IRF Study Explores AI Opportunities For Incentives

New Incentive Research Foundation study aims to help incentive professionals understand AI

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released a study to help incentive professionals understand the capabilities, explore the possibilities, and find out how the industry is currently using artificial intelligence. Providing an overview of how industry professionals are using AI, “AI: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals,” suggests first steps with the technology and provides use cases that can enable current users to further harness the power of AI. The AI Revolution offers an in-depth view of the vast possibilities of AI.

“From creating program structures to drafting communications and conducting data analysis, the use of AI tools is enabling incentives professionals to be more efficient and creative,” said Stephanie Harris, President, Incentive Research Foundation. “While there is some hesitation about embracing this technology, incentives professionals who have explored AI are impressed by the ease of use and how it can save time – and they are excited the possibilities of more sophisticated applications.”

The IRF recently conducted a series of focus groups with suppliers, third parties, and program owners who shared their insights, practical use cases, and hesitation around the AI technology. While these discussions revealed that AI use among incentive industry professionals is still in its early stages, use of AI and interest in the technology are steadily increasing. The study explores how incentives professionals are using AI both in the travel and non-travel incentive arenas, information about the tools and programs they find most valuable relative to incentive programs, and the gains and impacts they’re experiencing as a result.

In “AI: Uses and Possibilities for Incentives Professionals,” incentive professionals share their experience with AI. Feedback from three respondents demonstrate how AI is being used to assist with program administration, award nomination submissions and itinerary creation:

Program Administration

“It’s about automating tasks that then relieve people from doing busy work. For example, we’re looking at implementing an AI solution to answer question after question that incentive program attendees ask. We had one coordinator answer 4,000 emails that were all questions answered in the registration materials. Pick up, drop off, expenses. AI can quickly answer these questions pointing back to registration materials. It means that that person can do other things that the organization needs their brain power for; more strategic things.”

Award Nomination Submissions

“We just closed the cycle for peer nominated awards. I have encouraged employees to use AI to strengthen their nomination write-ups. It levels the playing field for those that are not great writers. I have seen some of that pay off in the nominations being more equal.”

Itinerary Creation

“We use Chat GPT for smaller events to create itineraries. I would never use Chat GPT and assume I got it right for my President’s Club trip. We use it only for things too small for a third party to touch. We’re solving for a gap – finding new venues that have opened, new experiences.”

To download the complete study, click here.

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