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Intro to AI Webinar

When we look at the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) today, the vast majority of the examples fall under the category of generative AI. It’s the technology behind popular tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney and AIVA and is one of the most accessible entry points for people experimenting with AI.

And while you don’t have to have a technical understanding of how it works to use it, knowing some of the key points can help, particularly when looking for ways that AI will potentially impact the association market. 


Generative AI for Associations - How to Use ChatGPT and AI Tech Right Now!

Join Sidecar and ASAE as we explore the fundamentals of AI, the power of generative AI and how associations can immediately make use of these emerging technologies.

How Does Generative AI Work?

Generally speaking, AI falls into three different categories that each have a role in the process. According to Marketing AI Institue, these three buckets include:

  • The Infrastructure – the technology and chips that power the models and tools.
  • Language Models – large datasets of text that use algorithms to help generate the content used by AI apps. 
  • Applications – The customer-facing products like ChatGPT and Jasper that people can use and purchase. 

While the entry point for your association will vary depending on your needs and experiments, most people land in the applications category. This is where generative AI comes into the picture. 

Generative AI creates content or new data by learning from existing information. It looks at the patterns and correlations within data sets and then uses computer algorithms to generate further information according to those patterns. 

Related: Get Usable Content For Your Association Using These 3 ChatGPT Prompts Learn More >

For example, generative AI could be used to create personalized newsletters for organization members or even generate new fundraising campaigns tailored to a specific demographic or region.

How Can Generative AI Help Associations?

However, the big question around generative AI remains, “how do we use it?” 

While there are no shortages of new apps and models to experiment with, for associations, finding those opportunities often starts by understanding the tasks and outcomes you hope to get from using them. However, for association professionals who have yet to experiment with these tools or lacking a general idea of how they work, it can be a challenge to figure out a use case. 

Related: How to Talk to Your Members About AI Learn More >

Luckily, there are a few opportunities perfect for the association space that can work as a starting point for your organization, including: 

  • Personalized recommendations: Associations can use generative AI to analyze member data and provide customized recommendations for events, content and other resources that may be of interest to individual members.
  • Content creation: Generative AI can create articles, reports and other content for members, saving time and resources for association staff. Also, for organizations creating extensive studies and eBooks, using tools to summarize that content can be an easy way to continue distributing it throughout the year. 
  • Chatbots: Your members will always need support – even when you’re not online. While chatbots can be an easy way to help with this, they’re often limited to FAQs and assisting members with common inquiries like event registration and membership renewals. More advanced AI chatbots can now be trained on your actual association data to help answer complex queries and offer pathways to supporting content. 

Ask Us Anything – and our AI assistant, Betty, will immediately answer.

Betty uses all of the content on the Sidecar website, including members-only material, to answer your questions.

  • Event planning: Whether it’s your annual conference or a quarterly webinar, event planning can take time and resources, particularly with fully volunteer-led organizations.  Associations can use generative AI to predict attendance numbers and plan events accordingly, suggest event topics or speakers based on member interests and even help you find locations based on your member demographics. 
  • Marketing and communications: Chances are your association is sending member emails regularly. Not only does this require content creation skills, but also scheduling efforts as well. Associations can use generative AI to analyze member data and create targeted marketing campaigns more likely to resonate with individual members while helping generate that copy. 
  • Membership retention and engagement: By analyzing member behavior, associations can use generative AI to predict which members are at risk of not renewing their memberships and create targeted retention strategies. It can also create personalized learning paths for members based on their skill levels and areas of interest, a critical retention tool for any association.

Getting Started with Generative AI 

Put simply, generative AI focuses on creating content or data outputs by learning from existing information and inputs. Whether that’s the member data in your AMS, questions from a chatbot on your site, blogs and studies you ask a tool to summarize or data from a large language model like ChatGPT has compiled. 

For associations, generative AI poses a unique opportunity to streamline and radically improve operational functionality and member experience. And while there is plenty to know to understand the intricacies of the technology, the fact of the matter is, it’s a readily-available tool for associations to start experimenting today! 

Jose Triana
Post by Jose Triana
March 7, 2023
Jose Triana is a writer and creative focused on helping purpose-driven organizations learn and find value online. When he isn't working on content, you can catch him going for a run or resting with a good book.