Wednesday, October 18, 2023
The events industry has embraced artificial intelligence in the year since the introduction of the first consumer AI platforms, with innovations such as event-specific chatbots expected to be introduced early next year, two industry experts said.
PCMA CEO Sherrif Karamat and Junior Tauvaa, the trade group’s chief business officer, told an Imex America news conference on Monday that more than two-thirds of events industry professionals already make use of AI tools for creating content such as marketing collateral and event agendas and guides. Other less common uses include market research and site selection, the two said, citing a September report from Convene magazine.
Karamat said AI will be an important tool for events professionals, whom he described as “overwhelmed, overworked, and in a hamster wheel.” The PCMA-supported Project Spark, a generative AI product introduced earlier this year at Imex Frankfurt, can help events professionals escape that hamster wheel.
“The introduction of AI is going to be as transformative as going from the horse to the car,” Karamat said. Spark already has 3,500 users, a significant achievement considering that “a year ago no one was using AI,” he said.
The Spark platform is described as “a free education and development initiative to shed light on the evolving place of AI in the business events industry.” Through free and paid tiers, users can access information from 30 AI systems as well hone their AI skills through access to educational tools, such as guidance on writing better prompts.
Karamat said the education component is an important part of Spark, with nearly 60% of event professionals telling Convene magazine that they need training on how better to use AI.
AI is going to be put to the test in January at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference, where attendees will be able to get information about the show as well as learn more about San Diego, where the conference is being held.
“People thought of AI as a threat,” Karamat said, “now they want to get on board.”