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This blog is pulled from our most recent webinar of the same name. For more on this topic, check out the full video here!

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. From generative Chat GPT prompts to machine learning, the opportunities for this technology are limitless. But how does it impact the day-to-day of events and activations your brand is planning? And what are the pros and cons?

In this blog, we’ll cover the entire range of AI in the experiential economy, including what the AI maturity model looks like for our industry. This directly impacts not just the lives of marketers but of customers as well. 

So let’s dive in and see where this AI road takes us in the event marketing field and how you can leverage it today. And check out our own AI, Pinpoint, for yourself!

The Different Kinds of AI

AI is an umbrella term for a broad area of study where intelligent machines simulate human-like processes. So many different types of tech fall under the AI designation that it can be hard to track what’s new and what you can use for your needs. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of AI you’ll see when incorporating it into your activations and events. 

Machine Learning

Where generative AI  is all about creation, machine learning (ML) is all about interpretation and teaching. ML focuses on various techniques and approaches for training models to learn patterns and make predictions from data. ML is used in image recognition, speech recognition, and predictive analysis.

Machine Learning in Activations and Events

Predictive analysis plays a significant role in experiences and activations since it allows us to better forecast for the future. You can use it to understand the impact of experiences on consumer spend and predict future consumer behavior. 

For example, consumer brands like Coca-Cola leverage ML algorithms for demand forecasting and inventory optimization. Similar thing with Kellogg, where they use ML to help predict consumer demand patterns and adjust production accordingly.

Most brands you already interact with use AI and ML to drive revenue, streamline processes, and increase loyalty.

Generative AI

If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably heard about ChatGPT at least once. Marketing experts share their best prompts to use at least a couple times a day, and thousands of similar products like Jasper and Bing’s new OpenAI are stepping up to join its ranks. 

They’re leveraging what’s known as generative AI. This software can create and generate large-scale content from copy (ChatGPT) to text images with platforms like MidJourney and Stable Diffusion. We’re getting to the point where generative AI includes video and audio. 

Generative AI uses natural language processing, or NLP, to analyze content. It processes human language in various formats like text and speech. NLP techniques and tools are used to extract information, identify patterns in language, classify and categorize text, perform sentiment analysis, and translate language. 

For example, when you’re putting text into Google Translate, that’s technically NLP at work. 

Generative AI takes this a step further by understanding text, and interpreting it. Then, it creates text in a human-understandable way, sometimes even indistinguishable from a human writer.

Our own AI, Pinpoint, uses similar technology. It’s as if a human went into your feedback to hand-label what matters and bubble them up! Pinpoint then turns them into human readable summaries that are easy to digest on the fly.

It’s allowed marketers to move much faster on the creative side, primarily in digital media. So…why is generative AI important for you in activations and events?

Generative AI in Activations and Events

Think about how marketers use consumer feedback and reviews to improve activations and events. The suggestions and critiques brought up by consumers are vital for brand activation growth and are an excellent indicator of where you need to improve and grow next. 

In this feedback loop, natural language processing can help you better understand your audience’s emotions and feelings about your brand’s events. This is all without you manually soliciting, reading, and combing through every piece of feedback.

We have brands we work with that receive hundreds of thousands of pieces of feedback a year, and they want to make sure that they understand the key pieces impacting the guest experience. This helps keep their audiences engaged and coming back.

Pros and Cons of AI in Activations and Events

Everyone has opinions about AI, whether from a personal or professional point of view. Still, regardless of your thoughts of where it's all headed, positive and potentially negative, it's clear that it's here to stay, and we've got to learn how to leverage it best.

Here are some pros and cons of AI for brand activations and events.

Pro: Save time for the real humans

AI will replace repetitive tasks and improve things like data collection and reporting. Ultimately, processes that can be automated will be automated, and this is already happening quickly.

An excellent example of this is data entry. A host of applications built on common AI frameworks are making it easier and exponentially faster to complete tasks using computer vision and AI to process millions of pieces of data, both visual and written, that can save thousands of hours across projects.

Ultimately, this will allow experiential teams to invest more time into the creative side of the process. It'll take longer to start impacting more creative and complex processes. But it’s moving quickly, and we all need to keep up.

Pro: Data-Driven Insights for Personalization

AI’s unique ability to analyze data more deeply helps you uncover valuable patterns, trends, and consumer preferences. Netflix uses AI algorithms to serve their audience what they like most.

When two different people log on to Netflix, they’re served different recommendations based not only on past viewing history but even influenced by searches.

But how could AI personalize real-life experiences? So a great example of this is one of our customers in Edinburgh, Scotland: Johnnie Walker. When you register to sign up for a Johnnie Walker tour and a tasting, you’re given a flavor profile with a few basic questions, that aided by AI use your food preferences to determine a flavor profile which they then use to customize your drinks during the tour. 

When the guest shows up at Johnnie Walker, they receive a colored bracelet aligned to their flavor profile, which means if we all go to Johnnie Walker, we all have a unique experience with cocktails that are served to us precisely to match our flavor profile. Each color band represents certain preferences and lets the staff know what kind of experience to provide.

This kind of personalization is exciting and is entirely data-driven. Extrapolate that; if we know a lot about consumers and can personalize experiences directly to their preferences, brand history, and psychographics, we can give every consumer an experience tailored to them. It’s important to deliver these kinds of personalized experiences so your guests feel special, and have a stronger connection with your brand.

If you want to learn more about Johnnie Walker’s unique experience and how they made it happen, read more here.

Pro: Do Away With Hand-Sifting Feedback

AI-driven insights can help brands like Diageo respond to consumer feedback and better understand customer opinions, preferences, and satisfaction levels. AI allows them to quickly analyze feedback and surface trends that help identify areas for improvement, address customer concerns, and enhance their products accordingly. 

But the best part is that this can be done at scale, automatically analyzing a large data set in minutes instead of manually going through millions of pieces of feedback.

Con: Can Pull Brands Further Back from Human Interaction

Many naysayers in the AI space hit on a valid fear: over-emphasis on AI over human connection will pull brands further from human brand interaction. It’s all about the balance, but if you rely only on tech to run your activations and events, you’re losing what makes the brand strategy effective — human connection.

How do you still ensure there's a human touch in connection with the experience? 

This will be a lot about the creative side ensuring that experiential events continue to hinge on human interaction and live interactive experiences.

Con: AI Could Create a Wedge Between Consumer and Brand

If you aim to use AI for the sake of AI and not to improve the experience, you might create a wedge between your brand and your consumer. It can create roadblocks and be more bulky than helpful if you’re inserting it into the process without a real need for it.

We have to consider the balance of this con as AI builds a stronger bridge between consumers and the brand. This is not just sitting in our hotel rooms with headsets on but improving the brand experience by allowing you to deliver exactly what your consumers want at the right time.

If you think about experiential marketing as a mix of art and science, AI will be best to boost the scientific side and allow your teams to focus on effective execution.

AI Maturity Model for Experiential Marketing

We created a maturity model for experiential marketing to show how brands can use AI in different forms to improve their  experience strategy. 

AI-Driven Interactive Media

We've all started seeing this at events. AI-driven interactive media drives novel consumer interaction during the event, like implementings software or other technology to have an interactive photo wall.

Generative Content

Brands with more advanced strategies are using the generative content that we mentioned earlier. This drives higher efficiency with generated images and copy for content like emails and social posts.

Automation AI

Automation AI means streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring manual tasks are done with the least lift. An example of this is synthesizing data across global events into a single database. 

AI-Powered Analytics and Insights

How are you measuring impact at scale, increasing personalization, or improving consumer brand loyalty? And how are you collecting that information? When leveraging AI for analytics and insights,  you can quickly and easily identify patterns and point out trends that you’d typically spend hours sifting through and uncovering manually. 

Prescriptive AI

At the top of the maturity model is prescriptive AI. This form of AI takes efficiency and effectiveness to the next level by actually recommending most straightforward path to achieving your objectives using all available data. When it comes to experiential marketing, this can mean  building the right experiences for audiences in the right markets.

Once brands start to be more prescriptive with their live data stream, they can drive more efficiency with their experiential marketing spend.

AI Can Make Us Better at Activations and Events

We at AnyRoad want to help event marketers even better at their job by having a platform that emphasizes ROI and proves what they do is impactful and really brings people together.

If you’re interested in what AI looks like on a software platform, check out AnyRoad’s new Pinpoint feature. Our platform now  uses AI to surface  trends in consumer feedback, helping you understand how to optimize your events and more. 

Step 1: Evaluate Your Scheduling Software Needs

Before researching online booking systems, evaluating your business needs is essential. After all, you don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles when you only need an online form. For newer events looking to scale, a more sophisticated system might be the goal but not the starting point.

Consider the type and size of your business, the nature of your services, and the volume of transactions you handle. For instance, if you run tours and tastings, you should look at solutions meant for high-volume enterprises that can include add-on shirts, beer steins, and more.

Scheduling Software Flowchart

We made a helpful flowchart to help you decide if you’re ready to invest fully in online bookings or look into a free scheduling app, like Google Forms, as a better starting point.

As someone trying to make smart investment decisions, you don’t want to buy a booking and ticketing solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Use our guided questions to determine where you are in your investment journey.

Booking System flowchart
Use the flow to gauge where you are on your journey!

2. Compare Booking Page Features and Pricing

Booking Page Features

Once you have a clear idea of your business needs, you can compare online booking systems that meet your criteria. Have a list of your most essential needs and what would be nice for you to have. Some features you should consider including on your list include:

  • Website integration
  • Branded booking page
  • Configurability to match your brand
  • Payment processing and add-on sales
  • Automated reminders
  • Automatic data analysis
  • Feedback collection and analysis
  1. Website integration
  2. Branded booking page
  3. Configurability to match your brand
  4. Payment processing and add-on sales
  5. Automated reminders
  6. Automatic data analysis
  7. Feedback collection and analysis






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