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Expo! Expo! Speaker Spotlight on James Spellos

James Spellos discusses the takeaways attendees will gain at the session he will be presenting during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 on 5-7 December in Dallas, Texas.

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Senior Communications and Content Manager

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 features a three-day educational journey covering seven diverse content tracks, including this innovative session led by James Spellos titled Everything You Need to Know About AI… But Didn’t Know to Ask. Since the emergence of groundbreaking technologies like ChatGPT in 2022, the realm of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been reshaping the landscape of event and exhibition management.

While concerns about AI replacing certain job functions have arisen – including those of meeting planners and organizers – the prevailing consensus among organizations is that AI augments, rather than eradicates, roles. As the industry continues to evolve, so do the requisite skills and tasks.

James will lead this insightful session delving into the world of AI, addressing unvoiced queries and uncertainties. Discover how to harness an array of technological tools that will undoubtedly influence and shape the trajectory of your career in this dynamic field.

Here, James shares a preview of how participants will benefit from the information presented at Everything You Need to Know About AI… But Didn’t Know to Ask.

In this session, you will identify 30+ AI tools that can support attendees’ work. What went into your process of identifying the tools that resonate most with users?

James: I want the tools to reflect various ways that artificial intelligence impact what we do professionally. People should understand that AI is more than just ChatGPT (although that is a very useful tool), and more than just the noise and fear mongering that goes on throughout the news and social media. The more we look at these tools the way we looked at search engines, smart phones and even word processing and spreadsheets, the more we can see AI as not just good or bad, but services that can change how we work.

You will also have participants review and discuss with their peers the impact of AI and other technologies on the future of the profession. What value does this exercise bring in determining how best to apply the tools available?

James: AI is going to be an enormous game-changer in all professions, including the hospitality industry. Part of the conversation I’ve heard within our industry is that it doesn’t apply to what we do, since we’re such a people business. But AI can, and likely will, create a fundamentally different approach to how we do our business in so many ways.nWe need to make sure that we aren’t resisting change, rather, we want them to understand where the change has most value for what they want to accomplish.

Attendees will also leave with an understanding of how current AI technology will continue to evolve. Why is this important?

James: The rate of change that is coming is beyond anything we’ve seen previously. An interesting stat is that ChatGPT was the fastest growing consumer application in history, reaching 100 million users in just 2 months. That’s a staggeringly rapid rate of growth… and the AI frenzy that has followed it hasn’t slowed down one bit. It’s likely that some element of AI which I’ll discuss at the conference hasn’t even been released at the time of this interview (two months out).

What fuels your passion for this subject, and why is this information so relevant in today’s business environment?

James: My passion about AI is driven by how amazing technology growth has always been to our society. Whether it was my Mom telling me stories about seeing an automobile or flying in an airplane for the first time, or my observations about how technology has advanced and moved our industry forward in the forty years I’ve been working, this subject is just fascinating and always evolving. As to why it’s relevant to our industry… ask me that in a year or two, when we see how these tools have taken root in our everyday work, both professionally and personally.

Expo! Expo! is THE PLACE TO BE to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, as well as network with professional peers. The BE SMART registration ends tomorrow, 20 October! Find more information here including special promos for IAEE members.

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