How to Leverage AI to Drive Digital and In-Person Event Success 

November 30, 2022

Rodney Hart

Rodney Hart is the VP of events at RainFocus, defining the company’s event portfolio while showcasing the power of the RainFocus event platform. He is focused on using event data to comprehensively measure event ROI across event types and specific event behaviors. Previously, Hart worked at Dell Technologies optimizing the onsite tech stack of in-person enterprise events of over 15,000 attendees and most recently pivoted to build large-scale digital and hybrid experiences.

Business leaders are increasingly asking their marketing teams to innovate upon key performance metrics—that’s how we create, assess and use measurements to drive superior outcomes. Consumer preferences and trends today are evolving at a rapid speed and frequency. To keep pace, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is needed for organizations to collect data, analyze and extract actionable insights.

Event marketers have long been siloed, operating under the assumption that events were the sole critical touchpoint in a buyer’s journey. That’s no longer the case, as event leaders realize AI isn’t just the future, it’s heavily ingrained in the present—informing data-driven experiences from a user’s first touchpoint to their last. 

Digitally Led Engagement 

Whether you’re targeting a customer at a digital or in-person event, it’s become increasingly difficult for event marketers to map a “perfect” buyer journey. In reality, perfection doesn’t exist, and striving for such a goal can make marketers too near-sighted. Actual value comes from connecting your event data with deep learning processes to develop prescriptive recommendations. AI supports this initiative. 

For decades, collecting event data was a menial task due to the limited resources needed to combine, create and test its accuracy. Now, it’s become the cornerstone of enterprises’ internal operations across industries, allowing leaders to measure their strategies’ impact and success through real-time customer feedback. 

Marketers must contextualize their event information to get the most out of their datasets by combining their first-, second- and third-party data. Then they can deploy the use of AI to automate the process of interpreting data to recognize patterns, adding a layer of reasoning to develop personalized and relevant recommendations based on each individual’s specific content needs. 

Over time, this repetition will fundamentally change how marketers detect and influence users’ behaviors that matter most with the right messages, reducing the potential for missed opportunities. Subsequently, end-to-end event management platforms that prioritize building contextualized data catalogs will continuously enrich attendees’ experiences by delivering intuitive content. 

Eliminating Binary Thinking 

Faced with heightened customer expectations, event marketers require a mindset shift to eliminate binary thinking that has long pitted physical and virtual events against one another. For the last few years, the name of the game was agility—how quickly marketers can pivot the format of an event. We’ve always known the event format affects whether a customer’s journey is relevant or not, but to date, the ability to measure its impact positively or negatively on a customer’s experience has been just out of reach. 

By integrating AI into an end-to-end event management platform, marketing leaders can standardize the array of sources from which they collect information, including registration, social profiles and previous channel interactions. This enables the achievement of a new level of sophistication that allows marketers to forecast the effectiveness of their event portfolios and strategies to best connect with their target audience. 

Looking ahead, eliminating looming customer uncertainties will be key for marketing leaders’ ability to achieve optimal engagement across big, small and mid-sized events without straining their budgets.

AI Introduces a New Chapter for Event Marketing 

Marketers often want to precisely allocate their resources to the most effective channels to achieve the highest ROI, prioritizing profit instead of relevancy for the customer. It’s important to infuse your marketing processes with AI to avoid being stuck in a loop of perpetual uncertainty. Meaningful change begins by understanding the effectiveness of current efforts and learning how to elevate them to deliver more impact to stakeholders, customers and end-consumers. 

Experimentation and curiosity are key parts of a marketers’ DNA. By continuing to consider new avenues and strategies, marketers will usher in a new age of hyper-personalized attendee experiences that earn customer loyalty again and again.

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