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If I Had To Choose One Conversational AI Conference To Attend…

A few weeks back I made a list of Conversational AI conferences around the world, and came up with a criteria on deciding which conference I would spend money on to attend.


During the hight of the pandemic there were a number of online conferences taking place, of which most worked quite well. Most online conferences share four objectives:

  1. The first is exposure for the organisers or organisation hosting the conference.
  2. Secondly, the speakers get some recognition and milage out of their speaker cards.
  3. The sponsors also receive their due brand awareness.
  4. Some insights can be gleaned from the talks, but there are times where I feel real-world, practical implementation examples and experience are missing.

With in-person events surfacing now, the decision to attend an event in real-life demands more discernment due to costs implications. Hence I came up with the following criteria for deciding on which event to attend…

Conference Criteria

1️⃣ The conference must be the right size. Too many conferences are so big that it is an ocean of booths, products and people. It is overwhelming for buyers looking for technologies for their specific needs.

2️⃣ The conference needs to be a safe-space for buyers. Somehow the technology and solution providers need to be vetted, imagine a conference where buyers know the companies represented meets a certain standard.

3️⃣ There needs to be focus on Conversational AI, and not AI or Data Science in general. The focus on conversation design in specific and metrics in general sometimes feel overwhelming. I want to hear real-world implementations stories, people standing up and talking about their scars from releasing a digital assistant into the wild.

4️⃣ There needs to be a blend between buyers, sellers, innovators, and those with a view of what is happening on the edge of technology development.

5️⃣ Group dynamic is a powerful force, and if a conference can have a sense of community so much the better. Yes, I understand it’s business, but what if it is not just a winners and losers scenario, but a helpful network can be established, where everyone can benefit from?

VOICE Summit 2022

VOICE Summit 2022 is the one conference I would love to attend, for the following reasons…

  • I don’t know if there has been a time when voice has been truly more relevant than now. We have moved past the hype of dedicated devices, which could not have happened soon enough. Currently voice is at the point where voicebots are launched on telephone calls. Microsoft is looking at voice-enablement on a global scale, and the definition of voicebot success and how to measure it is becoming paramount as voicebots are becoming an integral part of CCAI.
  • There is a face behind the summit, and it is the face of Pete Erickson. I know Pete from religiously listening to the podcast. If there is a single person putting a face and a name to a conference, it’s bound to be good with immense attention to detail.
  • I used the phrase “safe space” earlier in the list of criteria. It seems the VOICE Summit is carefully curated in all respects, vendors exhibiting, speakers, etc. On its website, Modev refers to their partners, as trusted partners.
  • Value, there seems to be real value. Above and beyond the usual workshops, executive briefings , parter events and exhibits, there are tangible perks. Like the Startup Book, Industry Funding Report, Buyer Persona Report and more.
  • And lastly, I think attending VOICE 2022 will be like LinkedIn coming to life, so many of the personalities which are synonymous with the voice community will be in attendance.

Currently at the time of writing I have no affiliation to the VOICE 2022 summit, and I wrote this analyse completely independent. The views are all my own and not that of the VOICE 2022 summit or any of the organisers.



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Cobus Greyling

Chief Evangelist @ HumanFirst. I explore and write about all things at the intersection of AI and language; NLP/NLU/LLM, Chat/Voicebots, CCAI.