What is Machine Learning & Why is it Important for Events?

December 6, 2021

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It’s a new age of technology. The last decade has seen immense growth in smart tech, with watches, phones, computers, and even cars. Google Home, Siri, and Alexa devices have changed the landscape of artificial intelligence, and, more interestingly, machine learning. Now, every time you use your favorite music or video streaming platform, you are served with suggested content that is built from your own likes and dislikes. With the changing landscape of events, it’s no surprise that event technology, too, has grown within the last decade. While searching for the right event tech provider, it’s typical to see “AI” boasted on every page. But what does the future of event tech look like with the growth of machine learning?

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is when a piece of artificial intelligence takes given data to imitate human behaviors. The idea is that, once the machine learns what you like, what time you usually get home, or what time you go to sleep, it can make your life much more entertaining and convenient.

Take Netflix for example. Once you’ve watched enough shows, the Netflix algorithm learns your pattern of behaviors which shows you liked and which shows you did not like, and then recommends a batch of shows that it believes you might find entertaining. Not only that, but it also learns the behaviors of individuals like you. Convenient, no? In one of the latest updates, they’ve even given you the option to forgo mindless scrolling altogether and added in a randomizer option: “Not sure what to watch? Play something.” Here, they guarantee they’ll play you a show that you’ll love.

Smart home devices have taken this to the next level. With time, your smart home can determine what time you generally fall asleep and, to save you the trouble of waking up in the middle of the night with all your lights on, your smart device will turn them off for you, even if it has not heard from you. Hunches from Alexa can alert you on all connected devices, from switches, plugs, lights, thermostats, and more. Over the Thanksgiving holiday in America, you might have even gotten a ping from Alexa asking if you wanted to turn off your Thursday morning alarm. The algorithm and data suggested that people like you turned off their alarms, so it was likely you wanted yours off, too. It’s easy, convenient, and fast.

Humans, while beautifully original and unique, have learned behaviors and patterns throughout their daily lives. If you’re late leaving for work one day, your smart home might check-in to see if you’re alright, give a brief traffic update, and then wish you a good day. It’s intelligent, fascinating stuff!

Why is machine learning important for meetings?

What if when you logged into a virtual event, or stepped into a hybrid event, the experience was truly custom-made for you? Machine learning does just that, and now, this technology is beginning to shift and transform the way attendees experience an event.

For example, sponsor and exhibitor matchmaking and peer-to-peer connections have a new upgrade with machine learning. In a few questions and a completed profile, an event attendee can connect to like-minded individuals and exhibitors and will also be notified throughout the event on sessions and topics other attendees in their network also find helpful. Consider this to be a web. It starts with your attendee and their initial connections built through standard profile building and AI. As the individuals in the initial connection group expand outward to build their agendas, schedule demos with sponsors, and chat in networking groups, the first attendee’s recommendations increase.

For example:

Mary signed up and built her profile and connected with John and Mark. John and Mark both added “Keynote Session 2” to their agendas, which Mary had not done yet. Mary will receive a small nudge to let her know that “Keynote Session 2” is happening soon, and we think she might be interested in it!

Not only does machine learning in events build out your attendee’s agenda, keep them entertained longer, and allow for more engagement touch points, but it makes your attendee’s life easier.

Engagement is still king for virtual events, especially as we begin the pivot back to virtual instead of hybrid (though machine learning conquers all event types from live, hybrid, and virtual events). Machine learning builds an extensive web between attendees, assessing the interests and dislikes of each one, and then uses those behaviors to notify other attendees of what they might be missing. This, in the end, increases ROI for your event and your sponsors, and keeps your attendees engaging with new, relatable content that they actually care about.


In the same way that online clothing stores can recommend a pair of pants that you might be interested in, machine learning for events does the same exact thing for your attendees by recommending content they might enjoy. Machine learning can transform content personalization and take it to the next level if done properly and with the correct team behind it.

If you’re interested in learning about AI tech for events, let us know. Schedule a demo now and talk to our team.

Ready to learn more?

Whether your event is virtual, hybrid, or in-person, enhance your attendee’s journey with an event ecosystem built for your audience. Ready to walk through Stova's event technology solutions? Schedule some time with us today.