In industries where there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cost and pricing, the lack of transparency can be incredibly frustrating for customers. As part of our 2020 Events Industry Disruptor Report, I looked into the ways AI can solve those problems by augmenting the decision-making abilities of businesses in order to recommend prices tailored to that customer routed in data.
As buyers, we have now been trained by sites like Amazon, Booking.com, or Airbnb, to expect to see and compare prices, and to know that this is how much we are going to pay. The challenge for the events industry is that there is no one-size-fits-all. Every event is different, and every venue can offer something unique. A house for rental on Airbnb can easily offer a fixed price as the parameters are well defined; 4 people for 3 nights in early July.
But events are different and more nuanced. Do you want catering, drinks, or a champagne reception? Do you want a different layout, or audio-visual support? Do you want to combine your offsite with a brilliant team-building experience at the same time? Are you booking at a time when the venue has a lot of availability?
Additionally, many customers don’t know how much an event should cost and often have unrealistic expectations. When a venue receives an enquiry like this, they frequently ignore it, leaving the customer in the dark as to what happened which leads to frustration on all sides.
Picasso famously wrote “Computers Are Useless. They Can Only Give You Answers”, and he was right. Thankfully, with the advent of AI and Machine Learning, we’re now able to leverage vast amounts of historical booking data to understand these nuances and to answer this problem.
The US online real-estate company Zillow is a fantastic example of this. They crunch vast amounts of historic house purchase data, and combine it with unique features like hardwood floors, granite countertops or a landscaped backyard to create their ‘Zestimate’ score of a house’s market value. In fact, Zillow value this score so highly, they recently gave away a prize of $1M USD to a team that beat their own algorithm – a small price to pay no doubt for increasing its accuracy.
By making the machines address the IQ, we’re able to provide accurate guidance on what an event really costs based on your unique needs. We can also suggest changes, such as alternative dates or times that can help save you money.
For the venues, we’re able to augment their decision-making abilities. We can recommend prices that will resonate with that specific booker and their enquiry and provide guidance on their competitors. We’re freeing them of the mundane, low-value add work, and enabling them to focus on the EQ – something that will always be so important in the events industry.
No more frustration, no more wasted time. Just brilliant events.
Our 2020 Events Disruptor Report is a collection of articles that explore how and when the emerging trends in technology impact the events industry. To read the full report click here.
Read more about Machine Learning and AI in our blog titled Artificial Intelligence and the Events Industry and the latest edition of CEO Corner; My 2020 Prediction: AI will transform the Events Industry.