I have to say I love this Max-Match App. Somehow, I can’t believe how I even went to business events without using it and I had a little laugh to myself when I remember how we discussed the impact of the internet in 2000 when I joined the exhibition industry. Yesterday when I arrived here in Riga to join the congress, I got an “hop-on-alert” and shared a “Uber-Mind” with a Swedish guy who was labelled as one of my “Business Twins” as he registered with 60% of the themes I registered with and we had another three “Business Mind Matches” in common. What a missed “Lead Opportunity” not to share an Uber with an unknown Business Twin. We had a great time and were automatically directed to the least busy congress entry. On the ride he showed me the new Max-Match hotel booking function which books the hotel only the very last second to ensure you get a carbon positive deal and to ensure the Business Twin rating of the other hotel guests is high. For sure I enabled the function as I get 60% of my service- and mind leads out of the Business Twin algorithm.
I entered the congress and switched my status on 70% “browsing” and 30% “twinning” when suddenly Max-Match told me via the interactive LED floor tile in front of me, that Paul is just 30 meters away in hall 8 on the left-hand side. I accepted the “Business Buddy Alert” as Paul and I have different business interests, but we are good, old friends. I swiped the alert to the top which meant that Max-Match will book us a lunch later on, likely in the restaurant Paul rated highly on “Busygramm” at a time that works for both of us. Paul accepted the Buddy Alert and we were set up for lunch. I quickly reviewed our Buddy Meeting dashboard and saw that Paul visited the congress that I missed in Bangkok last month. I can’t wait to hear about the congress from him.
Well, that was a great start to the day. As my next point I wanted to try out the new “Ad-Hoc-Panel” in which the crowd decides on the topic based on registered themes. How long is it ago when people registered for modules with fixed times and speakers? To be honest I can’t remember anymore but it feels like an enormous waste of time when signing up for a theme, then crowd sourcing the topics and getting Twin alerts is so much more fun and goes so much deeper. When I entered the Ad-Hoc-Panel I marked myself as “Panel-Speaker” which meant I had to be a stand-up speaker whenever the topics move to more than 90% relevance match of my profile. I have to say, it was quite a tough hour, as I had to join the stand-up panel for more than three aspects of the themes but it was really worth it as I was placed beside super interesting people at the table during the dinner event later that day, based on my short speeches. As I switched my Business Twin alert for this dinner to “Opposite Views” we had quite deep and inspirational conversations at our table – maybe sometimes discussions were a bit heated, but that’s ok too!
What an intense, first congress day! After the dinner my Max-Match dashboard showed that I was a “Mind-Lead” for four more people, a “Consultant-Lead” for another five more people and I had two more “Business Twins” which I didn’t know of so far. Max-Match had already booked a call with one of my new Twins and a dinner in London with the other as I’m also one of his “Consultant-Leads”. I always go “face to face” when I have a Max-Double-Match. Face to face just works better! Business looks good for the next 12 months. I’m extremely happy that the event industry has finally figured out how to bring the best of face to face together with very clever AI! Our industry has talked about it for so excruciatingly long but I feel we have finally cracked it.
Tomorrow I will switch my Max-Match status on “Listen Only” as I just want to browse and see whom I will randomly meet. Sometimes I love the old-fashioned way! After the show I will choose the restaurant for the New Year’s dinner with my wife and daughter. I can’t believe it’s 2030 so soon! The decade has gone by like nothing and thank goodness the Covid pandemic is now 10 years ago!
By now you will have noticed that this article is not describing how AI has changed our industry but how AI could possibly change our industry. Whatever the future holds for our industry: some will like it and some will not, but for sure many will build the way they do business on the tools that emerge and for many it will be unthinkable to conduct and develop their business without those tools.
We at MBB-Consulting have done substantial research on how AI can enhance our industry and support our exhibitors, visitors and delegates to get more out of our events. Our research shows that show preparation, lead management, sustainability and networking are the fields that will change the most. This is followed by education and year around planning as a result of a show visit.
Companies who have their data under control are in a pole position which are, by far, not always the big organisers. These often suffer different data bases and standards across their business units.
AI is also a big topic of the Exhibition Think Tank which we organise together with UFI. We will be releasing our latest ETT work on data monetisation soon, and one of our group leaders – Mark Parsons, was running a webinar series on AI. Please let us know if you want to hear more about our MBB-Consulting studies covering the topic AI and data in the exhibition industry or if you want to engage with the Exhibition Think Tank to be on top of AI.
By the way: Max-Match does not exist yet but if anybody wants to develop it; give us a call. We would be happy to join in.
Matthias Tesi Baur