Event Tech Embraces Next Level of AI

Skift Take

As generative AI continues to evolve, event technology companies compete in a race to deliver the most powerful yet easy-to-use solutions.

AI continues to be a hot topic among meeting and event professionals. It was central to many conversations at IMEX Frankfurt last week, which featured promising updates for generative AI.

Project Spark

PCMA and event technology provider Gevme have partnered on Project Spark, which is both a generative AI platform and an educational initiative exploring the impact of this technology (AI) on the business events industry.

The project’s microsite boldly states that “just like the printing press, the telephone and the internet, artificial intelligence will change the way we work more than we can imagine. We can fear it. We can ignore it. But we cannot run from it. We prefer to run towards it.”

“AI in the business events industry is just beginning, but we cannot define its future without our global community,” said PCMA and CEMA president and CEO Sherrif Karamat. “We believe business events are about creating social and economic transformation. Properly channelled, AI has the potential to empower each of us to accelerate innovation and progress for our audiences, our businesses, and our careers.”    

Project Spark (Platform)

At the core of the project is a generative AI platform that puts the power of multiple generative AI tools in the hands of business event professionals in a controlled and curated manner. There is no need to sign up for any other services or create prompts; that is all done in the background.

The platform covers four tasks categories:

  • Content generation, including event and session descriptions, agendas, social media posts, promotional emails, and press releases.
  • Brainstorming, including event themes, ideas, networking activities, and creating personas.
  • Repurposing video content, including summarizing and creating written content for articles or social media posts.
  • Legal insights, including reviewing and generating clauses and reviewing contracts.
Image credit: Project Spark

Useful Guardrails

Every task requires specific inputs, presumably powering the prompts fed to different AI models used in the backend. This approach keeps the variables manageable and ensures uniform results. Of course, like with any computing process, the quality of the outputs depends on the quality of the inputs.

One simple case is crafting a session description based on the session title and three session highlights. The variables on offer are the style, the tone, and the word limit. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools do well with this type of task. Having these parameters set up in advance makes things even simpler.

Image credit: Project Spark

Tackling Contracts

Three of the four task categories on offer focus on generating text from user prompts. Project Spark is breaking new ground in offering legal advice for event contracts and clauses. While using AI to analyze legal documentation is a growing area, it’s important that users are aware of the limitations of using AI for legal work.

The platform uses a large language model from Anthropic for legal work, which Gevme CEO Veemal Gungadin believes is the leading model for this type of task. Gungadin admits the legal tasks are evolving and remain experimental. The platform includes mechanisms for feedback from users. “We want to objectively measure how useful these [outputs are]. If the outputs given are not that useful, we’re gonna kill it off,” said Gungadin

Community and Content Around AI

With Gevme taking care of the technology, PCMA is backing the initiative with an eye on the future of business events. It’s doing so by building momentum around the topic on its online community platform, Catalyst.

PCMA is inviting all business event professionals to join conversations about AI in the community and to join the waitlist to test out the platform.

The Project Spark site lists all PCMA education sessions linked to generative AI. An updated progress report will be shared on June 26, 2023, during PCMA’s Educon in Montreal, Canada.

Cvent Joins the AI Evolution

Not to be outdone, event technology giant Cvent also released its AI Writing Assistant. Cvent already makes use of AI, in this case, powered by Microsoft Azure, for session and attendee recommendations. The tool is available across multiple Cvent products, the Attendee Hub, Registration, Video Center, and Cvent Supplier Network.

The tool offers an easy way to enhance, expand and change the style of copy based on simple settings, similar to but not as comprehensive as Project Spark. This is a noteworthy advance over using ChatGPT or similar tools in a separate tab or even the embedded integration offered by first-movers InEvent in February.