The common thread running through the MICE & Luxury Forum on June
8, 2023 was centred on how Generative AI will change the travel
Sands China hosted the MICE & Luxury Forum as part of ‘The Macao
Showcase’, a three-day event aimed at bringing the best of Macao to
Singapore. The forum took place in-person at the Sands Expo &
Convention Centre, while a hybrid format took place within The Londoner
Macao. Macao university and polytechnic students and MICE association
members attended virtually. The Macao audience interacted in real-time
with panelists and attendees in Singapore to learn from the industry’s
One of the sessions was, Technology in Events: How to Navigate the
Journey Ahead, moderated by Northstar Travel Group executive VP, group
publisher, David Blansfield. Speaker, Informa Markets Asia VP, Ian
Roberts, shared how AI is now being used to enhance productivity of
attendees, increase ROI, and provide better insights to buying patterns.
Glenn Gore, CEO, Affinidi Group, said: “AI leads to automation of the
dull, dangerous and dirty. You can’t take humans out of the business.
As good as AI is today, what it doesn’t do is that it doesn’t
understand. It has groupthink experience.”
Jack Morton Worldwide, Asia, VP director of experience, Rebecca Hallett, said that
technology in events needs to create experiences, measure
personalisation and impact the end-user. Business objectives will
determine how much money is going to be allocated to technology. C-suite
clients would be willing to pay for the development of apps for instant
information, but sometimes, this is just not necessary.
The need for enhanced personalisation could tell hotels not only what
guests have done but why, said Gore. He gave an example of how AI can
help hotel guests have unique experiences by knowing why the guest has
come to a particular destination – if a guest has a marathon coming up,
after checking-in, staff can then advise the best fitness instructor to
help prepare the guest for the race.
Jason Ho, co-founder of BEYOND International Technology Innovation
Expo, shared how metaverse events have declined in popularity. His
company handled a metaverse event - a 600-company online booth set-up in
2022, but this year, such events are not in the calendar as people
prefer meeting in person.
When asked about what jobs are going to be at risk because of the
advancement of AI, Gore said: “So anything that’s incredibly task
driven. Again, it’s a little controversial, I think if you see this
whole dynamic playing out post COVID with remote working, I have quite a
strong view, which is, if you can do your job fully remote, you are
most at risk of being replaced by a script. I’m sorry, but you have to
interact with others. So jobs that are more isolated and more task
driven, they are the most at risk.”
As for industries such as journalism, there will be instances where
“the pendulum is going to swing to the extreme where there’s going to be
an incredible amount of just badly written AI content and it doesn’t
have any insight.” He stressed that AI cannot give insights, or personal
views, form opinions, which are vital for human connection.
He added: “The pendulum will swing back the other way and people will
start realising: ‘I want to hear from the individual, but when I hear
from the expert, I like your opinion. I like your event, I like your
art, I like the way you run the event, I love your curation.’ I think
curation is one of the biggest significant moments with the age of
influencers. This next generation is going to be the age of curators who
curate the best music, best food, best destinations, best
experiences…so we’ll have to adapt and change. No one’s going to be
The MICE & Luxury Forum featured a lineup of international
thought leaders and MICE specialists discussing the latest trends across
· Luxury Hospitality: The New Playbook for Building Guest Experiences
· Technology in Events: How to Navigate the Journey Ahead?
· Meetings & Events in a Post Pandemic World: Status Quo or A New Game?
· Marketing a Destination: What Makes a World Class Meetings & Events Locale?
· Luxury Retail: Setting a New Pace