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How can a chatbot enhance the attendee experience and build my attendance?

The time is now: as artificial intelligence becomes increasingly sophisticated, and more people expect real-time answers to their questions, chatbots present an excellent opportunity for meeting planners to improve the attendee experience. An event chatbot allows prospective attendees and other participants to get the information they need in a way that’s faster than waiting for a response from your team and more personal than an FAQ page. Event chatbots can integrate directly into existing messaging apps, which are skyrocketing in popularity themselves. This is a key benefit, allowing you to gain meaningful visibility on a difficult-to-reach channel.

Millennials and Baby Boomers are equally bullish on the potential benefits of event chatbots. (click to tweet)

An event chatbot is incredibly versatile – ask it something and you shall receive! Here’s why events and chatbots were meant for each other, and what integrating one could mean for your attendee satisfaction and bottom line.

We often see positive engagement in the conversation and people who will tell us how much they love it. We’re not getting a lot of resistance because we have plenty of organizers who see the value in it!

Event chatbot for customer service

Think of a chatbot as your trusted personal assistant, freeing up your busy schedule. An event chatbot can be programmed to answer most basic questions about your event, providing a customized experience for attendees without requiring you or your staff to intervene. An event chatbot can provide information on pricing, directions to the venue, the onsite WiFi password, and more in an instant. This is simply a great example of letting technology work for you! That being said, don’t forget to adequately promote the service to ensure it gets used, and to plan for human support for questions it cannot answer.

High impact, high reach

As Corbin Ball helpfully notes, texting apps are used daily by the vast majority of smartphone users, and text message open rates hover at a ridiculous 98%! Capturing even a fraction of this attention would ensure your message is widely received, but people don’t want to be served ads through this channel. They use chatting services to maintain a dialogue with their contacts. This is how chatbots can comfortably be used to directly engage with people interested in your event. Chatbots keep your event top-of-mind without being intrusive because they natively encourage a conversation. Using Facebook Messenger as the base for your event chatbot would be a wise move: with 1.3 billion monthly users, you won’t need to coerce many people to download the app!

Website integration

Your website is always home-base for communicating with prospective attendees, so it’s good to know that you can successfully integrate an event chatbot into it. As this case study suggests, it may even be vital: the event chatbot acted as a “navigation assistant” because users preferred asking it questions instead of using the traditional search bar to access the info they needed.

Chatbots can also supercharge your registrations. They can walk users through the registration process in a conversational way, which is much simpler than filling out a daunting form. The same case study predicts a 15% increase in registration by integrating an event chatbot, and a conversion rate of around 60%.

Personal assistants armed with event knowledge

If you’re having trouble with your event app adoption, using an event chatbot is an excellent alternative. It can push real-time notifications and updates, as well as provide attendees with scheduling details. Event chatbots operate in a similar way as the Alexa and Google personal assistants. They offer helpful info when prompted and are natively designed to automate simple tasks. For example, if an attendee already knows which speakers they want to listen to at your meeting, they can ask the chatbot for more info on these sessions and also schedule a reminder before the talk begins.

Acquire feedback

The post-event evaluation here serves two important functions. First, you could follow up with participants by forwarding links to your post-event survey or, better yet, collect feedback right through the chatbot by asking users simple questions about their experience. If users expressed interest in particular exhibitors, allowing them the opportunity to generate leads through your event chatbot is an excellent value-add as well.

Second, you can take a look at the most-asked questions directed to your chatbot and use this data to understand what your participants are most interested in. This will help you create a more successful event, and smarter event chatbot, next year.

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