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Regulate AI in events’ say 63% of association professionals

63% of associations express concern at the ethics of using AI in event organising

A white paper authored by The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau and Ottawa Tourism reveals that 63% of global association buyers are either very concerned or slightly concerned about the ethical implications of using AI in event organising.

The white paper, which explores the ethical implications of AI usage across the global association event industry shows that 63% of association respondents think governments should legislate on the use of AI in event organising. However, in a stark contrast to this desire, 65% also think those same governments lack the required knowledge to be able to legislate effectively.

Of particular concern for the respondents is the usage and retention of the data obtained by technology companies through AI.  20% of the respondents said that AI technology providers are not very trustworthy, with a further 13% saying not at all trustworthy.  These 33% outweigh the 27% who “mostly” trust the data providers.

As one possible solution, 52% of the respondents are in favour of an International Standard (ISO) to cover the usage of AI in events.  A further 29% said “maybe” such a standard should be created; just 7% said “No” 

AI is inevitable, and it is already impacting our lives in many ways,” comments Bas Schot, Head of The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau.  “Those individuals and organisations thinking it is something that will not impact them clearly don’t realise just how ingrained it is in our world already.  It is all too easy to just think in terms of generative artificial intelligence, however AI is so much more and we need to harness the power of it in a way that is ethical and positive for everyone.

Ottawa Tourism’s Vice President, Meeting and Major Events, Lesley Pincombe added: `’We wanted to go beyond discussions about what AI can do, to consider how we should be integrating it into our organisations at a human level.  There is no denying AI can do incredible things.  However, should we allow it; when should we apply the brakes, communicate better and focus on humanity rather than technology?

In addition to the survey, the white paper was created following interviews and round table discussions with experts from the association and AI sectors.  The full white paper covers these topics in more detail, and explores particular areas of concern for the industry and question whether the sector is upskilling quickly enough to meet the growing usage of AI as a technology.

Corporate Results

Although a much smaller data-set, 50% of the corporate event organiser respondents are slightly concerned about the ethical implications of using AI in event organising. 71% think governments should legislate but the same 71% don’t think they have the knowledge to do so.  28% of them have concerns about the technology providers trustworthiness, which is considerably outweighed by the 50% who trust them. 


*The Hague Convention Bureau and Ottawa Tourism surveyed 109 event professionals in October 2023. During the survey they were asked what type of organisation they worked for; these were combined into two groups as follows:

  • Association, charity/not for profit, government/public sector and agencies focused on these sectors. Total – 91 respondents – described as associations/not for profits above
  • Corporate company 500 or more employees, corporate company less that 500 employees, agencies focused on the corporate sector. Total – 14 respondents - described as corporates above
  • The remaining 4 responses were excluded as industry suppliers

61% of the respondents were from Europe (including UK), 31% from North America and the remaining 8% from the rest of the world.

Note – all percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole percent.

The above (and attached) logo represents the ongoing partnership between the two destinations.