The Age of Now – Chatbots for Events

We’re living in the Age of Now, where people have come to expect instant results and convenience. Technology has spoiled us that way by delivering information and services in a snap. Working on a project in your shop and don’t know the purpose of a lock washer? Google it! Need to order some groceries from the […]

We’re living in the Age of Now, where people have come to expect instant results and convenience. Technology has spoiled us that way by delivering information and services in a snap. Working on a project in your shop and don’t know the purpose of a lock washer? Google it! Need to order some groceries from the store? Amazon can deliver it to your doorstep within hours. Need a lift? Order up a ride on the Uber or Lyft app and they’ll be there in minutes.

This is why chatbots are poised to be the next big technology shift for events. Attendees don’t have the time – and a decreasing level of patience – to browse through page after page of information on your event website or navigate through an event app to find the small bit of info that they need. What’s the wifi password? What time is lunch? What’s the best way to get to the venue from the airport? Chatbots for events can be designed to answer those questions in one step in a variety of pre-existing messaging platforms, and to bring insight to organizers on what’s important to attendees.

Giving immediate information is only the tip of the iceberg. Chatbots can deliver all sorts of other benefits as well:

  • Imagine how an organizer and event marketer can elevate the attendee experience by personalizing all information returned to the attendee based on their questions, personal preferences and profile.
  • Imagine how engaged an attendee will be – before, during, and after the event – receiving push notifications tailored just for them based on preferences and previous choices.
  • Imagine how sponsors can benefit with a channel to engage with the attendees most interested in their product or service.
  • Imagine how much more value your attendees will get from your conference as the chatbot learns enough about their preferences to make recommendations on people to meet and which sessions to attend,

We’re at the very beginning of this shift, but the signs are all there that it’s happening. Major investments into AI –  bots, AR, VR – by all the tech giants (Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook) portend a shift is not only happening but will happen quickly. Many of the major industries like retail, insurance, healthcare, auto are already seeing wide deployment of chatbots to solve problems, take orders, and to improve customer service.

While the use of chatbots at events is not yet widespread, some large events and trendsetters are paving the way. SXSW introduced the chatbot Abby to their 2017 conference, that answered more than 56,000 questions; BizBash unveiledBetty – a fully functional ConciergeEventBot – at their March BizBash Florida event with great results; and IMEX rolled out the chatbot Frank for their recent Frankfurt show.

If you do a little digging, you’ll find there’s an increasing amount of information about chatbots available. (Follow us on Twitter @EventTechGuide to see regular posts about this and other technologies).

There’s a lot to learn, but if you’re ready to take a deeper look at chatbots and what they can do for your event, or venue, or destination, a great place to start is by connecting with us at The Event Guys. We‘ll help you navigate this new terrain by working with you to build a strategy around this amazing tool, connecting you with the right technologies and platforms, and providing support services along the way.

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The Event Guys are service oriented technology gurus that provide tech support services like tech scouting, chatbot design, and integration services to organizers, agencies, and suppliers. With over 30 years of experience in the event world, they leverage their domain expertise and industry background to bridge the growing knowledge gap between event organizers and technology providers.