Artificial Intelligence (AI) software is poised to grow nearly 160% in 2020, and it’s 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 will AI change event matchmaking, and how can you prepare for its impact on your events?
We discussed with Pauliina Alanen, Comms & Marketing Lead at Silo.AI, to learn why AI will make event networking & matchmaking the best it’s ever been in 2020 and beyond.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ll be at Confex Feb 25-26 to learn the future of conferences and the role AI will play in that future.