is likely to grow. During the check-in process, for instance. While you want to ensure the people passing through entry are who they claim to be, you also want them to zip through the line quickly. Face recognition can be helpful in this.
For example, Smartphones and planes already operate using facial recognition. There will be more self-check-in booths at events that will scan attendees’ faces and print their badges to keep track of their attendance. With facial recognition, you will be able to keep track of the visitors at your event without having to sort through a list of names.
We can now connect our attendees more effectively thanks to artificial intelligence, again!!. Today, we can use artificial intelligence algorithms to match attendees across industries with overlapping interests, experience the same challenges, and have aligned goals instead of hoping random connections lead to mutually beneficial business relationships.
5- Participant Understanding and a Personalized Event Experience:
It’s impossible to discuss artificial intelligence without mentioning its capabilities. To provide users with a more personalized experience during the event, AI can gain deeper insights into each attendee based on their unique interests. AI can help your event become much more personalized, whether it’s recommending sessions to attend or connecting attendees.
6- Eliminating Language Barriers:
AI is effectively able to process and translate languages if there is anything it can do well. You can use AI to translate web pages, content, and other event-specific communications accurately and instantly, whether you’re planning an event that goes global or simply connecting people across cultures.
7- Saving Cost and Money-Making Opportunities:
Artificial intelligence can help you save money and even earn extra profit. Staffing will be reduced as a cost-saving measure. In areas like check-in and support staff, where AI can pick up some of the responsibilities, we do not want to eliminate human interaction (there’s nothing like a live event!). Still, AI will save on temporary staffing costs.
8- Event Applications:
The event apps will continue to be at the fore of event technology. What is the reason? Event apps have the opportunity to learn and improve with every event they attend. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will ensure our attendees feel like they have a personal assistant to get tailored content tailored just for them.
Event apps will improve suggestions based on our tastes, much like we get recommendations from services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Your event planning is in the right place if you start implementing artificial intelligence now.
Following the sync of your attendee list from your ticketing tool of choice, the unique designed app of yours will analyze each participant’s information and offer recommendations on who to meet and exciting content based on each person’s profile and behaviour. Attendees are more likely to engage with your app when it becomes more innovative, allowing you to customize their experience.
You might wonder how to put what you have learned into action now that you know all the ways AI can help us plan successful events.
Could AI be used at your conference, tradeshow, fashion show, or event?
AI can be used in such events. Your event’s overall goals should be the first step in incorporating AI. As the following:
1- Improve Networking Opportunities:
What can AI do to improve network performance? The site can automatically recommend networking events for peer-to-peer networking, buyer/seller networking, and mentoring networking.
Think about your experience at an event that has 1000 attendees. The problem with traditional networking is that you might find yourself in a room full of strangers at a coffee break with no idea of whom to approach, what type of people are in the room, or how to find the right people for you.
We, as event planners, know how time-consuming it can be to prepare for a meeting. A networking session without a structured plan can be simple to organize.
However, what if we told you that it’s possible to increase the quality of your sessions, as well as their quantity, without spending more time on administrative planning?
Some software allows for interpreting attendees’ data according to their interests, career experiences, geographic location, or just about anything else you would like. Consequently, participants receive an individually tailored list of people to interact with. Don’t let your attendees be stuck talking to the wrong people or not meeting the right people at your event.
2- Communicate Better with Attendees:
Bots are easy to deploy as well as highly effective. Attendees can interact with them via live chat or SMS, communicate questions, provide information, and share updates without the complex event app. In the future, event apps may be replaced by chatbots, particularly for smaller events.
3- Become more Familiar with your Audience:
AI will help you to gain a deeper understanding of attendee data. A quick engagement and satisfaction survey can be conducted using artificial intelligence. This data can be viewed as the event takes place and interprets.
4- Plan Events more Efficiently:
Having worked long hours and staying up late is something we have all experienced. Planning a conference, trade show, or event is complex to streamline every step. By automating processes and sorting through complex data, AI can help you save hours, if not days. The event industry will be impacted by AI regardless of how much you currently understand about the technology. Thus, it is in your best interest to stay on top of this trend and use all the ways to enhance the attendee’s experience.
Future of Events After Covid-19
Adapting to change is part of the event industry’s DNA. There has been considerable change in how it operates over the past few decades. Digitalization is bringing new challenges to sectors, including digital media, big data, and online tools, but it hasn’t replaced personal interactions – just the opposite. Events remain one of the core values and functions of the industry despite the changes brought about by digitalization. Nevertheless, COVID-19 changed the entire event industry over a few days, not over a long period, forcing these companies to rethink their event strategies to deal with the current environment.
Earlier in 2020, Expo2020, a prominent worldwide exhibition, had to be postponed due to COVID-19. After that, we saw the effect, along with country and worldwide the restrictions of the number of attendees goes from 1000, 300, 40, 10 which is affected the overall company’s budget. There is no question that businesses big and small in diverse industries that depend on events must rethink how they do business not to fall victim to the virus.
The marketers and event organizers who can adapt to change will likely be the ones who survive the COVID-19 challenge. Future success will be determined by those who can change their thinking and learn from it. There is a positive outlook for the future, and it assumes that the final changes won’t be dramatic. The day we’re living right now is the furthest we can see at the moment.
Our attention is focused on the problems we are experiencing right now, like how can we maintain customer engagement and bring people together without working face-to-face? Creating opportunities for people to meet up online has proven to be the simplest solution to the latter. The benefits of online events should be exploited to the fullest extent. A few examples of these benefits are cost savings, more choice, and easy accessibility.
Although online events offer different experiences and sensations, it is essential to remember that they do not compare to physical events in this respect. The goal of event marketers is to influence their attendees’ thinking and actions as much as possible, which is difficult to accomplish via a screen. Here, the advantage of AI is vital to comply. Therefore, an online meeting isn’t the only event concept of the future, but it is essential.
We have learned to appreciate the power of physical encounters even more as we live in these exceptional times where the benefits of interactive online events have become more evident than ever.
Our focus will shift to the future when we can look beyond the current situation as we meet face-to-face again! We’ll probably have some new ideas, concepts, and visions that we didn’t have when we met online. There will be exciting alternatives to implement, such as combinations or hybrids that combine physical encounters with modern technology, so that you can connect with people on the other side of the world. Change offers us a great deal of flexibility and possibilities, and that’s truly something worth believing in.
Finally, technological advances are constantly evolving, so we need to become more familiar with the new trends and tools. Join the AI revolution to make your upcoming events memorable experiences.
Zahra Al Darwish
Zahra Al Darwish has worked for more than 13 years in banking, airlines, facility management, and insurance. Achieving a Merit MBA, she studied smart cities and chose Dubai for her dissertation. In addition, she's an entrepreneur, author, novelist, and speaker occasionally. Her entrepreneurial journey began in 2008 when she led a pioneering e-commerce venture, which gave her exposure to the media and gave her a platform for success.
Furthermore, she is an author, novelist, and guest author. Finally, Zahra is also preparing a book about passive income vs. financial freedom.