Technology and AI: the future of corporate events
In this whitepaper, we’ll dig into the incredible advancements in event planning software and the opportunities of AI, shining a spotlight on their impact.
In the thrilling world of event planning, being one step ahead is the key to creating engaging experiences. Enter technology and artificial intelligence, the dynamic duo that's revolutionizing the industry. In this whitepaper, we'll dig into the incredible advancements in event planning software and the opportunities of AI, shining a spotlight on their impact.
We've seen a drastic increase in virtual events that have revolutionized the industry, and digitalization has surged, with event management platforms becoming the favored tool for event planners. But what about in-person events? Are they making a comeback? The short answer is yes, but with a twist. We'll explore the shift in the why and how of planning and executing events, where personalized and memorable experiences have become top priorities.
Now, you may be curious about how artificial intelligence could benefit the event planning industry. In this whitepaper, we will discuss how AI can automate and accelerate many time-consuming tasks and revolutionize the analysis of past events. By making use of AI's ability to analyze large data sets, you'll gain valuable insights to improve your events, all in just a few minutes.
Lastly, you might be feeling a bit daunted by the idea of implementing technology or AI on your own. Well, you don't have to go it alone. We'll introduce you to event management platforms that allow you to manage all aspects of your event in one place, with guidance and help at every step.
So, let's dive in together and demystify the world of technology, AI, and events. Are you ready to elevate your event planning game?
Events compared to pre-covid
How were events organized pre-covid? Prior to 2020, the normal approach to event planning involved manual efforts. Email marketing automation had gained some popularity and was used for event marketing, while social media engagement and messages were handled manually. The time-consuming method involved breaking down each step of event planning into separate tasks, taking ages! Event management technology was relatively new and was not yet used by most professionals.
In 2019, one of the primary challenges identified in event planning was effectively reaching and engaging new attendees before and during the event. Using artificial intelligence and technology to streamline these processes was just starting when lockdowns and remote working began.
With the shift to remote work, the era of virtual events took off. The emergence of platforms like Zoom became superstars, as evidenced by the staggering numbers: In May 2020, daily meeting participants on Zoom reached a remarkable 200 million, skyrocketing to an impressive 300 million by June of the same year.
According to a study conducted by the GBTA, virtual meetings saw an impressive 290% increase compared to 2019. As the world gradually reopened in 2021 and 2022, hybrid events gained momentum, offering a blend of in-person and remote attendance options, catering to preferences of individuals. We were once again able to leave our house and socialize!
Skift and Webex conducted a survey in 2022 comparing the event planning process to pre-covid. Here are the main findings regarding event planning and technology:
How has this impacted event attendance? The pandemic has brought about a complete shift, granting professionals the opportunity to embrace remote work, eliminating the need to leave the comfort of their homes. Therefore, there is now a need for good enough reasons for participants to leave their homes for an event. Homebodies are loving life right now!
According to the survey conducted by Skift and Webex, networking events have taken the lead, experiencing an impressive 64% increase in interest. Also, event entertainment has seen an increase of 25%. Similarly, food and beverage events have grown, gathering a 21% rise in interest. Attendees now prioritize factors such as convenient travel and the overall attractiveness of the event destination. These elements are influencing the decision-making process for individuals looking for memorable event experiences. If we leave our house, it has to be worth it right?
The state of events today
It’s an exciting time for event planners and attendees. We can once again enjoy the presence of our colleagues and clients. The thought of going on an international trip for conferences and engaging in face-to-face meetings is so thrilling. While we became accustomed to virtual and hybrid events, the appeal of in-person experiences is making a comeback!
A survey conducted in 2022 by Markletic revealed that 72% of respondents believed they would get more value from a hybrid event by being physically present. In a separate survey conducted by Bizzabo on LinkedIn, 55% of respondents admitted that their events in 2023 will take place in person. It is evident that there is a desire to reconnect and fully immerse ourselves in the energy of physical events and socialize with our colleagues.
Technology has witnessed remarkable advancements over the past decade, especially for meetings and events, with significant improvements made since 2020. However, while technology has revolutionized the industry, it cannot replace the value of face-to-face interactions. Rather, it has become an integral part of the event planning process, reshaping the future organization of events.
How are event planners using technology now? Event planners are leveraging cutting-edge technologies, such as virtual reality, immersive experiences, and captivating imagery, to engage attendees today. Gone are the days when a speaker and background music was enough to ensure a memorable experience, we need more today!
Event tracking softwares and event management platforms have simplified and escalated the event planning process. Online event planning solutions have become increasingly widespread, with a remarkable 73.6% of event planners improving their technological skills during the pandemic, as revealed by Bizzabo, in order to keep up with the rapid advancements in event management technologies.
The global event management software market has experienced substantial growth. In 2019, the market was valued at 5.6 billion dollars. However, this is just the beginning, as projections indicate that by 2029, the market is expected to reach an impressive 18.4 billion dollars. This exponential growth shows the vital role played by event management software in organizing seamless and successful events.
Event tech waves
The landscape of technology has shaped our daily and professional lives, contributing to advancements made that have impacted the event management industry. From different forms to creative applications, advanced technology has become a driving force, transforming how we plan and execute events.
In the year 2000, traditional methods like letters and physical invitations were used to reach event attendees, as internet access was limited and many were still getting used to it. However, as the 21st century progressed, individuals became more tech-savvy, integrating the Internet into their professional lives. Online event registration emerged during this period, although with a gradual uptake.
The turning point came in 2007 with the widespread adoption of the iPhone, which revolutionized mobile phone usage. With this, the event app emerged —a powerful tool used by event organizers to communicate with their audience. The event app aimed to provide attendees with information such as agendas, locations, and speaker details, all in one place. This innovative technology eliminated the need for attendees to contact multiple sources. No longer did they have to search for the event location online, navigate websites for speaker information, or rely on emails for the event agenda.
In 2014, a significant shift occurred as companies embraced the social media phenomenon known as Instagram. Until then, social media platforms had primarily been utilized for personal purposes, however, companies recognized the potential. Through features like polls, Q&A sessions, and showcasing their human side, companies could connect with their potential attendees on a deeper level. This allowed users to contribute their opinions and feel heard, fostering a sense of engagement and participation.
Virtual events didn't just emerge due to new technologies; the motivation behind their widespread adoption was the onset of the pandemic. Despite challenging times, companies, clients, and investors still looked for social interactions. Because of this, many turned to virtual events and meetings as an alternative. This surge prompted the launch of new companies or adaptations by existing ones, leading to the emergence of a new era in event management and communication.
In late 2022 ChatGPT was launched, an artificial intelligence powerhouse that sparked conversations across companies and industries. If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT yet, you must have been living under a rock! The hype of AI raised important questions about job security and potential risks. Many are still in the process of familiarising themselves with AI, as it rapidly integrates into today's technology and software landscape. The duration of the AI wave and its long-term implications is unfolding before us.
Event tech evolves to meet new event professional pain points
How has event technology evolved to help event planners in this new world of events? The pandemic has reshaped event organization and attendance, bringing new challenges for professionals across the industry. As the shift to virtual events occurred unexpectedly, it accelerated the digitalization of events to new highs.
In the midst of soaring inflation rates in 2023, event planners are now seeking solutions that are both cost-efficient and time-effective. Embracing new technologies has emerged as a prominent trend, enabling companies to streamline the event planning process.
Event planning platforms, branded apps, and e-ticket solutions have gained traction in recent years. These innovative tools empower event planners to navigate the evolving landscape with greater efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring seamless execution and enhanced attendee experiences.
Venue sourcing and management
The comeback of in-person events has sparked an increase in the demand for venue sourcing. However, this increased demand, coupled with the challenges of inflation, presents a unique set of obstacles for event planners. So, what is the solution? Event planners can now leverage innovative technologies that streamline the venue sourcing, comparison, and selection process. This has the added benefit of easy communication and management with the chosen venue. This saves time for both the event planner and the venue supplier.
Data capture and management
Data management poses challenges for event planners. Accurate analysis can be difficult, leading to potential incorrect insights. Technology software eliminates manual data entry into large files. Instead, data from planning, check-in, and attendee tracking are collected on a single platform. By leveraging technology, these platforms provide valuable insights. It goes beyond analysis to predict future event outcomes, ensuring accuracy and informed decision-making. Event planners can now save their brain power, and use it for the next event!
Budget allocation and multiple event planners
If you work at a large corporation, it is not uncommon to organize an event as a team or with the help of others. This has been difficult for event planners and might have caused a few heated discussions here and there, as large files and data sets had to be shared with multiple people and everyone had to align. Don’t even get us started on budget allocation, how many times have you had to ask your co-event planners how you are doing with the budget? With the rise of event management platforms, this can all take place on one platform and every event planner can clearly see an overview of all activities and the budget.
What is artificial intelligence?
Let’s deep dive into the world of artificial intelligence! The recent rise of ChatGPT might make artificial intelligence seem like a new phenomenon, but it’s actually a baby boomer. The history of artificial intelligence dates back to the 1950s when John Von Neumann and Alan Turing laid the groundwork for this technology. Although they didn't use the term "artificial intelligence," it was in 1956 that John McCarthy of MIT coined the term "AI".
In 1997, the supercomputer "Deep Blue" made headlines by defeating the world chess champion, it must have been a rough day for the champion. Another significant milestone came with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, who hasn’t had one? This brought voice recognition technology to the forefront in the form of Siri, beginning a new era of artificial intelligence applications.
In 2014, virtual assistants and chatbots gained significant traction as valuable tools for customer service according to Verloop. Since then, artificial intelligence has experienced remarkable advancements, particularly in areas such as image recognition, image generation, video generation, and human-like capabilities. It is insane what it can create, with some you would think it’s a real photo!
The release of ChatGPT in late 2022 marked a significant milestone, propelling artificial intelligence into the spotlight. Today, AI is rapidly becoming an integral part of both our personal and professional lives.
What is the future impact of artificial intelligence on the event management industry? Predictions indicate that the future of AI will continue to automate tasks and processes through technology and automation. This automation will revolutionize decision-making and data analysis, allowing event planners to deliver relevant and memorable experiences for attendees. As future technology emerges, the event management industry has proven its ability to embrace technological advancements over the past decades.
How to leverage AI for events
To thrive in the dynamic world of event planning, staying ahead and encouraging creativity is crucial. According to Unie, leveraging AI can boost efficiency, creativity, and personalization in event planning. How can AI be leveraged for events?
- Automate event marketing
- Attendee check-in and tracking
- Use attendee data to make future events more personalized
- Generate creative and unique event themes based on current trends
- Analyse event performance
AI empower event planners to form effective strategies and tailor their approaches to best reach their audience. AI can create personalized and relevant marketing messages based on audience insights, saving hours of creative ideation. Additionally, AI proves valuable in automating repetitive tasks, such as email marketing, freeing up time to focus on other crucial aspects of event planning.
By leveraging past data, AI can identify attendee engagement patterns, duration of engagement, and the reasons. This invaluable information helps make attendees feel valued, seen, and important to the company, ultimately shaping the future of events.
As AI derives information from the internet, similar to search engines, it stays updated on current trends and themes. AI can interpret these trends and predict successful themes and décor for individual events based on available information and past event data.
Analyzing the performance of a past event typically consumes significant time. However, AI can complete this task within minutes, quickly analyzing large event data sets that would take days or weeks for a human. By harnessing AI, event planners can speed up the event planning life cycle, leveraging insightful and useful data to inform future events.
ChatGPT for event management
ChatGPT has been mentioned throughout this work, but actually what is ChatGPT? This widely discussed artificial intelligence chatbot, developed by OpenAI, emerged in October 2022. Similar to Google, ChatGPT taps into internet information to provide rapid results. AI ChatGPT serves as an interactive technology for content writing, event marketing messages, reviews, and more.
There are many ways in which ChatGPT can be used for event management:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Content creation
- Streamline event registration
- Post-event surveys
By using the power of ChatGPT, event planners can unlock creative ideas in a few seconds. By providing topics and prompts, ChatGPT can generate 20 or more themes, locations, or any event-related concept. This proves invaluable as the human brain often struggles to produce creative ideas on the spot or when told to.
Armed with event details, location specifics, and attendee information, event planners can use ChatGPT to generate content and marketing messages. From creating engaging agendas and stand-out social media captions to designing email marketing templates, ChatGPT becomes a time-saving ally.
ChatGPT can streamline the event registration process as well. By setting up a chatbot powered by ChatGPT, attendees can receive prompt answers to their questions, receive directions, and stay informed about any changes to the agenda. This enhances the attendee experience and reduces the strain on event planners and staff.
Post-event, ChatGPT continues to be an invaluable resource. It can generate a survey based on event information and details, providing event planners with a list of relevant and insightful questions for attendees. This invaluable feedback informs future event planning, allowing for continuous improvement and delivering exceptional experiences.
Challenges of using AI on your own
Taking the first steps can be difficult especially if you lack experience with AI. Embarking on this journey solo presents its own set of challenges, but we are here to help.
- Choosing the right AI system
- Tech savvy skills can be required
- The right balance of artificial intelligence and human creativity
- Not using its full potential
During the current hype of artificial intelligence, many companies have integrated AI into their services, while new players have entered the market. This increase has resulted in an overwhelming option of systems and products to choose from. How do you navigate these options and select the right one for your needs?
AI may appear intimidating, particularly if you're not as tech-savvy as others. Using it on your own can be challenging, you might require assistance from other departments at your company, or you can seek support from a technology software that can save you and your colleagues valuable time.
Once you become accustomed to AI's capabilities, it's tempting to let it take the lead, relying on its seemingly accurate information. It's important to remember that AI lacks human qualities such as creativity, emotions, and relationships. Human creativity plays a crucial role in ensuring events are enjoyable and memorable.
Fully embracing technology can be a daunting task for many. While AI has impressive power, it's essential to strike a balance. We should leverage the full potential it offers, trusting it in the event planning process. Gaining an understanding of how AI works and using it as a co-pilot will be significant in the years to come as technology and AI continue to evolve.
While the allure of AI for event organization, delivery, and analysis is undeniable, it's important to remember that AI is a tool meant to complement not replace. A successful event still requires human touch and personal interactions. By striking the right balance and harnessing AI's capabilities together with human expertise, you can unlock the full potential of technology and create remarkable event experiences.
Event planning just got easier with Kampaay.
We understand putting together extraordinary events involves juggling multiple tasks, vendors, budgets, and timelines. It's easy for the details to overwhelm you. But technology doesn't have to be yet another challenge - it should enable you.
That's why we built our innovative event management platform. From venue sourcing to budget monitoring, we simplify your work so you can focus on the strategic decisions that make a real difference.
With Kampaay you will be able to:
- Put the WOW back into your events and captivate audiences, whether you are looking for events made from scratch or choose from our extraordinary catalog of templates.
- Manage your event in one place from quotation to payment. Receive instant quotations, monitor budgets, simplify processes, and ultimately request a single invoice for all services.
- Most importantly, you gain a strategic partner and single point of contact that provides customized guidance and support to maximize the value of technology within your event management strategy and achieve your business goals.
So whether you're organizing a small workshop or a global conference, our platform scales to meet your needs. Reach out and our team of experts will show you just how effortlessly Kampaay can help you create extraordinary experiences that truly wow your attendees. Let's discuss how to revolutionize your next events together!