At the time of writing this post, Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion monthly users. Using a chatbot on this platform or another existing messaging app, is surely a much easier way of engaging event attendees. It’s certainly easier than relying on attendees to have the storage space or effort to download your event app. And that’s not the only advantage of using event chatbots.
If you’re an event professional, you should probably consider using event chatbots. Alternatively, you should maximise your existing use of them. In this article, we’ll outline the many different uses of this technology. We hope this'll help you make suggestions to incorporate them into your next corporate or CPD event.
A chatbot can act as a personal assistant or information desk for thousands of attendees. They can be used before, during, and after an event. This is essential as Victoria Allan, journalist at Simplegrad and OXEssays, says that emails, social media and website postings can’t always be relied upon to answer people’s questions anymore, whereas chatbots can process and reply to enquiries in half the time. People want instant answers to their questions. If they don’t get them, this represents your event in a negative light for them.
So, let’s look into how event chatbots can be used in the different stages of an event: before, during and after.
Before Your Event
Cvent points out that you must decide on your bot’s user persona. This is the first thing that you need to do. It has to have a voice and tone when it communicates with your audience, that is consistent with your brand. The next thing is to decide what kind of content it will post about. This’ll depend upon all the possible questions it’ll be asked. Cvent notes that chatbotslife.com defines a successful bot as one that serves a definitive purpose and makes users smarter. Therefore, you need to understand your audience’s persona, what they want to get out of your event and what information they need, to make sure your chatbot is effective.
Additionally, you should configure your bot to understand multiple languages. This is especially important if your attendees are from different countries or can speak other languages. Therefore, language barriers won’t be an issue when communicating with audiences. Additionally, you won’t need to hire multilingual translators for sufficient knowledge-sharing.
Now that you’ve configured your bot, let’s look at how you can actually use it.
Firstly, event chatbots can be used to drive awareness of your event and encourage ticket sales. Its tone of voice should already establish your event’s personality and theme. But beyond that, it can also let prospective attendees ask about your event’s venue, speakers, etc., and give them quick information. That’ll help them decide then and there if they want to attend.
And if they do want to attend, you should give them an option to purchase tickets within the chatbot itself. Cvent points out that users are more likely to buy if they don’t have to leave the platform and visit another site to purchase their tickets.
Furthermore, Engati states that, as participants experience stress days or weeks before an event, they’ll be eager to access event information such as about registration, when the event starts and what materials they need to bring. Automated answers will reduce stress by giving attendees their desired information straight away. This is essential as today’s consumers expect to receive information as easily as possible. It’ll also reduce your own stress as you can have peace of mind that attendees are getting the right information.
Still not convinced that event chatbots are the best way to promote an event to attendees and sponsors? Engati points out that while traditional event promotion techniques are dying, texts on Facebook Messenger have a read rate of up to 70% and a click rate of 40%.
During Your Event
You can continue to answer attendees’ questions as your event is ongoing. If you place QR codes around your venue, participants can use their camera inside the Messenger app to scan these codes. This will lead them to discover new information, different locations, or other activities that are happening throughout your venue. You can create a much more immersive experience for your audience, as they’ll have more things in both the physical and digital spaces to interact with.
If you’re worried that getting attendees to receive information from event chatbots will lose your event’s human touch, don’t worry – you can set up your event chatbot to let people connect with live agents.
After Your Event
Even after your event, you can continue to benefit from it for a long time if you use an event chatbot. The chatbot can give you analytics about how many people interacted with it during the event. This will give you valuable insights about what kind of issues they came across during the event and what kinds of questions they asked. In turn, this’ll help you figure out which aspects to iron out for your next event.
Also, you can use this bot to give out polls, surveys, comment sections, etc. via push notifications. This will encourage feedback about your event. It’ll also build anticipation by asking what they’d like to see at your next event. You can share results about people’s favourite aspect of the event on social media. Attendees can reminisce on these and non-attendees can discover them and therefore build curiousity about your events program.
You may be wondering:
“How do I fit an event chatbot into my budget?”
“How much do event chatbots cost?”
While chatbots can differ in price, Joshua Hillier, tech writer at Top UK Writing Services, states that it’s cheaper to create a bot for your event on an app like Messenger, than it would be to construct a dedicated event app, and it also saves on your overall event marketing and promotional costs.
Furthermore, if you wish to follow the trends, a chatbot may be necessary as it becomes more and more difficult to rely on people downloading event apps. People are already active on apps like Facebook Messenger, so it’d be more efficient to take notes of the above uses of chatbots, to increase engagement and satisfaction at your next event.