Artificial Intelligence (AI) software is already present in our everyday lives.
From Netflix recommendations to digital assistants like Siri or Google Home, we interact with AI daily, sometimes without knowing it.
So what about events? How has AI changed event matchmaking, and how can you make the most of it at your next event?
We discussed with Pauliina Alanen, Comms & Marketing Lead at Silo.AI, to learn why AI has made event networking & matchmaking the best it’s ever been.
How does artificial intelligence match attendees?
First, let’s define what artificial intelligence is. The simple definition is “intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans.”
And what is intelligence? It’s “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”
In short, it’s a machine or program that can learn, either how to perform a specific task better, or a variety of different tasks.
And to learn, AI needs one thing: data. AI thrives in data-rich environments, and there are mind-blowing amounts of data being uploaded, downloaded, processed and more every day.
“One key technology within AI is machine learning, which is able to analyze billions of data points at lightning speed, discover patterns and make predictions.”
There is a lot of data in event matchmaking too, meaning AI has untapped potential in this area. Nearly everything is a data point to an AI-powered tool, from your name to your interests to your job.
Processing all those data points yourself would take hours, maybe weeks.
However, AI-powered matchmaking tools can process all that information in an instant and determine the best matches, based not only on that data but from data gathered and processed across hundreds of events.
But how can an AI-powered tool understand something so complex as what makes two people a good match? Alanen had this to say:
“AI-powered matchmaking can understand this complex phenomenon by going beyond keywords or titles and focusing on a deeper level – intents based on user's past behavior.”
Did you know that you can quadruple your ticket retention with AI matchmaking? Check out our report.
The different levels of matchmaking
AI-powered matchmaking learns from previous events and from how attendees choose which people to meet to continuously improve the matchmaking quality.
For example, the AI may determine that Person A is a perfect match for Person B. But, Person B meets with Person C instead. The AI will analyze that choice and try to understand why Person B met with Person C instead of A.
But to do that, AI needs more information than skills and job titles. It needs to understand the goals of your attendees.
A large part of what separates an okay match from a good match is the goal each party has for the meeting. What does each person want to achieve at your event, and who do they need to meet to achieve those goals?
For example, you can gather a group of event marketers in a room, but that doesn’t mean they’re all a match for each other. If Amy the Event Marketer is looking for a new job, but Lin the Event Marketer wants to find a mentor, their interests are aligned, but their goals are not.
So while their love of event marketing connects them, that’s the limit of their connection.
Once AI understands the goals of your attendees, it can offer them more relevant matches, helping each attendee achieve their goals with ease.
Your job starts with learning what are your attendees' reasons to join and setting the right filter categories to maximize the quality of the matches for your audience.
This is not an easy task but it can be done successfully, and we're here to teach you! Become a student at Brella Academy and learn everything about effective intent-based matchmaking in our free certification course on Event Matchmaking & Networking!
To learn everything about AI matchmaking, enroll in our free course today at the Brella Academy!
How does AI matchmaking benefit events?
The biggest benefit is time. Artificial intelligence, at its core, tries to emulate human thinking. We can learn how to do new tasks, but we can also apply that knowledge to make other tasks easier.
AI-powered networking can collect and process the individual interests and goals of every single attendee, then offer the best matches for them. It also learns from the choices attendees make, further improving match relevance.
Most importantly, it does this all at incredible speed.
Think about it: your attendees provide their information, and a few seconds later they have the best matches possible. There’s no way a human could do that.
So you save hours of time struggling to match this person with that. Your attendees can choose their own meetings, and it’s simple to find the truly relevant people.
But not only that, it helps you learn from your attendees. After all, they are the core of your event.
AI-powered matchmaking tools show you what interests your attendee base and what they want to do at your event. For example, you can learn how many attendees come to your event to:
- Find employment
- Invest in other companies
- Purchase a product or solution
And much more. That’s because another thing AI is excellent at is data analysis and recommendations.
However, it needs data (and lots of it) to make worthwhile recommendations.
How does AI matchmaking affect in-person, virtual, and hybrid events?
We will let the numbers talk!
AI matchmaking at in-person events
Our partner TechBBQ is the largest startup and innovation summit in Scandinavia. In 2021, they decided to bring their 2-day conference back to in-person, setting some ambitious goals for their event team.
Thanks to AI matchmaking, the event team at TechBBQ was able to reach a staggering 39% meeting acceptance rate that scored 2,800 1:1 meetings. Their attendees were ecstatic, and now, the team at TechBBQ plans on doubling the size of the networking area for their next in-person event.
You can read TechBBQ's full success story here.
AI matchmaking at virtual events
LendIt Fintech is the largest media and events company dedicated to innovation in lending and digital banking.
Since 2016, LendIt Fintech has hosted 13 virtual events with Brella. Our AI matchmaking service has helped them secure 22,000+ 1:1 meetings with an average acceptance rate of 31%. Plus, their NPS has grown exponentially over the years.
You can read LendIt Fintech's full success story here.
AI matchmaking at hybrid events
Wolves Summit is the world's best networking business conference for startups, investors, and corporations in Europe. While planning their hybrid conference in 2021, the event team realized that to ensure maximum attendee satisfaction they would have to add an AI matchmaking tool to their existing event tech stack.
The investment paid off with 2,200+ 1:1 meetings and an acceptance rate of 34%.
You can read Wolves Summit's full success story here.
What’s the best way to prepare for AI?
There are many areas where AI can help your event in noticeable ways, like the attendee experience. Instead of worrying over minor details, AI can understand each attendee’s goals, and make the best suggestions for them, from networking recommendations to session recommendations.
But to truly utilize AI to the fullest, you need data to fuel it. Using AI with no clear goal of what you want it to do is about as effective as planning an event with no clear topic or plan.
You’ll attract all sorts of people, your content will be all over the place, and your event won’t mean anything to anyone. However, with a clear goal and value proposition for a specific group, you can maximize the potential of your event.
Same with AI. It’s an incredibly powerful tool when applied well and used to solve a specific problem, like efficient networking at events.
As we said, matchmaking starts with your attendees selecting their interests and networking intents before they're matched with other relevant connections at your event. That's why setting the right matchmaking categories is a crucial step in your matchmaking strategy.
In-depth event analytics can give you a better understanding of what your audience is interested in and what are their reasons to join. Also, some AI matchmaking services like Brella's provide you with a Customer Success service where an expert will help you tailor matchmaking to your audience.
All in all, we’re excited to bring AI to our matchmaking platform to help attendees network more effectively, and help event organizers like you improve your event.
To learn more about our AI-based matchmaking schedule a demo here!
Also, don't forget to join Brella Academy to get your certification in Event Matchmaking and Networking!
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