What Does ChatGPT Mean for the Events Industry?

February 21, 2023

Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is Executive Vice President of Business Development at Tarsus Group, US. Follow her on Twitter @TSNN_Rachel.

As soon as I heard about ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) – an AI chatbot program from a company called OpenAI that gives detailed answers to questions in a matter of seconds – my interest was instantly piqued.

I first heard about it when a professor was on the news talking about how students were using it to write assignments and how the professor thought it was easy to tell when the students did.

I also heard a recent marketing podcast on which it was debated if and when the chatbot program could take over basic copywriting duties.

The jury definitely still is out on the above, but I thought I would give ChatGPT a simple event planning challenge and see what happened.

I asked the program the following question that it answered in about 5 seconds.

How would you plan an event in a hotel with a group of dentists who need to see new products and earn their CEMs?

To plan an event in a hotel with a group of dentists who need to see new products and earn their CEMs, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Define the objective and budget: The first step is to define the objective of the event and establish a budget. This will help determine the size of the event, the number of attendees, and the type of activities to be included.
  2. Choose a suitable hotel: Select a hotel that is convenient for the attendees and has enough space for the event. Make sure the hotel has the necessary equipment and technology to support the event, including audio-visual equipment, Wi-Fi, and adequate space for product displays.
  3. Develop a program: Develop a program that includes educational sessions and product demonstrations. Ensure the sessions cover relevant topics for the attendees and provide opportunities for discussion and interaction.
  4. Arrange product displays: Work with product vendors to arrange product displays, ensuring that they are relevant to the attendees and can be used to earn CEMs.
  5. Plan social events: Plan social events, such as networking receptions and dinners, to provide opportunities for attendees to interact and build relationships.
  6. Communicate with attendees: Communicate regularly with attendees, providing them with event details and logistics, including travel and accommodation information.
  7. Provide CEMs certification: Ensure that the event is accredited for CEMs certification and provide attendees with appropriate certification upon completion of the event.
  8. Manage the event: Manage the event, ensuring that everything runs smoothly, and that attendees are engaged and satisfied with the experience.
  9. Collect feedback: Collect feedback from attendees after the event, to determine what worked well and what could be improved in future events.

By following these steps, you can plan a successful event in a hotel for a group of dentists who need to see new products and earn their CEMs.

Pretty basic and broad – but not too bad!


So, what are some other possible uses for ChatGPT for the events industry?

How about planning a menu? You can ask the program to plan for groups of people and put in any themes, number of courses, type of overall cuisine and any menu restrictions - seconds later – a menu will appear.

Ask it questions about any destinations – like what convention centers would fit an event with 100,000 people? It named a few around the world, including McCormick Place in Chicago.

I asked it how events could be more sustainable and it listed several ideas, such as local sourced food, compostable plates and utensils, choose a sustainable venue, measure carbon emissions and partner with local organizations to promote social responsibility initiatives.

Basically – you can ask ChatGPT just about anything, and while many of the event planning ideas are pretty general for now, as the program gets more sophisticated, it could possibly add some new ideas into your events in the future.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.