Adam Hausman is a co-founder of RSVPify, a leading event management software platform. He lives in Chicago with his wife and very opinionated 16-month-old daughter.
What AI Event Software Might Mean for the Event Management Industry
Like every other industry, event professionals are both cautiously and optimistically watching as artificial intelligence and the ever-growing ecosystem of tools it empowers begins to shape and transform event planning. AI offers some obvious advantages and benefits for event planners, who are often inundated with data, extensive logistical and scheduling issues, communications needs, and many other processes which could stand to be streamlined by tech.
However, are there also drawbacks for event management platforms and professionals as AI continues to expand into the space? Here are some of the main benefits and potential pitfalls of artificial intelligence in event management for event profs to keep on their radar.
On the Bright Side — The Benefits of AI Event Management Software
As with anything else that AI is impacting right now, the ability to automate certain repetitive processes has its obvious benefits in the events industry. For example:
- Some event professionals are already using AI to help manage and triage travel-related issues and frequently asked questions.
- The ability to automate handling special accommodations and even question-and-answer replies that are fairly frequent parts of any event planner’s daily inbox.
- More and better real-time data, including on guest registration details, but also things like real-time sentiment analysis at events. Event hosts will be able to combine social media sentiment, at-event engagement, attendance, return rates to a conference and other event feedback tools to better tailor that event experience to certain guest personas or segments.
- With the increase of data and real-time analytics, the ability to reshape events on the fly for event hosts will also improve. AI should allow for identifying logistical issues, responding to guest experience challenges and even adding last-minute features and supports that weren’t possible in the past or that could only be identified through anecdotal guest experiences.
What Should Event Professionals Be Wary About?
As the remarkable power of AI continues to evolve daily, it’s essential for event professionals to keep aware of what’s happening with AI and the litany of new tools that are being released — even seemingly for sectors only tangentially related to events (like payment processing, for example). Event professionals who are unwilling to change existing systems and workflows while their competition adopts game-changing AI tools might see an impact in loss of clients or negative attendee experiences more quickly than they expect, especially given the rapid evolution of the technology.
By the same token, younger and less-experienced event professionals may unfortunately start seeing less opportunities to gain relevant experience. Since many younger event professionals often are tasked with routine data entry and guest communication tasks that AI may eventually largely take over, the ability to intern or “learn the ropes” to develop important skills needed for higher-level event management responsibilities may diminish, offering fewer gateways into the industry itself.
Are AI-Powered Events a Net Benefit or Loss for the Industry and Event Profs?
There's no question that AI is going to change the event management industry (as it already is). However, the event management industry and event professionals are all about delivering in-person human experiences, and there are plenty of indications through social media and event industry publications that the desire for in-person and human events and experiences is coming back stronger than ever after the COVID-19 lull.
It’s probably better to think about an AI-powered event industry as a hybrid evolution of the status quo. While AI will not (probably) take the place of actual event attendees, vendors, staff or hosts, it can be a transformative assistant to all of those different members of the event ecosystem. For event professionals, the trick is figuring out how to creatively leverage the benefits of AI in event planning on the big day itself and to constantly keep on top of the latest trends in the industry to ensure your event experiences take full advantage of this transformative technology.