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Artificial Intelligence: Evolving the MICE Industry by Venturing into Metaverse

Written by Sankalp Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Rayqube Future Tech

The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) industry is one of the key sectors that drive the global economy. It is an industry that has witnessed a rapid transformation over the last few years, with the advent of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and extended reality (XR). The MICE industry has seen a rapid transformation over the last few years, with the emergence of AI and other advanced technologies, with businesses moving to virtual platforms to continue operating.

The metaverse is one such platform that has seen significant growth in recent years, with more businesses and organizations adopting this technology. As more and more businesses are adopting the metaverse, the MICE industry is also starting to take notice of its potential. AI is one of the key technologies that is driving the evolution of the MICE industry by venturing into the metaverse. According to a report by Gartner, by 2023, AI-powered virtual assistants will be involved in 25% of all customer service interactions, including those in the metaverse.

Real examples from the MICE industry adopting the metaverse can be seen in the form of virtual conferences, exhibitions, and trade shows. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry was forced to move online, and the metaverse proved to be an ideal platform for virtual events. For example, the Dubai World Trade Centre launched the GITEX Technology Week, in December 2020. The event saw over 1,200 exhibitors and 7,000 attendees from 140 countries.

Another worth noting example was the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2021 – one of the biggest virtual conferences of the year. It was held in a virtual environment, providing attendees with an immersive experience. The conference featured virtual booths, product demos, and keynote speeches, all powered by AI. The CES 2021, one of the largest tech shows in the world, went virtual – using AI to create a digital experience for attendees. The virtual event featured an AI-powered chatbot that helped attendees navigate the platform, providing real-time support.

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2021, which usually takes place in person, moved to a virtual platform. The event was held entirely in a virtual environment, providing a unique and immersive experience for attendees. It is interesting to look at initiatives like the Dubai Future Foundation launching the “Virtual Future Cities” initiative, which aims to create a virtual platform for smart cities. The platform will use AI and other advanced technologies to simulate real-life scenarios, providing a testing ground for new technologies.

The benefits of venturing into the metaverse are many for the MICE industry. Virtual (and more importantly, hybrid) events reach a much wider audience, as attendees can participate from anywhere in the world. In the immediate future, we will see more customized and personalised virtual events that will mimic physical events, providing a unique experience for attendees.  Further, AI-powered virtual holographic assistants can handle attendee queries and provide real-time support, reducing the need for human intervention. We will see the metaverse becoming more mainstream, with more businesses and organisations adopting this technology.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the adoption of metaverse technology is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years, with the market for virtual events expected to reach $774 billion by 2030. The market landscape for the MICE industry in the Middle East, especially in UAE and KSA, is promising with an estimated annual growth rate of 5.4%, according to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The adoption of AI and the metaverse in the MICE industry is a game-changer. There is no doubt, that the MICE industry is transforming at a never-before pace, and the adoption of AI and the metaverse is driving this transformation.

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