Artificial intelligence is often thrown about in thought leadership, but it’s rare for industry leaders to delve into the full impact it can have in our daily lives. For two years, Prepare.ai has been on a mission to do just that by making the concept of artificial intelligence easily accessible to any business or individual that’s willing to learn.
“The reason why the Prepare.ai conference, organization, network, and conversations are so important is that AI is going to rock everyone’s world,” Prepare.ai Technical Director and Co-Founder, Dave Costenaro.
If you’ve never attended any of the conferences that Prepare.ai has hosted, you might naturally assume that this 501c3 nonprofit organization is based in a tech hub, like Silicon Valley. However, the charm of this organization is its proud, mid-western roots.
Prepare.ai is a nonprofit organization born in St. Louis, MO. It hosts the Midwest’s forum to explore and understand the influence of artificial intelligence on our lives and businesses.
“When I look at Prepare.ai through the lens of what it means for our city, it’s a great opportunity to bring more people to St. Louis and tell our story the way we want to tell it”
“When I look at Prepare.ai through the lens of what it means for our city, it’s a great opportunity to bring more people to St. Louis and tell our story the way we want to tell it,” said conference sponsor and Slalom Consulting Experience Design Lead, Tara Nesbitt. “It’s a great way to let visitors experience St. Louis firsthand while giving the people who live here something to rally around in the technology space.”
Though Prepare.ai has just recently hosted its second annual conference, it’s grown exponentially in size and scope—a sure testament to the necessity of its mission. To scale that business growth and stay within the budget of a nonprofit, Prepare.ai needed an ally.
Leading up to the conference, the Prepare.ai team had their backs against the wall.
“We’ve worked nights and weekends to kick off and execute two amazing conferences,” said Prepare.ai Executive Director, Cindy Teasdale. A team of five was responsible for gathering a lineup of experts from around the country, finding the perfect venue to attract a diverse audience, and conducting outreach to fill the seats.
Though the Prepare.ai conference is an educational event that invests in the local community and industry of artificial intelligence, the work and logistics that go into it can be tedious and time-consuming, which could leave even the most motivated of AI evangelists exhausted.
The leaders at Prepare.ai knew that they needed to call for backup to ensure their team could continue to focus on mission-critical tasks.
“To keep the team focused and the employee engagement high during the times of stress, we needed to bring in a tool that could lessen their load.”
Co-Founder and Board Member
With the addition of Capacity, the small-but-mighty Prepare.ai team offloaded the task of responding to important yet time-consuming questions from prospective attendees. This allowed them to spend their time focusing on their actual mission—bringing people together who might not otherwise be exposed to the concept of artificial intelligence.
When potential attendees landed on the Prepare.ai website, they could ask questions regarding the conference via Capacity’s chatbot. In the month leading up to the event, more than 400 questions were asked and successfully answered about the Prepare.ai conference by the Capacity chatbot.
Out of those 400 hundred questions, 100 of the inquiries could be boiled down to a single question: “Who’s speaking at the event?”
Other questions regarding the conference’s date, time, location, mission, and more were all fielded by the Capacity chatbot without taking up any of the team’s time.
The use of an AI-powered knowledge sharing platform also supported the theme and mission of the organization and conference—making AI accessible to all.
By using the Capacity platform, the Prepare.ai team was able to spend more time attracting valuable speakers. The 2019 conference garnered a roster of 50 speakers from the AI industry—20 more than the previous year’s conference. With a larger and more diverse group of experts, they also collected their fair share of rave reviews.
“The organizers at Prepare.ai are very thoughtful about getting a certain level of diversity, whether it be gender, race, or orientation, and bringing these minds together,” said Tara. “We need that type of thought leadership and diversity to bring the best ideas forward.”
The Prepare.ai team had the bandwidth, or, if you will, capacity, to create and execute a strategy that filled every seat at the 2019 conference with techies of all stripes and walks of life.
“Prepare.ai is unique in that it draws people from a diverse array of backgrounds and interests. We had high school kids in the room as well as people who have been in data science for 20 years.”