Here at MeetGreen, our enthusiasm for utilizing technology to support our clients and geeking out about the latest tools out there is something that is embedded in our company culture. If you’re at all like us, your Slack channels, staff meeting shares, and personal newsfeeds have been chock full of tidbits about how AI will change our lives. As event planners, it will change how we do business. And boy, are we excited about it.

The Rise of AI

The Rise of AI

The most accessible definition of AI we’ve seen comes from Skift Meetings, which defines it as:

[A] set of technologies that can improve the performance of tasks by quickly discovering patterns, searching data, translating languages, answering questions, and making predictions. This includes machine learning, natural language processing, image, speech, and text recognition. These technologies, when combined, are potent as they enable computers to use large data sets to perform tasks more quickly and accurately than humans.

Tech analysts are already hailing AI as the next big “disruptive technology,” following in the footsteps of:

  • Introduction of the PC in the 1980s
  • Widespread adoption of the internet in the 90s-2000s
  • Drastic changes to our lives brought on by mobile technology over the last 15 years

As with all disruptive technologies, critics are concerned about how AI could eliminate jobs or lead to a massive shift in the job market, but for now, that remains speculative.

Even if you’re not a tech geek, you’ve likely already experienced how AI sneaks into our daily lives. Just think of:

  • Alexa
  • Siri
  • Even predictive text suggestions on your:
    • Phones
    • Email
    • Word processors

Over the last few years in the event industry, we’ve seen significant adoption of the following:

  • Matchmaking suggestions on event apps that are run by AI algorithms
  • Use of AI translation and closed captioning to make events more accessible
  • Use of software on video conferencing to automatically take meeting minutes and note action items

Limits & Considerations

Limits And Considerations

As with all emerging technology, concerns around ethics and limitations of the technology have yet to be fully addressed. Notably, while AI can often generate human-like text, it doesn’t have the human understanding needed to interpret the context of a situation. This can limit its ability to:

  • Decipher critical nuances
  • Lead to impersonal and inappropriate responses

Additionally, if the AI has a limited database or inaccurate information, it can make assumptions and deliver potentially damaging guidance.

These systems are designed to provide all information with the same confidence level. It can be challenging for humans to sort out when the technology has reached a limitation and may be making a stretch into misinformation. Concern over human overreliance on such technology leads to a lack of critical thinking and human touch. This technology is very clearly most useful when working in tandem with humans and is not a replacement for us.

Real-world Applications in the Event Industry

Event Management

In an ideal world, adopting AI in the event industry could lead to positive changes, welcome news for an industry known for high-stress levels, and the perpetual feeling of being short on time. Perhaps most noteworthily, it could cut down on highly repetitive tasks and free up more time for:

  • Bigger-picture thinking
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Upskilling
  • Empathy

Here’s how we hope to see this technology playing out in our industry:

FAQs & Customer Service:

Providing a list of your event specs to ChatGPT can produce high-quality party lines for common questions and a list of FAQs for your potential customers. In the future, this could lead to a low-cost customer service chatbot that is tied into all the pertinent data about your event and can uniquely respond to each individual.

Schedule Building:

Provide AI your working parameters for an event with the following:

  • Dates
  • Times
  • Rooms
  • Room sizes
  • Session lists

To receive output of a few iterations of a schedule for you to use as a starting point. Potentially helping you to think outside the box with regards to your space and content. We hope that one day it will improve the attendee experience by optimizing their time onsite and assisting with wayfinding.

Site Selection:

One of the most wonderful things about chatbots like ChatGPT is that you can type plainly into the interface and receive comprehendible information without jumping through the hoops needed to use a traditional search engine. AI can do the data analysis legwork for you. Instantly narrowing down location options by weeding out those that don’t qualify under your parameters. Hopefully, it could even be tied into real-time availability and pricing to help streamline the RFP and contract negotiation process.

Menu Customization:

Our sustainability-minded clients often request menu adjustments to help them walk the talk onsite. You can prompt AI to adjust your menu to consider specific dietary requirements such as:

  • Local
  • Organic
  • Plant-based

By doing this you can use the suggestions as a starting point for discussions with your caterer.

Highlighting Local Culture:

AI has an incredible capability to synthesize a vast amount of data effortlessly. By using the tool you will save time doing research about the event destination. Asking a chatbot to summarize our event destinations will likely become one of our go-to methods for discovering local recommendations and cultural highlights.

Assisting with Written Content:

By entering a prompt into ChatGPT, AI can spit out a rough draft or help to brainstorm some starting points. Of course, you’ll still need your perspective and expertise to create a finished product. Here are some examples of the type of content it can create:

  • Marketing content
  • Session titles
  • Descriptions for your agenda

We even used it to brainstorm ideas for a title for this article!

Visualizing Event Spaces:

AI isn’t just about the written word a whole portion of the technology focuses on creating and interpreting images. You may have seen the technology on Amazon to “visualize items in your space.” Many venues now offer 360 tours of their spaces, imagine meshing those two tools together. We foresee that we are on the cusp of having technologies that could allow us to visualize precisely how we’ll utilize our:

  • Exhibit hall
  • Event foyers
  • Plenary stage

This visual would include items from our decorators and other vendors.

Creating Timelines:

What if the tedious but critical task of developing event-specific timelines for planning and marketing could be automated? Planners would rejoice! ChatGPT can offer customized timeline templates with:

  • Best practices for various events
  • Shift your deadlines to reflect the event dates
  • Keep you organized and on track

Managing Sponsorships:

With such a vast database and a set of examples to pull from, AI can take some of the guesswork out of generating sponsorship prospects to pursue. Perhaps in the near future, it can even help automate the customization of sponsor agreements, help track commitments, and sponsor benefit follow-up.

Endless Possibilities for Event Planners

Event Professional

From menu customization to site selection, we firmly believe that the impact of AI on the event industry has the potential to revolutionize the way we:

  • Plan
  • Organize
  • Execute events

By using this technology to automate repetitive tasks and crunch the data for us, event planners will have more time to focus on event strategy and innovation. We can’t wait to see how AI will enhance the event industry when put in the hands of thoughtful event planners who bring the human touch, critical thinking, and empathy that are the hallmarks of a successful event.