Research Urges Swift Upskilling for Association Professionals in AI Integration

24th January 2024

A joint white paper by The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau and Ottawa Tourism has shed light on the escalating integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in global association conferences and events.

The research underscores a critical need for widespread upskilling in AI use and understanding its ethical implications.

Key findings include that 63% of associations and not-for-profits are currently utilizing AI in event organization; a significant knowledge gap exists, with 72% not engaging in AI education; and 85% have no budget allocated for AI training.

Lesley Pincombe, Vice President of Meeting and Major Events at Ottawa Tourism, said: “The inevitability of AI in our sector is clear from our research. However, it’s not just about adoption; it’s about understanding and skilfully leveraging AI to enhance our industry,”

Bas Schot, Head of The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau, said: “We must be careful to protect our delegates and ourselves as we make the most of what AI has to offer – we already need to consider both the pros and the cons before we entrust vital information and data to third parties – AI usage is no different.”

Initial highlights from the research revealed that 63% of global association buyers express concerns about the ethical implications of AI in event organizing. While 63% believe governments should legislate on AI use, 65% feel that governments lack the necessary knowledge for effective legislation.

Ottawa Tourism and The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau advocate a proactive approach to AI education in the association event sector, promoting strategic partnerships, knowledge sharing, and resource allocation for AI competency.

The full white paper can be downloaded here or here.

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