AI’s Impact on Events

In episode seven of New In Events, Mike Fletcher and Paul Cook discuss AI, innovation and the tech supplier relationship with three event technology experts.

Short for time? Scroll to the bottom to discover the key takeaways.

A major talking point at the Visionary Leaders Workshop held at IBTM World in Barcelona last year was the sheer breadth of technology solutions, which purport to augment and enhance the event experience.

Tools like mobile event apps, AI-powered translation, registration platforms, RFID tracking and online survey solutions (to name just a few) have become commonplace, giving planners greater choices but also causing confusion around what’s worth investing in and how to integrate and embed.

In the resulting Future-proofing events report, available to download here, the event experts offered the following five pieces of advice:

1.   Shift your perspective: Strip things back and see technology for what it is - a tool that helps humans to do things differently.

2.   Make small bets: Avoid overwhelm by starting small and testing. It could be experimenting with ChatGPT or automating the event registration process.

3.   Upskill your team: It’s natural for people to feel fear of newness. The solution is to educate, upskill and build confidence across your teams.

4.   Consider personalisation and accessibility: AI-driven and tech-based features can help to personalise people’s experience and make events more accessible. Live translation, session recommendations and audience analytics are just three examples.

5.   Gamify: Gamification has been around for years but now we’re using technology to facilitate it. Encourage engagement by introducing scoreboards, levels and rewards, motivating attendees to achieve certain goals.

In episode seven of New In Events - a podcast by IBTM- we explore this theme of technology and how to get the most out of it further.

Vok Dams CEO, Colja Dams explains how AI will change the planner’s role forever and how greater societal adoption of AI will drive live events as a more authentic and trustworthy form of marketing and communication.

“AI is not going to kill off the event manager’s role but those event managers using AI will occupy the jobs for the future,” he says.

Colja also predicts that the role of the event technologist will become more prevalent in the industry.

“In October, we opened an office in Barcelona populated by an entire team of creative technologists focused on the new AI technologies,” he continues. “We’ve created a sandbox to safely check out existing tools to see how they can help us with our workflow for creating, managing and analysing events.”

From the podcast booth at IBTM World, we then hear from a creative technologist, employed by drpg Group. Nick Fagen tells us about his role and introduces listeners to Holoplot, the sound technology that powers the Las Vegas Sphere.

Using 3-D audio-beamforming, Holoplot can ensure equal sound coverage over any distance and target different sections of an audience, for example, with a translation. So a speaker could deliver a presentation in English and targeted areas of the auditorium could hear it in German, French or Spanish.

Finally, on episode seven of New In Events, we speak with Vanessa Lovatt, strategy consultant at the Financial Times. Vanessa has previously worked for event technology suppliers so she understands better than anyone the relationships between clients and suppliers.

She advises: “For all those new, burgeoning, growing event technology companies, focus on the outcomes - the actual results that you help organisers to achieve. You may offer registration or an engagement or analysis tool but that’s what it does. What does it help me to achieve? As an organiser, that’s what I really need to know quickly and succinctly.”

Vanessa has lots more advice for getting the most out of the supplier relationship and embedding new technologies into the event management process. So check out episode 7 of New In Events - a podcast by IBTM and don’t forget to ‘pass the pod’ to colleagues interested in this key technology trend.

All episodes of New In Events can be found on Spotify here. We hope you’re enjoying the series so far. 

Key takeaways from Episode Seven of New In Events

  • Fear and overwhelm about how to use and integrate emerging event technology presents a key challenge. Building confidence across teams requires investment – not only in the tech but also in taking people on a learning journey.
  • AI is already changing the world of live events. From planning and organisation to interaction, personalisation and measurement. AI offers a wealth of opportunities to take live events to a new level.
  • Event technology is part of the events world and it’s not going anywhere. But we need to improve people’s understanding of outcomes and provide evidence that it works. It will help build trust between buyers and vendors.
  • There’s a lot of talk around how to integrate event tech with other tech solutions. Make sure suppliers understand the steps you need to go through to get technology approved and how the integration process happens.
  • Have clear measures of success for the first month, three months and then, depending on what the solution is, six months or 12 months. And share them with your supplier. A good supplier will bend over backwards to make them happen.    

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