Sign up for our newswire newsletter


It’s All About Them: Using AI to Enhance the Participant Experience


In our January and February columns, we explored how artificial intelligence (AI) and SPARK have revolutionized productivity for event organizers. This month, we shift our focus to the heart of any business event—the participants. 

Two of the cornerstones of most business events are the participant learning and inspiration takeaways. The challenge for participants, however, is capturing the relevant and compelling insights while trying to be present in the experience. Easier said than done. 

Imagine attending a seminar and, instead of furiously taking notes, having AI summarize the core messages in real-time—and provide you with a summarized document on your mobile device while you’re still in the room. 

Using AI as a tool in situations like this allows you to focus on the speaker(s) in real-time, engage more deeply with the material and participate in networking discussions with a clear understanding of the key points, all without the distraction of writing things down in fear of forgetting something important. 

That’s the impetus behind SPARK Takeaways, a new purchased add-on for business event audience engagement..

[Related: An Introduction to PCMA’s AI Tool, Project SPARK]

Spark Takeaways
SPARK Takeaways

Technological Takeaways

No longer constrained by manual note-taking or the limitations of human cognition, participants using SPARK Takeaways can fully immerse themselves in the session content. Takeaways surfaces the essence of each presentation through intuitive visualizations and interactive topic exploration tools—all in the palm of your hand.

We rolled Takeaways out for the first-time at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024 in San Diego during a mainstage session with President and Secretary Clinton. (We always make the point that, at PCMA events, we experiment with ideas and tools on the biggest of stages and share the learnings, good and bad.)

A screenshot of SPARK Takeaways' summary of the Clintons' presentation at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024
A screenshot of SPARK Takeaways' summary of the Clintons' presentation at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024

The audience experience was outstanding and the tangible outcomes are numerous. Accelerated knowledge acquisition allows participants to maximize their return on investment, ensuring they leave with concrete, implementable strategies. The effortless capture of key points frees participants to be fully present, fostering deeper engagement and thought-provoking discussions.

Moreover, Takeaways extends the event’s impact well beyond session rooms. Comprehensive post-session reports encapsulate the event’s collective wisdom, enabling participants to revisit and share insights with colleagues and stakeholders. This perpetual access to curated content amplifies the event’s reach, facilitating continuous learning and collaboration.

And because we know that content at any event is the crown jewel of the experience, SPARK’s commitment to data privacy and security infrastructure ensures that your content and data is yours and yours only.

Currently, generative AI tools such as SPARK are proven to offer substantial productivity improvements, automating routine tasks and enabling organizers to focus on creative and strategic aspects of their events. We believe that very shortly, the focus will shift toward harnessing AI to enrich the human connections we can only make possible at business events. 

Because after all, those human connections are what it’s all about.

[Related: SPARK's Data-Processing Power Is a Game-Changer for Event Profs]

Stay tuned in upcoming issues of Meetings Today and online at for additional use-case scenarios in which SPARK can help in your job planning meetings and events.

To learn more about SPARK, visit 

Profile picture for user Bruce MacMillan
About the author
Bruce MacMillan

Bruce MacMillan currently serves as managing director for PCMA Insights, PCMA’s consultancy and business intelligence brand. He previously served as chief operating officer at PCMA, where he integrated MARCOMM, editorial content and technology, including the development of Project SPARK—the business event industry’s leading AI productivity tool—to elevate performance and audience engagement.