BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Brian Ludwig, senior vice-president, sales at Cvent, comments on the use of artificial intelligence for better matchmaking at conferences and events
The networking format hasn’t evolved much over the years. At most events, people engage in conversations based on very little information on the other parties involved. Attendees might meet ten people, only three of which lead to a fruitful business conversation.
Business owners invest incredible amounts of time and money for their employees to attend networking events and recent research shows that two-thirds of business executives in the UK believe they would be expected to return with a business lead or convert an existing opportunity as a result of time spent networking at an event. Time is money. Organisations are looking for tangible results, and artificial intelligence and interest matching can help ensure attendees make more meaningful connections and maximise their time out of the office. AI can help us network smarter.
However, for interest matching to be successful, attendees must be willing to share specific personal and professional data points to ensure they are “matched” appropriately. They will want to know how that information is being used. Event organisers will need to do their due diligence and utilise technology that is both secure and compliant with current regulations such as GDPR. The opportunity for better, more impactful networking is there, but its success truly depends on the ability of event organisers to build trust with their attendees to drive adoption, gather the right data points and use technology that is secure and compliant.
Networking can be enhanced through mobile event apps, a purpose-built networking and appointments tool, pre-event surveys and data collection, or though real-time onsite engagement analytics. At the end of the day, people attend events for two main reasons, to learn and to network. Event technology providers need to ensure solutions help to make both of those elements the most impactful that they possibly can be.