What's Hot, How-to

Two IRF Studies Explore How AI Will Affect Travel Planning

Consistent with the continued interest in the application of AI across all industries, the Incentive Research Foundation has published two studies to help the MICE (meetings, incentives, travel and exhibitions) market tap the power of AI to enhance program design and effectiveness.

The Current State of AI in the MICE Market
The Future of AI in MICE

Click here for links to RRN Preferred Solution Providers.
The Incentive Research Foundation has released two studies “to help incentive professionals understand the capabilities, explore the possibilities, and find out how the industry is currently using artificial intelligence. The report, AI: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals suggests ways to get started with the use of AI in travel along with use cases. first steps with the technology, providing use cases that can enable current users to further harness the power of AI. The AI Revolution: A Technical Review of AI Capabilities for Corporate Events, Rewards & Incentives  “takes a deep dive into what AI makes possible now and what will likely be possible very soon.”
“From creating program structures to drafting communications and conducting data analysis, the use of AI tools is enabling incentive professionals to be more efficient and creative,” says Stephanie Harris, President, Incentive Research Foundation. “While there is some hesitation about embracing this technology, incentive professionals who have explored AI are impressed by the ease of use and how it can save time – and they are excited by the possibilities of more sophisticated applications.”

The Current State of AI in the MICE Market AI

AI: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals. A series of focus groups with suppliers, third parties, and program owners who shared their insights, practical use cases, and hesitation around the AI technology, reveals “that AI use among incentive industry professionals is still in its early stages; use of AI and interest in the technology are steadily increasing.”
Says one panelist, “It’s about automating tasks that then relieve people from doing busy work. For example, we’re looking at implementing an AI solution to answer question after question that incentive program attendees ask. We had one coordinator answer 4,000 emails that were all questions answered in the registration materials. Pick up, drop off, expenses. AI can quickly answer these questions pointing back to registration materials. It means that that person can do other things that the organization needs their brain power for; more strategic things.”
Another panelist adds, “We just closed the cycle for peer nominated awards. I have encouraged employees to use AI to strengthen their nomination write-ups. It levels the playing field for those that are not great writers. I have seen some of that pay off in the nominations being more equal.”
Yet another example: “We use Chat GPT for smaller events to create itineraries. I would never use Chat GPT and assume I got it right for my President’s Club trip. We use it only for things too small for a third party to touch. We’re solving for a gap – finding new venues that have opened, new experiences.”

The Future of AI in MICE IRF

The AI Revolution: A Technical Review of AI Capabilities for Corporate Events, Rewards & Incentives is a guidebook to the future of AI in the MICE market and on how “In today’s business landscape, artificial intelligence is reshaping the management of incentives, events, meetings, travel, rewards, and recognition across various industries. This transformation is driven by AI’s capacity to enhance personalization, streamline operations, predict trends, and elevate engagement levels.”
The white paper suggests that “in sectors as interpersonal and human-focused as incentives, rewards, events, and hospitality, AI’s impact on the workforce is expected to be complementary rather than disruptive, at least in the foreseeable future. Embracing AI in incentive design, reward fulfillment, events, and hospitality means gearing up for a future in which work becomes not only more efficient and innovative but also more attuned to human needs. Like other fields, leaders in the incentive industry should evaluate AI’s potential across all facets of their operations and make strategic decisions regarding experimentation and adoption.”
The report asserts that “AI’s analytical capabilities delve deep into employee behaviors, preferences, and performance, enabling organizations to make informed decisions when refining their incentive and recognition strategies. Through AI, program structures become more adaptable, communications more precise, and evaluation models more predictive.”
It continues: “Insights gleaned from incentive program owners and industry contributors underscore AI’s transformative role in both travel and non-travel incentives. Leveraging AI’s ability to discern and cater to individual preferences holds immense potential for enhancing engagement and satisfaction with incentive programs.”
For example, “AI-driven personalization in incentive travel can encompass refined content delivery, optimized air travel options, tailored destinations, and bespoke on-site experiences tailored to individual preferences. As AI technology advances, organizations that embrace and adapt these innovations are poised to lead the competitive race, achieving organizational goals with increased agility and strategic insight.”
The report includes several use cases, including “advanced AI applications such as AI chatbots with visual avatars that are enhancing attendee experiences at events, while facial recognition technology provides real-time feedback on audience engagement. AI’s automation capabilities significantly reduce workload before events, streamlining tasks like email creation and session planning.”
To capitalize on AI’s potential, “interviewees stress the importance of AI literacy and the need for increased awareness and knowledge among industry professionals. Continuous learning and adaptation are deemed crucial given the dynamic nature of AI technology.” 

How RRN and Brand Media Coalition: Your Partner in Success in Incentives, Rewards, and RecognitionEnterprise Engagement for CEOs

Published by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance at TheEEA.org

  • The only weekly news, how-to and resource publication of record for the Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition field.
  • The only marketing agency focusing specifically on the IRR and broader engagement marketplace.
Contact Bruce Bolger at 914-591-7600, ext. 230 or email Bolger@TheEEA.org when you want to get to know or get known in this growing $176 billion marketplace.

The Industry’s Only Combined Media Platform and Marketing Agency to Help You Expand Your Business Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap
  • All the industry news, research, announcements, and how-to articles read by over 20,000 end-users in sales, marketing, and human resources; incentive, recognition, loyalty and promotional companies, as well as marketing and human resources agencies, seeking to enhance performance through effectively designed incentive programs.
  • Unparalleled business development services for engagement, incentive and incentive travel, recognition firms; brands, gift cards and master fulfillment companies, and technology firms, featuring ROI-based business development strategy design and ongoing digital and social media and e-newsletter communications to help marketers profit in the coming era of cookie-less marketing. 
  • Unique abilities for solution providers to sponsor authoritative, evergreen content directly related to what they sell through the EEA’s Effective Practices series on articles in our media platforms.
  • EEA YouTube Channel with over three dozen how-to and insight videos and growing with nearly 100 expert guests.
  • Access to new technologies from EEA preferred solution providers enabling brands to create their own points-based or transactional redemption site.
  • Unparalleled expertise in program design, return on investment measurement, reporting, and prescriptive analytics.
Click here for complete information on all our services. 
Earn Big $ In EEA Referral Program
Brand Media Resources
EME Gold
Brand Resources
  • Omaha Steaks
  • Amazon
  • 1-800-flowers
  • LG
  • Mont Blanc
  • Callaway
  • Ray Ban
  • TaylorMade
  • UGG
  • Yeti