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10 Uses of A.I. for Building Incentive Programs

Here’s a selection of actionable ideas from the Incentive Research Foundation’s new white paper on artificial intelligence.

The best incentive-travel experiences are unique, creative, and personal. If those qualities don’t seem to mesh with the idea of using artificial intelligence applications in the planning process, the Incentive Research Foundation is urging companies to keep an open mind.

A new IRF white paper, A.I.: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals, is based on a series of focus groups with suppliers, third parties, and program owners. While some participants expressed concerns around A.I. privacy, training, and corporate policy, the overall sentiment was that ChatGPT, Spark, and other large-language-model generative A.I. tools can drive efficiencies throughout the planning process.

The paper reveals dozens of ways focus-group participants are or would like to be using A.I. for incentive travel, reward programs, measurement, and more. Here are 10 that caught our eye.

• Bring consistency to communications. As one focus group participant explained, “Our company has an internal version of ChatGPT. We have built in our corporate guidelines and our voice/tone. So, we can run all website content through that to get the copywriter much farther down the road.”

• Create content drafts.  From program-rule structures to session descriptions to thank-you notes, planners are using A.I. as a communications shortcut. However, the IRF’s focus-group participants uniformly agreed that output must have human oversight.  

• Suggest an incentive location based on attendee profiles, past destinations, and budget.

• Analyze your itinerary. Ask A.I. to optimize the education-session times based on the audience profile.

• Research partners. For a third party, A.I. tools can help analyze a client company’s industry, competitors, sales structure, and other factors, allowing them to craft more effective incentive programs.

• Use an A.I. chatbot to answer questions and free up planners’ time. As one focus-group attendee said, “We had one coordinator answer 4,000 emails that were all questions answered in the registration materials. Pick up, drop off, expenses. A.I. can quickly answer these questions pointing back to registration materials.”

• Recommend rewards based on demographics, psychographics, salary ranges, or other audience profile information.

• Suggest recommended spend on a program based on expected profit or results and number of participants.   

• Brainstorm theme ideas by sharing destination, audience profile, past themes, and preferences.

• Run an analysis of post-event surveys. As one participant said, A.I. provides them with “direction on sentiment, themes, areas of happiness or dissatisfaction.”

Read the full IRF report, A.I.: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals, here


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