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Out with the apps, here come the chatbots

Simon Maier joins the AI Crash Street Kids

Siri? Great product; horrible voice. Nearly as irritating as the Trivago lady. But, no matter whether you’re asking Siri to play your favourite Bowie or Mott the Hoople songs or you’re using your satnav, AI is there in the background, thinking for you so you don’t need to. I love it. 

AI is also playing a part in events – witness two recent pharma conferences at which most delegates were half my age. Millennial heaven. Some of the AI benefits there included automated check-ins, attendee matching, automated scheduling and advanced attendee reporting. And there was a concierge app.

Concierge apps already use AI to help attendees get the most out of events. The app used in this instance acted as an event-specific PA, helping delegates find and connect with the right people and exhibits. 

Then there’s deep learning, that bridge between big data and relevance. 

AI tools can learn from most data that an event produces and then predict how delegates will respond in given scenarios. This means that AI takes any sensory input and adds reasoning to create new actions based on that reasoning. Extraordinary. 

A system could read footfall or registration data and anticipate what logistics were needed at a venue in terms of F&B, crowd control, security –  all sorts – in real time and as the event unwinds.

Chatbots are sophisticated now. With immediate access to a conversation interface (i.e. no downloading or login), AI-enabled chatbots learn from previous interactions and then personalise conversations. 

By adding AI to an event support team, the easy stuff can be resolved fast and with no human input. Without doubt, events will move away from dedicated event apps; instead, all the content will be delivered through a chatbot. 

Our industry is competitive. AI is worth more than a look. And not just by Millennials. Daft if you don’t.