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Artificial Intelligence: It’s Changing Everything

By Wilson Tang


  • How artificial intelligence is making event planning easier
  • Innovations in attendee engagement thanks to AI

What’s ahead for event technology in the next year? This second installment in a five-part series takes a deep dive on what we see becoming important for event professionals to consider in 2019. Missed part one? Read about how data is growing up and making big changes.

Artificial intelligence isn’t just for science fiction anymore.

AI is fast becoming a part of our daily lives that impacts the way we interact with technology and the world around us.

What’s driving all this new artificial intelligence revolution? The explosion of Big Data, through the constant innovation of technologies like cloud computing and the Internet of Things, is providing massive data sets for new machine learning techniques like neural networks to digest. A new AI revolution is underway!

With new advancements in AI, computers can not only perform faster, but finally start to understand better than ever before. Without getting into philosophical debates about cognition, computers are finally starting to be able to make intelligent, informed decisions as well as track and understand human emotion, not just follow automated commands. Areas such as creativity and insights that once were reserved for human beings are seeing major advancements.

So what does that mean for event professionals? We’ve identified five trends in artificial intelligence that are poised to change the game in the next year:

Trend #1: Chatbots

Whether you’re chatting to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google Assistant, chatbots are reinventing the way we interact with computers — they’re the new user interface. Look at how Alexa works with Amazon, for example: customers are encouraged by special Alexa-only deals to use their Echo devices to order from Amazon rather than the website.

Chatbots are also creating new, smart channels for brands at events and beyond, whether it’s via voice interactions, online chat, text messages, or Facebook Messenger. They can drive revenue, registrations, and more. They literally allow brands to finally have a “conversation” with their customers all year long.

Trend #2: Computer vision

Computer vision is the ability for machines to actually understand the visual world around them. Examples of computer vision are technologies like facial recognition, which gives us new applications such as real-time security monitoring, live feedback, attendee tracking, and more.

Even more powerfully, computer vision technologies are allowing computers to understand human sentiment at scale, so events can truly start to understand how their audiences are feeling at any given moment.

Trend #3: Recommendations

Personalization can finally start to happen at scale thanks to artificial intelligence’s ability to parse through data and see what decisions are really driving attendee behaviors, giving marketers the ability to fine tune the smallest details of a campaign throughout an event.

This creates opportunities for organizers to use AI recommendations to customize an attendee’s event experience, matchmake at networking events, guide them through the show floor, give them tips on local attractions, or even predict their behavior.

Trend #4: Generative design

Computers are now venturing into the realm of design. How? Artificial intelligence technology makes it possible for computers to design, test, and iterate on structures and layouts thousands, even millions, of times until they find just the right fit for the objective. This is already creating advances that are producing structures and tools that are lighter, stronger, and more cost-effective than their human-designed counterparts. We’re seeing this applied to large-scale events — in fact, Freeman has been creating floor plan layouts through generative designs that use massive simulation. This holds a lot of promise for events when it comes to designing booths, content, campaigns, and so much more.

Trend #5: Self-guided robotics

Robots aren’t taking over (yet), but they are finally becoming a viable option for automating physical tasks such as storage, transportation, and even exhibit construction. This can help lower labor costs, diminish safety issues, and free up valuable workforce to concentrate on the kinds of tasks that robots just can’t accomplish.

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