AI in Event Planning: Industry Professionals Weigh In

A recent survey conducted by tech-driven venue marketplace, Hire Space, has revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is viewed overwhelmingly positively in the events industry, despite concerns over its adoption in other creative industries.

The survey highlighted that two thirds of event organisers feel “very positive” about the adoption of AI in events, with the remaining third indicating that they feel “somewhat positive” about AI tools being used in event planning.

With strikes in the film industry bringing Hollywood to a grinding halt in recent months, partially triggered by concerns about AI, the survey aimed to pinpoint whether wariness of AI had taken hold in the events sector. But responses suggest that there’s confidence that AI will support events, and make them even stronger.

As Sian Sayward, Chair of beam, the trade association representing the Business Events, Accommodation, and Meetings sector in the UK, commented: “As most of us recognise the benefits of event planning software, many will welcome AI as a further way to improve efficiency and productivity.”

We’re already witnessing the first events to be largely planned by AI, from finding speakers and venues, to enhancing event marketing and attendee experience. However, only 17% of respondents were “somewhat concerned” about their job security with AI becoming more widely used, with 83% stating that they were “not very concerned”.

The responses to the survey also highlighted the wide adoption of AI into at least some areas of events, with over three quarters of respondents reporting using AI tools at least once a month, and 31% using them daily to streamline their responsibilities.

Hire Space is a champion of utilising machine learning to streamline event planning, being one of the first venue platforms to leverage AI to simplify and enhance the venue selection process. CEO, Will Swannell, said that machine learning had always been an important part of the company’s model, and was helping to drive forward the company’s work and the sector as a whole:

“Hire Space’s forward-thinking AI algorithms have helped our team to connect hundreds of thousands of event organisers with exceptional event venues over the past 10 years, and we’re always looking for new ways we can incorporate AI into supporting eventprofs. By harnessing the developments in generative AI that we’ve seen over the past year, eventprofs will be able to do so much more with their time, driving events to be even more extraordinary.”

The company’s investment into speeding up the venue finding process has seen them launch an instant-booking service, alongside an enterprise concierge service, Hire Space 360. Swannell says that time is at more of a premium than ever in events, and AI has helped to alleviate some of the pinch of shorter lead times.

However, while the events industry is embracing the potential of AI, it’s clear that there’s a need for more education and understanding about its capabilities and implications; a third of eventprofs feel unequipped with knowledge and understanding of using AI, which could be a barrier to its adoption, and lead to distrust in future.

In addition, almost half of the respondents voiced concerns about the reliability and accuracy of AI predictions in events, as well as many highlighting apprehension around data privacy and security.

Sian Sayward, of beam, cautions that: “certainly in the early stages, its usage will need to be overseen and checked by experienced event professionals who can not only ‘sense-check’ outputs before they are progressed but add the human common-sense and realism that technology often misses.”

The survey indicates a strong belief that the unique creativity of event organisers will always be central to event planning. However, it’s vital to embrace tools that streamline the process, enhancing efficiency and making event planning more enjoyable. With many benefits to using AI, Hire Space has created a comprehensive guide for event professionals, offering insights on how to effectively use AI to enhance events.

As Kerrin MacPhie, Chief Executive Officer of the Meetings Industry Association, states: “The future of AI in the sector is about how we use it, not about how it decides to be used!”