From scheduling meetings to writing emails, artificial intelligence is redefining the workplace, making our day-to-day tasks much easier. But increasingly, professionals are starting to wonder where it stops. For example, is sponsorship evaluation taking it too far? As RedPeg’s Venues & Sponsorship Coordinator, I have to hope so. Not only because I’d like to keep my job, but because I’m also concerned about the future of a sponsorship industry lacking human touch.

That said, I’ve evaluated the pros and cons of having AI manage sponsorship valuation, starting with the pros:

  1. Works Around the Clock: As humans, we need breaks. Machines don’t. Their ability to “perform” basic data-driven tasks, gives us humans more time to brainstorm venue ideas and to nurture face-to-face client relationships.
  2. Accuracy: Though it’s entirely possible to calculate data for pitches and sponsorship proposals on our own, AI technology makes it faster and more accurate. With the help of a sponsorship management system, we can quickly evaluate and score proposals against key criteria and client key performance indicators (KPIs).

And now for the cons. While AI solutions can help with quick and accurate reporting, this just touches the surface of what truly goes into a sponsorship evaluation. Just some of the issues with incorporating AI technology into sponsorship evaluation include:

  1. Lack of “human” touch: AI cannot account for the emotional aspect of sponsorship evaluation. In addition to computing data, we have to know our clients’ needs. Sometimes what is statistically accurate doesn’t “feel” good for the activation or experience we want to promote. Machines function off logic, but they cannot account for instinct.
  2. Poor relationship management: One of the most important aspects of sponsorship evaluation involves relationship management. When we are evaluating venues for our clients, we always consider whether or not this opportunity fits for other programs or prospective clients. In nurturing our client and event relationships, we are able to provide a sense trust and preference. We can show our clients and our venues that we are always thinking of them first.

While AI is a positive resource to continually push the workforce to improve, it can’t be the sole medium to evaluate sponsorship. At RedPeg, we plan more than 600 events a year. In our 23 years of existence, we’ve found that identifying the Zone of Potential Agreement (ZOPA)[i] and establishing a win-win deal that leads to future partnership opportunities[ii] are key to nurturing client relationships. And while AI can help improve the valuation, we won’t see robots taking over our jobs anytime soon.


[i] ZOPA: The bargaining range that describes the intellectual zone in sales and negotiations between two parties where an agreement can be met, and to which both parties can agree to. Within this zone, an agreement is possible. Outside of the zone, no amount of negotiation will yield an agreement.

[ii] win-win deal: A win-win situation or result is one that is favorable for everyone is involved. The negotiating parties have reached an agreement after fully taking into account each others’ interests, such that the agreement cannot be improved upon further by any other agreement.