Jack Carter
Feb 2, 2018

Top 5 event tech start-ups to watch

Meet the new players taking disruptive technology to new heights.

Kairos facial recognition
Kairos facial recognition

Concierge EventBot

How much time does an event planner spend answering recurring questions from delegates when the information they’re looking for is right under their nose? A lot, that’s for sure, which is why chatbots have become such a welcome innovation.

Using AI to interact with users through direct messaging, this strand of technology allows delegates to receive key information and resources in a quick and colloquial manner, while freeing up staff to take on more important matters.

One start-up leading the way in chatbot technology within the live event arena is Concierge EventBot. Its service gives delegates access to a variety of content including event agendas, bios on speakers and exhibitors and feedback surveys post-event, by using SMS or Facebook Messenger to request information.

What’s more, event planners can tailor the voice and manner of the chatbot to reflect the client’s brand and can even personalise conversations for specific attendees.


While behemoths like Apple, Amazon and Google have been the main drivers of virtual voice assistant innovation, start-up Mycroft offers the first open-source AI voice assistant, which allows developers to alter its code and tailor functionality to a specific use, say for interaction with delegates during live events.

This particular area of AI is still in its early stages, but with Mycroft sharing the technology’s functionality, its potential to grow within the events industry could be significant. Its new edition was fully funded on Kickstarter within 6.5 hours, and hundreds of developers are currently creating custom programmes.

From responding to attendee questions and commands and offering suggestions on which content sessions to attend, to acting as a concierge service giving hotel and restaurant recommendations and language translation, it won’t be long until that voice hiding inside your iPhone hits the show floor.


By 2019, the market for facial recognition (FR) technology will have a predicted worth of US$8 billion. While FR has historically been too complex and too expensive to implement, companies like Miami-based Kairos are using AI to help make it accessible to businesses in a range of industries, including live events.

In a nutshell, FR works by combining AI and computer vision to recognise faces in both photos and videos, and in real-time. As well as detecting and identifying faces, it can also determine a person’s age, gender and even emotion, which is where it gets really interesting for event planners.

FR has been used at events for automatic check-ins on arrival to providing virtual keys that allow delegates to enter specific areas of a venue. With FR technology now allegedly able to detect both positive and negative sentiments, planners may be able to reach new levels of attendee influence – whether recommending a particular session or reminding a delegate that they might like a coffee.

Amplero's Intelligent Marketing dashboard


The relationship between live events and AI may still be in its early stages but marketing is a mutual friend of both, and start-ups like Amplero have been successful over the last few years in bringing the two together. While many event professionals have been able to see the benefit of using AI during an event, Amplero’s Intelligent Marketing Platform is showing how planners can implement it much earlier.

The technology enables marketers to quickly and repeatedly run thousands of tests on ever-evolving delegate and consumer behavioural habits, whether it be during an event or on social media. Amplero then feeds the data back, which allows clients to react to new habits and trends and continuously optimise how they interact with customers.

This has the potential to improve delegate recruitment by helping planners and marketers ensure their communication strategies always stay reactive to consumer trends, whether by changing the type of content to one reflect engagement or identifying a whole new marketing channel altogether.


Matchmaking app Grip uses the same ‘Swipe Left/Swipe Right’ technology deployed in dating apps such as Tinder for the events industry, offering an AI-powered solution for more intelligent networking.

The app gathers data from delegates’ social media channels and uses it to pair them up with exhibitors, speakers and other attendees who are most suited to their needs and objectives. By proffering suggestions of who to meet, users can decide whether it’s a miss or a match and, as the AI gets a better understanding of their interests and behaviour, its recommendations improve as the event goes on.

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