How AI can shape event personalisation

Originally published in The PCO.

By Nicole Walker
CEO, Arinex

In the ever-evolving landscape of event management, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a game-changer, offering endless possibilities for personalisation and engagement.

AI-Powered Personalisation

Consider the myriad touchpoints at an event – from the initial website visit to registration and the moment a delegate enters the venue and dons their name badge. Through advancements in AI, these seemingly small interactions are opportunities to tailor the event experience to individual preferences.

In essence, AI’s capacity to rapidly process vast amounts of data is ushering in a new era of personalisation. At Arinex, as we continue to explore and integrate new capabilities into our technology offering, we envision a future where, for example, website landing pages dynamically adjust to reflect past delegate preferences. This concept mirrors the algorithms driving supermarket reward apps, analysing every aspect of a customer’s visit – from the day and time to convert purchases – to facilitate targeted promotions and offers.

Utilising data gathered from past attendance, session choices and industry experience, the algorithms suggest schedules tailored to each delegate’s interests and objectives. This ensures that every session attended contributes meaningfully to their professional growth, thereby fostering an enriching event experience.

Although this form of AI-generated personalisation has yet to be fully developed or realised within our industry, it is certainly within the realm of imagination. Consider how quickly technology is already evolving and changing different parts of events. For example, digital posters that conference attendees can access online or through on-site terminals allow them to engage interactively with multimedia content, download information, contact authors, add a star rating and share via social media. This provides event organisers with valuable insights into attendee engagement that are not possible with traditional printed posters.

Digital posters are an example of how technology is already delivering greater personalisation and engagement at events.

AI-Driven Marketing Campaigns

In the lead-up to an event, AI holds untapped potential for coordinating marketing that saves resources while producing more targeted results. Imagine algorithms analysing past attendee behaviour, preferences and engagement patterns to customise pre-event marketing campaigns.

At Arinex, we are excited about harnessing AI to empower our clients in crafting personalised email campaigns, social media content and targeted advertisements. By delving into individual preferences, AI can ensure that each promotional piece effectively resonates with the audience to foster anticipation for the event.

AI also offers the opportunity for greater scalability and efficiency. Event organisers can automate the process of segmenting their audience and delivering tailored content to each subgroup. The data is then analysed to identify trends and patterns to inform future marketing efforts.

Elevating Attendee Engagement

Imagine an onsite registration process guided by an AI avatar. During registration, this virtual assistant conducts a short interview to understand their preferences. It then navigates them through the schedule and recommends sessions to attend, areas of the event to explore and exhibitors they may find beneficial to engage with.

This scenario may not be far off. In late 2023, OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, introduced a new version capable of understanding spoken language and providing voice responses. Facilitating real-time dialogue like this can enhance the immersive and engaging nature of the event.

Further examples of AI-powered audience engagement include live polls and Q&A sessions, empowering speakers and moderators to adjust content based on delegate feedback, ensuring sessions remain relevant and engaging.

Additionally, imagine utilising AI to assess delegate profiles, backgrounds and interests to identify networking matches, facilitating connections that may pave the way for valuable industry collaborations.

AI-powered robots and avatars could further personalise event navigation, from registration to session recommendations and exhibitor connections.

Post-Event Engagement

After the event, AI can continue to play a crucial role in maintaining connections. For instance, personalised follow-up emails generated by AI can offer delegates relevant resources, session highlights or videos capturing sessions they may have missed, along with upcoming event announcements.

When the post-event analysis phase begins, AI could offer insights that go beyond traditional post-event surveys. Advanced analytics could break down attendee interactions, session preferences and engagement levels, providing a comprehensive overview of the event’s success.

Arinex aims to leverage AI for in-depth post-event reports, providing an understanding of attendee engagement. This valuable data guides future event strategies, from personalised email campaigns tailored to past attendee preferences to pre-event promotions based on social media sentiments.

Navigating AI and Ethics

Of course, in our pursuit of innovation, ethical considerations must guide us through the evolving landscape of AI. The darker side of AI was highlighted in a recent CMW article where a tech conference organiser was revealed to have used AI-generated speakers to artificially boost diversity and in turn, attract real-life, high-profile speakers.

The partnership between AI capabilities and human insight presents significant opportunities. However, it is crucial to engage with AI ethically, ensuring its implementation aligns with our industry, clients and organisational values.

At Arinex, our goal is to create personalised experiences where each delegate forms an inspiring connection with the event – before, during and after. As we navigate this exciting new era, let us embrace AI’s potential to elevate our industry.