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SUE GILL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, YOUR EVENT SOLUTIONS


AI WILL BEGIN TO WORK WELL WHEN MEETINGS AND EVENTS ORGANISERS ARE GIVEN THE RIGHT DATA, AND A GOOD USE CASE


THE CONSULTANT ANDREW BURGESS, STRATEGIC AI ADVISER AND AUTHOR


I go to a lot of conferences and often I am on stage speaking on the subject of artificial intelligence. You would think, therefore, that I would welcome apps that promise to help me network at these events, using AI to match me with other compatible and relevant attendees. But I must admit that I have found these apps more of a solution looking for a problem to solve (the old “hammer looking for a nail” analogy). In consequence, I tend to ignore these new technological helpers because I don’t find them particularly helpful. This is how it’s meant to work: you download an app, log in, and are then presented with a long list of people who might share your objectives and interests. But how do they know this? It’s hardly like Tinder where I would enter every tiny detail about myself.


Most of these apps work off your LinkedIn profile, which hardly gives any meaningful insight into you, your role or your reasons for being at the conference. Even if you were asked to fill these details in, how many people actually would, and how many people do it thinking about how they can avoid being sold at for the duration of the conference? However, I believe AI will begin to work well when meetings and events organisers are given the right data, and a good use case. In the future, as individuals start to take more control of their data (probably through the use of blockchains), they will be able to choose how much of their detailed personal and work data they want to release to the conference organisers. Then, perhaps, the apps will give me a shortlist of people I want to meet.


Artificial intelligence has been on the radar of many events and meetings planners for some time. Thanks to technology that is more accessible than ever before, it’s now become a staple part of strategy and process. Personalisation is still key in this industry – stakeholders want to feel that your comprehension of their business and goals is a priority. Utilising AI is becoming instrumental in the planning process. From understanding delegate behaviour in advance of an event to in-depth analysis of delegate roles and responsibilities, the intelligence that can be harnessed through AI is now fundamental to our offering. Client expectations are also increasing – particularly when it comes to high-spend, high-complexity conferences – and the demand for ultra-tailored content and experience is on the rise. As well as integration into standard event apps, we’re exploring how we can incorporate live personal assistants and real-time communications and feedback into the event experience by using AI. This type of efficiency and personalisation will ultimately result in increased client satisfaction with the opportunity to subsequently grow ROI and repeat business. While AI is changing the landscape in terms of intelligence and data-driven insights, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of person-to-person communication. There is little place for AI without the human touch. There’s only so much AI can do. We will continue to work to integrate emerging technology with our team of experts.


buyingbusinesstravel.com


2019


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER


59


THE EVENT SPECIALIST


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