Wednesday Buzz: Could AI Impact Events?

Two thoughts on how computerized systems could change the nature of our events. Also: What you should do if a member disengages.

Are the robots stealing our jobs? Or are they going to at least change our events?

This week, we have two interesting think pieces on the idea that technology is having an impact on the event space. One, from author and consultant Adrian Segar, suggests that automation is changing the nature of our jobs—a change that requires a shift in how we handle our education sessions.

“During the last two or three decades, learning from our peers—on the job, via our social networks, and at conferences—has become far more important than classroom learning,” Segar argues in his blog post. “Non-interactive, broadcast-style learning modalities are restricted to standardized knowledge; knowledge that one person believes is valuable for many to know.”

Separately, Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings contributor Simon Clayton is expressing some skepticism about artificial-intelligence-based networking tools designed to connect attendees to exhibitors.

Clayton suggests such an approach represents a step backward, that technology turns something simple and human into something complex.

“For AI to work in this situation, the program would have to be fed a constant stream of data—not just a one-off hit from a registration form. Visitors would have to collaborate and keep updating the app with feedback, saying whether or not they found the suggested meeting helpful,” Clayton writes, before adding that there are plenty of weaknesses with this approach.

“The fact is that events are ephemeral. Most change from year to year,” he notes. “Certainly around 30 percent of the exhibitors change. The result is that what is learned from one year couldn’t be applied to the next. Nor does the process take into account contextual data or personal preferences or experiences.”

No matter how you feel about AI or automation, you probably will find something worth thinking about in these two posts. Check ’em out.

From Disengaged to Reengaged

Sometimes, a member who was once active ends up falling off the face of the earth. That’s a problem if you’re trying to keep members engaged. At MemberClicks, Callie Walker offers up some tips to get that member active once again.

Other Links of Note

Work conversation going out of bounds? Over at The Muse, writer Alyse Kalish offers suggestions for things to say to stop the awkward conversation cold.

Sometimes, television can be an event of its own. But for decades, the data-tracking firm Nielsen didn’t treat it that way. However, the company says it’s changing its metrics to make it possible to track television viewed in an outside-the-house setting. Could your next conference have a Nielsen family?

Social network to watch: The online community platform Imzy announced that it would publicly launch today, after receiving a fresh round of funding. We covered Imzy’s community approach earlier this year.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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