How the latest generation of AI will transform the event marketing space — and how you can use it to your advantage
Table of Contents
- What’s the big deal about ChatGPT?
- What is ChatGPT, and what does it do?
- What can’t ChatGPT do?
- How to leverage ChatGPT for event marketing
- ChatGPT prompts for event marketers
- Final thoughts on AI & ChatGPT
What’s the big deal about ChatGPT?
If you haven’t heard the marketing and tech space buzzing over the launch (and subsequent rise) of ChatGPT, you haven’t been paying attention. Since launching in late 2022, social media has exploded with thousands of curious engineers, marketers and creators testing the AI waters to see what it can do. People have monetized it (even though it’s still largely in the research stage), agency owners are outsourcing to it, others are treating it like a virtual assistant on steroids.
For better or worse, the AI revolution is here, with around 86% of CEOs reporting that AI is considered “mainstream tech” in their offices (Comptia, 2022). We don’t know much yet, but one thing’s certain: it’s going to change the game for marketing forever.
Why? This new tech gives us leverage, particularly with service optimisation (McKinsey, 2022). Research and learning is easier, manual tasks that might have caused a bottleneck before are (often) no longer an issue, and we’ll be able to achieve more with fewer resources in less time — and it’s all thanks to our new robot overlords. The events industry is no exception. What’s more, event marketers who jump in now will be ahead of the game when it becomes mainstream (yup, we said “when”, not if). Important note: the more user-friendly this tech becomes, the faster the ‘first mover’ advantage will fade (Deloitte, 2020).
The question remains: given the new world of options now available to us, how can we use it best?
But before we get into the how, let’s dial back a bit to the what.
What is ChatGPT, and what does it do?
If you took a computer, gave it a database filled with information, then gave it a brain and told it to have conversations with someone using the information in that database — you’d be getting pretty darn close. Using AI, ChatGPT processes language, allowing a computer to understand and respond to written text. We’re still scratching the surface of what it can do, but so far we’ve seen it write and edit flawless code, pass exams (AE Ideas, 2022), and create this rather marvellous instructional guide to removing a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR (source: Twitter).
What can’t Chat GPT do?
Feelings. It’s an order taker, don’t expect it to actually think and respond like a human. It’s also limited to the information it’s been trained on, so if you’re hoping it can search the internet for you — you’re outta luck (for now, at least). And, after conducting a few basic tests, we’ve found its maths skills to be questionable at best.
But don’t let that put you off. It can learn, it iterates constantly based on the feedback you provide, and for the persistent, it’ll be an indispensable tool in no time at all.
How to leverage ChatGPT for event marketing
Let’s get into how it can help, with 12 of the more practical ways event marketers can use ChatGPT today. Note: it exists to enhance and support your efforts — not put you out of a job. Use the bot’s output as your starting point, not the finished product. Got it? Good. Here’s what we love it for so far:
1. Speaker and sponsor bios
Save time trying to rewrite that speaker bio from last year’s event, and pop the whole thing into ChatGPT with some updated info to get a snappy, reader-friendly, and (most importantly) fresh bio for this year’s promo run. Give it a quick touch-up to make sure the tone is on point, double-check the details for accuracy, and you’re all set.
2. Brainstorming & strategising
Whether it’s ways to get more attendees, help covering your bases with promo angles, or ideas to engage and delight event attendees, ChatGPT can act as your brainstorming teammate. Save the real strategy for the humans, but use the tools to have AI generate some top-level ideas to see whether there’s anything obvious you’ve overlooked. Hey, pobody’s nerfect.
3. Market research
Need to survey your attendees, pre, during and post-event? Let ChatGPT come up with your questions. Top tip: give it specific details about the goal of your survey, who it’s being sent to, and what you’ll use the survey for, to get a better output. Once you have survey responses it can help you by summarising details and providing important insights.
It can also help kick off your competitive analysis efforts by helping you find competitors in your niche, URLs of their key channels, as well as a summary of their top products, services, benefits & features. From there you can do your due diligence and validate, but we’ve seen it cut down research time to minutes instead of hours.
4. Banishing the blank page with a workable first draft
Need to draft invitations? Send cold outreach emails? Provide attendees with important updates, follow-up emails, and/or announcements about upcoming events? Get a head start with a draft from AI. We don’t recommend using it to write your final draft, but it’ll give you a solid base to work from. Edit in the style of your brand, personalise and fill in the blanks as needed, and send!
5. Tailoring content output
You’ve got demographics and user behaviour data, teach the AI what you want it to know by giving it what you have. Obviously abide by all necessary privacy laws (you don’t want to enter the murky waters of GDPR issues here), but providing the tech with a user persona will help it give you more tailored information in return. Use it to create personalised email campaigns, invitations, scripts and more.
6. Iterating on existing content
Take those high-performing, human-written subject lines, blog posts and social media hooks, and get ChatGPT to give you some new options. Whether it’s a list of hooks to help promote your next event on social media, a series of blog post titles to support your content marketing and SEO efforts, or some A/B testing options to try and increase open rates on your email outreach, AI can make iteration a much smoother, speedier process.
7. Condensing reading & learning time
Whether it’s summarising articles and lengthy case studies, or explaining complex topics simply, ChatGPT is forever changing the way we can learn and absorb information. By condensing info into digestible bullet points, we can significantly reduce our research time, and cut straight to the key takeaways. Forget reading through pages and pages of text to find what you need — this alone saves hours.
8. Report generation
Give it data and a few essential details, and ask ChatGPT to generate a report for you. Use it for post-event roundups for sponsors, analytics reports, and presentations.
9. Templatising customer support responses
Find the same questions popping up over and over again? If so, and if you haven’t templatised your responses and support docs yet, you’re wasting hours on manual support. Equip your customer success team with simple templates to assist with support and troubleshooting, generated by AI (and edited by humans).
10. Proofreading text
We’ve all been there. Hit “send” on an email or “publish” on a campaign, only to spot a typo after it’s out there? Save yourself the cringe and use ChatGPT to proofread and correct your text before you release it into the wild. It can even suggest alternative phrasing, or change the tone of the messaging altogether…as long as you tell it what to do.
11. Keyword research
Generate a list of keywords + their search volume to target based on your needs (these might be generic, for your company blog or website, or more targeted for specific events or niches). Then ask it to generate synonyms based on those keywords. Boom, you now have keywords for your content marketing efforts.
12. Caption generation
Halve the time you’re spending on social media captions by getting ChatGPT to handle the basics. You might have to add a little extra oomph if it doesn’t quite get the tone right, but it can cut down your manual writing time significantly.
ChatGPT prompts for event marketers
As a general rule, the more specific you can be with your instructions, the better your output will be. Quality in = quality out. But the beauty of ChatGPT is that it’s a conversational model, so you don’t need to be well-versed in “code” to get what you need.
Want to see for yourself? Try these prompts to get you started:
Prompt 1: Email Registration Confirmation
Write an email template that thanks the attendee for registering for our brand’s event and encourages them to join in the discussions on our social media channels using the hashtag, #OUREVENT. Please also confirm the event details and let them know they can find more information on the event’s website, [URL].
Details of the event date and time are as follows:
ChatGPT gave us:
Prompt 2: Ideation
Give it an identity, then a task. We said:
You are an event organiser for large-scale corporate events (approx 2000-4000 attendees). List some creative ways to get more attendees for your next event.
ChatGPT gave us:
Prompt 3: Research Engagement Opportunities
How would you increase engagement for hybrid events to make sure virtual and in-person attendees feel equally included?
ChatGPT gave us:
Prompt 4: Survey Event Attendees
What questions would you ask event attendees to gauge their satisfaction with an event? Include questions about speakers, workshops, facilities, venue/platform, availability of information, and anything else that would contribute to attendee satisfaction.
ChatGPT gave us:
To get the best results, don’t necessarily accept the first output. It can learn, so provide further details and get it to regenerate the response if you didn’t get anything usable from the first prompt. Start broad, then refine until you get the hang of it.
The point here isn’t to get a list that’s publish-ready, or to take a series of prompts and use them as-is. It’s to get ideas, prop up your existing efforts, fill gaps in your knowledge and skill set, and to give you, the expert, the information and resources you need to make your life easier — whatever that looks like.
Final thoughts on AI & ChatGPT
Whether you love or loathe ChatGPT and what it offers, there’s no doubt there are advantages — so (at least for now) we’re choosing to focus on the opportunities. At the end of the day we’re all just marketers, sitting in front of our keyboards, trying to see what we can accomplish. It’s not quite the Tony Stark + Jarvis and flying cars future we originally imagined, but we’ll take it.