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Our First A.I.-Savvy Changemaker

Wondering how artificial intelligence can actually make a difference in the meeting planning process? Meet MeetingsNet Changemaker Maxwell Kelly and read up on the lastest industry A.I. initiatives and tools.

Artificial intelligence has long been a tech-business buzz concept. But now, a wave of thought leaders in the business events industry are more closely examining its potential—and starting to make use of emerging tools.

The excitement is focused on “generative A.I.,” that is, technologies that can generate new content (images, text, etc.) that aren’t copied from anything that already exists. ChatGPT, launched in November 2022, is the impressive, free generative A.I. technology that is opening minds to new ways of working.

In May, the Professional Convention Management Association and Gevme, an event-technology provider, announced a joint effort called Project Spark, a research and educational initiative to discover the impact of generative A.I. on the business-events industry.

In June, the Incentive Research Foundation released research on generative A.I.’s potential for motivating employees, “Generative AI for Personalized Incentives, Rewards, and Recognition.”

And our Changemakers report, just published in the July/August issue of the MeetingsNet digital edition, generative A.I. user Maxwell Kelly is among the most intriguing case studies. This Gen Z event manager for London-based Oliver Kinross explains how he used ChatGPT to find conference topics and speakers for the New York Build 2023 show, as well as help him write catchy session titles. In fact, says Kelly, the most popular session at the show was one suggested by ChatGPT.

And while Kelly has been exploring ChatGPT on his own, new A.I. tools specific to meetings and events have launched this spring. For example, Cvent has debuted AI Writing Assistant, a tool that helps planners create content for an event’s website, marketing messages, and session descriptions. Also, online-meeting platform Zoom has partnered with OpenAI—the maker of ChatGPT—to create Zoom IQ, a feature that tracks the audio, visual, and chat-forum content of virtual meetings and then summarizes topic threads, creates content for post-event emails, and more.

For an introduction to generative A.I., start at ChatGPT. Log on and ask a question or make a request. The power of the technology is quickly apparent, and it can even be fun. When I prompted the system with “write a five-line poem in iambic pentameter about the challenges of being a meeting planner,” the system took about 10 seconds to spit back this:

In boardrooms’ realm, the planner’s plight does start,
Juggling logistics, demands that dart.

Timelines clash, agendas intertwine,
A symphony of chaos, the planner’s line.
Yet through it all, events find their sweet art.

It might not be Shakespeare, but the sentiment is right.

Check out ChatGPT trailblazer Maxwell Kelly and 14 other meetings industry Changemakers in the the July/August issue of the MeetingsNet digital edition.


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