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Event Tech Check: An AI Certificate for Event Planners, Plus New Tools You Should Know About

BizBash takes a deep dive into the newest tech solutions for events of all types, plus the latest must-know industry news.

New Event Tech Tools for January 2024
INVNT Group worked on several activations at COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference that took place in Dubai from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13. A highlight was the Tree of Life, an interactive digital art installation featuring a ghaf tree, which is indigenous to the United Arab Emirates and known for thriving in the harshest conditions. AI-generated art allowed visitors to learn about key themes and topics of COP28 and pledge their commitment to global environmental sustainability.
Photo: Courtesy of INVNT Group

Event Technology We're Excited About This Month
To learn more about AI in the event industry
MPI Academy—the educational arm of Meeting Professionals International—has teamed up with AI-powered meeting and event planning tool Reposite to debut the AI-Enhanced Event Professional Certificate. Launching this month, the six-module educational program features a deep dive into AI best practices and how the technology can be applied to planning, supplier sourcing, and more (along with conversations on ethical considerations); it includes interactive modules and workshops, networking opportunities, and guidance from Reposite co-founder Alexa Berube.

"I believe that the world of event planning is witnessing a monumental shift with the introduction of AI tools, and we are thrilled to be at the center of the change," said Berube. The program is slated to be held four times in 2024, with the first kicking off on Jan. 31. Click here to register.

To host unique after-hours events for conference attendees
Jampack is a new platform that curates host-city experiences for event attendees and exhibitors. Formerly launched in 2021 as a beta version called Fuse Ignited, the new Jampack officially debuted in late 2023. How it works: The company partners with event producers across conferences, music festivals, and sporting events to find unique, in-event experiences that are only made available via the Jampack platform. That means attendees have access to exclusive experiences at the best possible rates, while event organizers can generate new revenue by bundling event tickets, hotel rooms, and add-on experiences into one package.

It’s all available on a show-branded, user-friendly interface that can be added to event registration pages, allowing attendees to manage their hotel confirmations, dinner reservations, digital passes to events, and more via one central portal. “We know that when audiences stay together off-venue, communities are fueled and lasting connections are made,” said the Jampack team in a LinkedIn post. “We're on a mission to empower anyone to easily bundle all the things they care about into their ‘event-cation.’”

For a more automated RFP process
Hivr.ai enables conference hotels and venues to synchronize inventory, pricing, booking, and custom data across RFP portals and more than 400 business applications—meaning information and group requests are consolidated across all portals and updated in real time, with no manual data entry required. Through the technology, venues can visualize all RFPs in a single user interface and automate repetitive tasks like availability and capacity checks. Radisson Hotel Group is the first international hotel group to fully implement the hivr.ai technology—and recently reported that from late 2022 to September 2023, the hotel brand increased its lead-to-quote conversion by 80%, doubled its customer response rate with a 125% increase, and reduced the time needed to send proposals by 59%.

“Going forward, Radisson Hotel Group and hivr.ai will continue to integrate further RFP sources, including market players Cvent, hubli, MeetingSelect, VenueDirectory, Aloom, and others,” said hivr.ai co-founder Felix Undeutsch. “With hivr.ai as its central channel manager and automation software, Radisson Hotel Group will eliminate manual data entry and significantly reduce response times needed for its meeting planners.”

For more efficient event registration
Experience design company Maritz has debuted a new partnership with identity platform CLEAR. The event registration solution is designed to provide fiction-free service for trade shows, corporate events, and receptions. Attendees—who are verified for free, unlike with CLEAR’s better-known airport solution—have the option to check themselves in and verify their identity with the technology by taking a simple selfie. (New users are able to enroll quickly by completing a few simple steps.) 

The new offering was piloted at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Nexus show, which was held in Orlando in October and drew more than 2,700 attendees. Organizers report that 17% of attendees opted to use the CLEAR program, leading to reduced registration lines. The organization plans to implement the tech more broadly at its next conference in April.  

To offer local recommendations during corporate travel
Renaissance Hotels is introducing a new virtual concierge service called RENAI by Renaissance (pronounced “ren-A”), which stands for Renaissance Artificial Intelligence. The service, currently in a pilot program at select hotels, provides instant access to local recommendations for dining, attractions, and more via a blend of AI and human touch. How it works: Knowledge hotel associates (or "navigators") have provided their expertise to train RENAI by Renaissance with their top picks, while ChatGPT and other reputable open-source outlets have also contributed recommendations—resulting in a constantly refreshed directory that's been vetted by humans.

Renaissance Hotels plans to expand RENAI to over 20 properties by March. “We were already in the process of evolving our signature navigator program when technology leaps presented a serendipitous opportunity to fuse our navigators’ human insights with time-saving technology," said Eddie Schneider, Renaissance Hotels' global brand director. "With today’s travelers having access to an overwhelming amount of information, our goal is to help them cut through the clutter and provide a personalized guest experience with regularly updated tips for local discovery.” 


The Latest Updates, Funding, and Merger News
Industry veteran Georgina Flores has joined global event production and technology company Encore as chief marketing officer. Previously a marketing executive for brands including Aetna and Allstate, Flores will focus on providing strategic guidance to the company’s brand, customer insights, product marketing, communications, and industry relations functions.

Live entertainment technology platform Leap Event Technology has announced a multiyear partnership for ticketing services with Original X Productions (OGX). Leap Event Technology and OGX will partner on a number of OGX’s premier attractions in the U.S., including The FRIENDS Experience and The Office Experience. Leap also recently announced a new digital ticketing partnership with Varsity Spirit to support its hundreds of cheerleading and dance events that draw more than 2.5 million annual attendees. 

Venue and event management tech company Momentus Technologies has promoted Jenn Keirnan to the newly created role of chief customer officer. In the role, she’ll lead the development and implementation of customer-centric strategies, focusing on enhancing the customer’s venue and event management journey, leveraging best practice insights, and fostering long-term relationships.

Xcyte Digital has gone public; it’s now trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol XCYT. The Toronto- and Florida-based tech company specializes in 3D spatial computing for physical and virtual events, and has worked with clients like HP, CrossFit, Stanford University, and McDonald's. 

Swisscom Broadcast—part of the major Switzerland-based telecommunications provider Swisscom Group—has acquired the virtual event platform Veertly. Since its founding in 2020, Veertly has hosted thousands of events for clients in more than 20 countries. 

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