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Intro to AI Webinar

What do you see when you walk down the street or into a crowded place? If your answer was people on their smart devices, you are thinking like me. Currently, I, myself, have three different devices open on my desk. Our inboxes are overflowing, our notifications are going off, and our attention is pulled in a million directions. Gone are the days of one trusted source for content, we sell our attention to the highest bidder (or most relevant content) on a continual basis. For associations and non-profits this means finding themselves at a crossroads: How do they keep up and keep their members engaged? Enter the hero of our story: Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is here to make life easier for associations, offering smart solutions for those all-too-familiar challenges. From making sure your message hits home with each member, to sifting through the mountain of event proposals, and even making your old conference videos shine anew, AI is the trusty sidekick we all wish we had sooner. This post is your gateway to exploring ten ways AI can breathe new life into your association's daily grind, making sure you're not just reaching your members but truly connecting with them. Because at the end of the day, it's all about making those human connections count, and with AI, we're finding new and better ways to do just that.

1. Personalizing Member Communications

The Challenge of Generic Communication

The digital landscape is saturated with various forms of communications, making it hard for generic communications to capture attention. Even when members have signed up for your communications, getting them to open and engage with content can be a challenge. So when associations employ a one-size-fits-all messaging approach, disengagement runs rampant.

The AI Solution for Personalization

AI-driven personalization cuts through the noise by tailoring messages to individual member preferences, increasing relevance and engagement. Associations can segment their member lists and use AI to craft personalized content for each list, or even individual members. This approach fosters a deeper connection with members, elevating their sense of belonging and value within the association.

AI Tools to Try
  • Chat GPT, Claude, and Gemini: craft personalized messages for each of your segmented members lists
  • craft personalized messages as individualized as one-to-one, use the individual and companies’ online presence to personalize the message   

2. Streamlining Speaker Selection Processes

The Challenge of Sifting Through Numerous Speaker Proposals

Organizing a meeting or conference comes with the daunting task of sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of speaker proposals. With a finite amount of time and a vast pool of applicants, associations struggle to efficiently process and evaluate each proposal and create a high-quality lineup that resonates with attendees. 

The AI Solution for Streamlining Selection

Through the creation of an AI workflow, or multi-agent solution,  associations can rapidly filter proposals based on predetermined criteria such as relevance to the conference theme, speaker qualifications, and the comprehensiveness of the information provided. Advanced AI applications can grade proposals on innovation and content quality, and even identify potential biases in selection, ensuring a diverse and engaging program. This AI-driven approach not only saves considerable time by narrowing the pool of candidates to those meeting essential requirements but also opens the door to further refinement.

Implementing AI in the Selection Process
  • Initial Filtering: AI can automatically assess whether proposals meet basic technical requirements, significantly reducing the volume of applications to be manually reviewed.
  • Further Analysis: Beyond initial filtering, AI can evaluate proposals for content quality and alignment with event goals.
  • Bias Detection: AI can help identify and mitigate biases in the selection process, promoting diversity among speakers. 

Implementing this type of multi-agent solution will require some technical expertise today, however the field is rapidly evolving. Tools that simplify the creation of custom AI Agents are becoming more accessible, indicating that associations will soon be able to adopt these processes with minimal technical background. For those looking to implement solutions immediately, partnering with developers or utilizing existing AI platforms offers a practical pathway to involving AI in speaker selection. 

>>> Read more: Beyond Automation: The Era of AI Agents

3. Curating Personalized Content for Members

The Struggle of Content Overload

Most associations tend to have a plethora of content and information. The issue has become: ensuring that content not only reaches members but also resonates with their individual interests. The risk of content irrelevance is real, threatening to push members towards alternative sources for their informational needs. And once they have found what they are looking for in an alternative source, they are unlikely to return.  

Tailoring the Experience with AI

AI has emerged as a pivotal solution in crafting personalized content experiences for members. By analyzing past interactions and preferences, AI tools can dynamically adjust content feeds, ensuring that each member receives material that is engaging and pertinent to their interests. This level of customization goes beyond traditional content delivery methods, where members are bombarded with similar content based on a single interaction. Instead, they use sophisticated algorithms to provide a diverse and enriching content experience, recognizing the difference between fleeting interests and core preferences.

AI Tools for Enhanced Personalization
  • A standout example of AI-driven content curation, RasAIo offers an advanced newsletter platform that personalizes content down to the individual level. By leveraging members' previous engagements, RasAIo ensures that the content delivered is highly relevant and engaging. 

4. Predicting Member Renewal

Difficulty in Identifying Members at Risk of Lapsing

Associations often face challenges in identifying which members are at risk of not renewing their memberships. Traditional methods may not accurately pinpoint members who are losing interest or considering leaving, making it difficult to take proactive steps to retain them. Without a clear understanding of who might not renew and why the risk of unexpected member loss increases, impacting the association's growth and sustainability. 

AI-Driven Prediction Models

To address this issue, AI models offer a powerful solution by predicting which members are likely not to renew their memberships. These predictive models analyze member data, identifying patterns and trends that indicate a higher risk of lapsing. More than just predicting who might leave, AI can also suggest potential reasons behind their decision, enabling targeted retention efforts. This approach allows associations to intervene with personalized strategies to re-engage at-risk members before they decide to leave.

AI Tools for Predicting Member Renewal
  • Custom AI Models: Developing a predictive model tailored to your association's specific data and membership dynamics. This could involve using machine learning to analyze historical member behavior and renewal rates to forecast future trends.
  • Generative AI Layer: Integrating a generative AI component to suggest tailored retention strategies based on the predictive model's findings. This could link directly to marketing automation platforms like HubSpot or MailChimp, automating personalized retention campaigns. 

>>> Read more: Top 5 Generative AI Courses for Association Staffers

5. Automating Responses to Routine Inquiries

Overwhelmed by High Volume of Routine Inquiries

Associations frequently face the challenge of managing a high volume of routine inquiries, which can overwhelm staff and consume valuable time that could be directed towards more complex tasks. This inundation of common questions not only strains resources but can also slow response times, impacting member satisfaction. 

AI Chatbots for Instant Responses

The advent of AI chatbots presents a robust solution to this issue by automating responses to common questions, thereby freeing staff to focus on more nuanced member needs. Unlike their predecessors, modern AI chatbots are designed to enhance member experience rather than just reduce operational costs. These chatbots are capable of providing not just basic information but also acting as knowledgeable agents that offer detailed assistance across the association's domain. This approach significantly reduces friction for members, allowing them easy access to information and solutions, and elevates the overall quality of customer service by ensuring rapid and accurate responses.

AI Tools for Routine Inquiries
  • Betty Bot: Specifically designed for associations and nonprofits, Betty Bot can be integrated into websites and apps to provide members with instant, reliable answers based on the association's content. It offers the added functionality of performing certain actions on behalf of users, such as renewing memberships. 

6. Enhancing Digital Accessibility

Limited Accessibility of Digital Resources

A significant barrier that associations face is ensuring that their digital resources are accessible to a universally diverse audience. The challenge lies in bridging the gap for members who may have language barriers or require content in more accessible formats, thus making inclusivity a priority for associations aiming to serve a global or varied membership base.

AI-Generated Captions and Translations

AI technology offers a revolutionary solution to this problem by generating real-time captions and translations for video content, thereby making information accessible to a broader audience. Utilizing AI tools to enhance digital accessibility empowers associations to cater to the diverse needs of their membership, ensuring that every member has the opportunity to engage fully with their resources. 

AI Tools to Enhance Accessibility
  • Heygen: A video translation tool that not only translates spoken content but also modifies the video to match the target language's lip movements.
  • ElevenLabs: Provides voice dubbing features, enabling associations to transform audio content into different languages or unify the voice across different videos for consistency.

7. Understanding Member Engagement Levels

Difficulty in Gauging Member Engagement

Associations often find it challenging to accurately measure and understand the levels of engagement among their members. Traditional data sources, such as membership renewals, meeting registrations, or committee participation, provide a partial picture but fail to capture the full scope of member activity and interaction. This lack of comprehensive insight, especially when the data is spread out over multiple platforms, makes it difficult to develop effective engagement strategies and to personalize member experiences.

Leveraging AI with a Common Data Platform (CDP)

A Common Data Platform (CDP) is a crucial tool in addressing this issue, serving as a centralized repository for all member data. By integrating data from various sources, including AMS, CRM systems, financial systems, learning management systems, websites, email software, and social media interactions, a CDP provides a holistic view of member engagement. AI tools can then analyze this consolidated data to identify trends, patterns, and areas of interest among members, enabling associations to tailor their engagement strategies more effectively.

Resources for AI and Enhanced Engagement

>>> Read more: Harnessing the Power of Exhaust Streams: A New Frontier for Association Data Analysis

8. Repurposing Conference Content

Underutilized Conference Video Content

Associations often invest significant resources in producing valuable video content for conferences and annual meetings. However, once the event concludes, this content frequently remains underutilized, gathering digital dust. The challenge lies in maintaining engagement with this content post-event, as it often becomes overlooked in favor of newer materials, despite its ongoing relevance and value.

AI-Assisted Content Repurposing

AI offers a dynamic solution to this challenge by enabling the repurposing of conference video content into various formats that can re-engage members and extend the life of the material. This approach not only ensures that valuable insights and discussions continue to reach and benefit the membership but also contributes to a more vibrant and engaging digital presence.

AI Tools for Content Repurposing
  • Descript: An AI-powered editing tool that provides rapid transcription services and allows for direct audio editing from the transcript, simplifying the content repurposing workflow. Transcripts from this tool can be taken and places into ChatGPT or another similar tool and turned into a blog post, social media post, or other written content.  
  • Munch: Automates the generation of short-form video clips for social media, incorporating trending keywords to enhance engagement and reach.

9. Simplifying Content Management through AI Tagging

Overwhelming Content Volume and Organization

Associations often face the daunting task of managing and organizing vast amounts of content, making it challenging to efficiently retrieve and utilize specific information. The sheer volume of content can make manual categorization and retrieval inefficient and time-consuming, potentially leading to valuable resources being underused or overlooked.

AI-Powered Tagging and Categorization

AI-powered tagging presents a transformative solution to this challenge by automating the process of categorizing content based on themes, topics, or relevance. By leveraging language models like ChatGPT, associations can analyze pieces of content and generate tags that accurately reflect their essence. This process not only streamlines content management internally but also enhances the discoverability and consumption of content externally. The automation of tagging reduces the manual workload significantly, allowing staff to focus on other critical tasks.

AI Tools to Simplify Content Management
  • Language Models (e.g., ChatGPT, Gemini, etc): Utilized to analyze content and automatically generate relevant tags, making it easier to organize and retrieve content based on specific criteria.
  • Custom AI Solutions: Associations can develop or adapt AI tools tailored to their specific content taxonomy and management needs, ensuring a more personalized approach to content organization. 

AI Learning Hub

10. Streamlining Content Creation

Consistent Content Creation Challenges

Associations often find it challenging to consistently produce fresh, engaging content that captivates their audience. The need for high-quality, relevant content is constant, but generating it can be resource-intensive and time-consuming, especially when striving to meet the diverse interests of the membership base. 

AI-Powered Content Creation Tools

AI-powered content creation tools offer a revolutionary approach to content generation, enabling associations to produce articles, social media posts, and marketing materials efficiently. These tools, such as ChatGPT, Gemini, MidJourney, DALI, and Runway, leverage AI to tailor content to the association's needs and audience preferences. By automating part of the content creation process, associations can ensure a steady stream of quality content with more efficiency.

AI Tools for Streamlined Content Creation
  • ChatGPT and Gemini: Ideal for drafting personalized content, from social media posts to detailed articles.
  • MidJourney and DALL-E: Text to image models that enhance content with compelling visuals.
  • Runway: Specializes in text to video models, adding dynamic video content to your digital strategy.
  • Otter: With this speech to text tool, you can capture your thoughts and ideas in real-time, transcribe them, and then refine and transform them into structured content

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Moving Forward with AI

With these ten AI applications, from refining member communications to repurposing conference goldmines, it feels like we've just scratched the surface of what's possible. So, here's to not just keeping up but soaring ahead, armed with AI that understands the heart of your mission: to engage, enlighten, and elevate your members in ways you've only begun to explore. The digital world is vast, but with AI as your co-pilot, navigating it just got a whole lot more exciting. Let's embrace these tools, innovate with intention, and remember that at the core of every byte and algorithm, it's the human connection that drives us forward. 

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Kat Davis
Post by Kat Davis
March 11, 2024
Kat Davis is the Marketing and Events Associate at Sidecar. She has a BA and MA in Theatre. She is passionate about the intersection of technology and creativity and believes that is where the true innovative magic happens. When she is not working, you will most likely find her spending time with her two sons and husband, catching a local show, or curled up with a good book.