The Promise of AI to Events: Just Wait

The idea that a robot might take some of those chores off your perennial to-do list is enchanting but, if the experience of other industries that have made substantial investments in AI tell us anything, my caution to you would be, “Not so fast.”

Allow me one final vent on that holiday staple, the year-end list of event trends. And, more specifically, the event technology trends list.

Most of them I looked at over the past month or so had high on the list the topic of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The idea that a robot might take some of those chores off your perennial to-do list is enchanting but, if the experience of other industries that have made substantial investments in AI tell us anything, my caution to you would be, “Not so fast.”

Health care is one industry that is probably as far along as any other in its application of AI to processes. For example, amassing all the data that a large health care organization may have collected on, say, breast cancer, it can take the results of all the tests given to a particular patient and automatically make a recommendation of the best treatment protocol for them.

The secret ingredient, the reason this works, is that they have all that patient data and, after years of trying, have figured out how to analyze and use it.

How much data do you have on your customers and how do you use it now? Enough to be able to guess what’s going to be the pain point you need to ease for them six months from now?

The events industry is getting better, but for many years it has lagged behind other industries in its ability to collect accurate information and analyze it. That has to improve a lot before you start turning your organizations over to robots.

Health care isn’t perfect either. It is as siloed as any of them, with major institutions reluctant to share data with others, for both competitive and patient privacy reasons. Cloud computing has advanced to the point where medical institutions could be sharing data on a significant scale, but the will is not there yet.

Then think about how reluctantly you now give up information – in any form – to those you perceive as competitors.

We all have a long way to go before artificial intelligence can really have a serious impact on the events industry.

Michael Hart is an event consultant and conference content professional. He can be reached at michaelhart@michaelgenehart.com, @michaelgenehart or 323-441-9654.

Author: Michael Hart

I focus on helping companies and organizations associated with events, destination marketing and business travel create and market the best products and services possible. I can assist with project management services, providing content and strategic planning.

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