Create Next-Level Event Experiences
Tech Tools

What Meeting Pros Need to Know About Generative AI

In this article:
AI can provides insights that help event planners make informed decisions, enhance personalization, and optimize event logistics. Two experts share how association meetings pros can begin using generative AI to develop and plan their conferences.

Generative AI, including ChatGPT, has numerous uses for meeting professionals in the association space to help plan and execute events.

“It can generate engaging content for event marketing, including email marketing and social media,” said Courtney Rodseth, marketing and communications coordinator at the California Primary Care Association (CPCA). “It can also be used to create session titles and descriptions, and even to create event recap articles.”

From signage and slides to session titles, there are numerous opportunities to use generative AI to help organize and run big events. But it can be challenging to know where to start and how to use it effectively. Here’s a look at some ways association pros can get started on incorporating generative AI into the meeting planning process.

“Meetings pros now have a new assistant of sorts that allows them to have more capacity to strategize and focus on implementing new ideas at the conference.”—Courtney Rodseth, California Primary Care Association

Brainstorming Buddy

Generative AI may help associations get out of a creative rut. For instance, CPCA has mainly used generative AI to overhaul the language in its event marketing emails.

“When writing, our brains tend to gravitate toward the same language that we have used in the past, so AI is a great source for inspiration,” Rodseth said.

CCPA staff have also seen other positive effects from using the tool.

“One huge benefit of AI is that it reduces staff burnout,” Rodseth said. “Meetings pros now have a new assistant of sorts that allows them to have more capacity to strategize and focus on implementing new ideas at the conference.”

For meeting pros who may be anxious about using the tool, Rachella Thomas, founder of Event Kit, recommends experimenting and trying out different prompts and questions.

“ChatGPT is conversation-based, so the more you play around test different questions, the more refined responses you’ll get,” she said. “With Google, you ask a single question and get multiple answers. With generative AI, you include the exact scenario, and then get specific ideas for the event.”

Content and Logistics Helper

In addition to brainstorming, generative AI can also help meeting pros conference schedules and session descriptions, calculate appropriate break times, and suggest session topics.

“To do this, you include your target audience and meeting format and tell ChatGPT that you want to create a conference for ‘x’ number of days with ‘y’ number plenary and breakout sessions, as well as the topic,” Thomas said. “Generative AI will take the information and create a full event program, even potential topics for the session.”

Rodseth has used generative AI to develop CPCA’s smaller conferences. She input conference specifics, such as the event name, location, date, and target audience. For the prompt, she asked ChatGPT to act as a marketing expert for CPCA and design a complete marketing plan that included actions, goals, and desired outcomes.

“I told it to present the goals and outcomes in a markdown table,” she said. “I customized the output based on our internal timelines, social media hashtags, desired outcomes, et cetera. It provided a good marketing plan template to start with, and then I made it our own.”

Thomas anticipates that meetings pros will need to become expert “prompt engineers” for generative AI, just as they learned how to promote their events on social media and interact with audiences on those platforms.

“Social media has become a natural part of our meetings,” she said. “I think the same will happen with generative AI, so we need to skill up in using this technology.”

Hannah Carvalho

Hannah Carvalho is Senior Editor at Associations Now.

More from Tech Tools

To have meetings that are rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion, planners need all parties to be aligned with the goal. Here are three steps to making that happen.
Annual meetings should no longer be considered finite events. Associations can maximize these offerings, as well as revenue and engagement, by allowing participants to collaborate all year long.
Conference attendance is getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, but much has changed. New approaches to data are essential for maintaining growth and promoting a meeting’s value.