How a chatbot can simplify your event!

With the emergence of Siri and Alexa, chatbots have become extraordinarily popular in the recent years. Whether you want to get the directions to the next fuel station, buy flowers or book a flight – a chatbot makes it possible! But how can a chatbot actively help you and your event management?

It is extremely important for event managers to keep track of the latest event technology trends. Find out in the following, how chatbots can add value to your event.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot (short: bot) is an automated program, that serves as a virtual personal assistant. It deploys Artificial Intelligence (abbr.: AI) technology to interact with people. Customers can enter questions e.g. on their mobile devices via a messenger. Immediately after sending the request, the chatbot will answer the query as well as provide useful information by accessing huge databases.

Why will chatbots become increasingly important?

They become ever more relevant, because messaging is ubiquitous. Nowadays, messaging apps are the most frequently used apps on mobile phones. The most famous global messenger apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. The number of mobile phone users, who accessed messenger apps in 2016, amounts to 1.58 billion. This figure is projected to grow to 2.48 billion users in 2021 according to the Statistical Institute Statista. Additionally, a study showed, that 71% of customers want the opportunity to solve problems on their own by using self-service options. Also, customers increasingly prefer text-based communication over contact to a customer service agent.

To sum it up: People LOVE messaging. Using this insight, a chatbot is the perfect answer to this development.

It’s all about information

Imagine one of your guests, who attends your event. He may have a lot of questions, like: “Where can I park my car? How much is it going to cost? Will there be free Wi-Fi available? And if yes, what is the password? And what is the schedule for the event?”

Most likely, you – the event organizer – have already provided a lot of information about the event, a FAQ for example. From the customer’s point of view, however, trying to find the right information at the right time can be tough or take some time. In the worst case, the customer gives up finding the wanted information and turns frustrated. Naturally, you aim to avoid any bad customer experience related to your event.

The chatbot can give answers to the questions of your guests in real-time. It can communicate answers regarding the schedule, logistics, directions or details about the exhibitors, artists or sponsors. Basically, it is able to deal with any issue you can think of – as long as you feed the chatbot with the right data.

Why you should consider using a chatbot for your event

A big advantage of a chatbot is its rapid and extensive availability for the users. Its service is available 24/7 and immediately helps guests with their concerns. Compared to a staff member, who can only respond to one guest at a time, the chatbot can handle multiple requests at once. Thus, the service employee can focus on more important tasks and work more efficiently. Additionally, service costs can be reduced.

A chatbot can also serve to disseminate relevant content to the attendees of your event, for example information about discounts, changes of a schedule or even safety instructions. It is a quick way to reach a large number of guests.

Besides sharing information, the chatbot can also collect data from its users. It can, for example, be used to seek feedback or conduct quick polls. Those responses can in turn be used by your event management to understand and to improve the customer experience.

A further advantage is that chatbots can represent the “brand” of your event. Its answers can be customized according to the formality, style of music or audience. The interaction with chatbots is perceived as exciting and fun by a lot of people. The overall perception of the event can thus be improved.

The downsides

On the other side of the coin, there may be people who still prefer to talk to a human instead of a robot. Although chatbots (depending on their configuration) can “behave” like a human being and keep up small talk, users may perceive a company, service or event as less human. Other respondents in the aforementioned study stated, that they fear to have the same frustrating experience than with traditional self-service technologies.

Chatbots can search huge amounts of data to provide the best answer possible – however, they are not able to answer highly complex requests (an example would be: At which bar is the shortest queue?). While the technology is advancing, even those problems will find a solution though.

Chatbot use cases

  • Sciensio is a company, that captured public attention last year. They developed a chatbot specially adapted to the requirements of the event industry and won the ibtm world Tech Watch Award  for its Concierge EventBot. This award recognizes upcoming technologies in the event industry and its entrepreneurs behind it. One notable chatbot, that has been used for an event, was “Frank” for the IMEX in Frankfurt. On Sciensio’s website, visitors can chat with a demo chatbot called DB.
  • An example for the use of chatbots in another industry is the supermarket chain Lidl: They recently launched a wine expert chatbot called “Margot in the UK, who can advise customers on which bottle to buy. It can list the types of wine on sale and recommend wines to pair best with a certain dish or food.

There are numerous occasions, where a chatbot can support your event. And  user experience experts have forecasted a great future for chatbots and Artificial Intelligence! That’s why our team from Lets.Events definitely thinks, that this new technology is worth it to get to know.

So if you want to dig deeper into the topic, see for example The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chatbots. This website provides useful information to help you work with chatbots.

 

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