Artificial intelligence is more prevalent in our everyday lives than most of us realise. Far from the impending doom of a ‘robot revolution’, early ambassadors of A.I have put it to use is such a way that we are, for the most part, blissfully unaware of the level of convenience it has brought to our everyday lives.
From allowing our phones to guide us to the nearest petrol station to scrolling through tailored advertising on our social media feeds, A.I has become such a part of our day to day existence that it is often unrecognisable as such.
So what can artificial intelligence offer the events industry and how can we ‘plan smarter’?
Concierge Apps & Chatbots
This is the strand of A.I that most of us are familiar with, even if we don’t realise it. Many of us have welcomed artificially intelligent assistants into our lives, whether they be Siri, Alexa or Cortana, and we’ve come to expect answers on demand. Whilst uptake may have been initially slow, the events industry has caught on to this trend for instant response systems, particularly in the age of personalisation, where attendees not only expect answers at their fingertips but also want to tailor their experience to suit their own needs.
Providing attendees with their own virtual event assistant can vastly improve their experience, allowing them to navigate their way through your event with ease, and there are an increasing number of providers already offering off-the-shelf software or bespoke solutions tailored to your specific requirements.
But whilst Concierge Apps and Chatbots are already contributing to a more personalised experience, they are a relatively basic form of the technology. It’s A.I ‘deep learning’ capability that could see the biggest impact on the industry.
Machine learning, the process by which a computer is able to develop its own ‘thought process’ and make informed decisions based on data, is A.I in a truer sense of the term. It is this strand of the technology that has been widely adopted in the marketing world. When an online platform presents you with tailored recommendations, it has done so through a process of machine learning, through which your personal preferences have been predicted based on past activity.
In the events world, machine learning could provide many future benefits. For organisers, imagine a venue sourcing platform that offers recommendations based on the specifications of past choices. For attendees, event apps and websites that suggest relevant sessions or workshops could save precious time in the shaping of a personalised agenda.
Machine learning can also offer a practical and functional approach to on-site event management. With machines able to process far greater amounts of data than even the most astute of planners, events that take place on a large scale could benefit hugely from A.I technology that understands certain requirements, such as food and beverage supplies, and reacts to demand. Through a process of pattern recognition and data generated reasoning, certain machine learning systems should be able to predict the logistical needs of an event as it unfolds in real time.
Also known as opinion mining, sentiment analysis can prove an exceptionally useful tool for gathering quality feedback in real time, as well as developing a deeper understanding of your target audience.
Simply put this particular strand of A.I analyses online commentary, such as Tweets or forum discussions, and separates by positive and negative tone. When we apply sentiment analysis to an event’s live Twitter feed, we can get a pretty good idea of how our audience feels in the moment, allowing for issues to be addressed and changes to be made where possible, resulting in a much more beneficial experience for both delegates and organisers alike.
Sentiment analysis can also be put to good use in the planning of events. Through prompting discussions around particular topics, planners can assess audience response and interest levels, ultimately allowing them to plan their content around topics most likely to engage.
Of course, we are still talking artificial intelligence. As human beings, we have a well-developed understanding of the complexities of our language. We are able to place the written word into context, assume intonation and identify sarcasm. Sentiment analysis (in its present form) lacks this ability and can never be 100% accurate, but when dealing with large sets of data, it is still a highly valuable tool that offers a wealth of benefits to event planners.
As we begin to understand the benefits that the various strands of A.I hold for the events industry, we’ll begin to see a shift towards a ‘smarter’ planning process that will benefit both organisers and attendees.
Personalisation will become achievable on a grand scale, leading to enhanced engagement through uniquely tailored experiences, whilst organisers will begin to gather increasingly insightful feedback on those experiences, allowing for optimal execution at future events and clear, measurable indicators of success.
The Presentation Group offer a range of event technology solutions to support your needs. Contact us today to find out more.
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