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The Who, What, and Why of Chatbots for Events

Chatbots for Meetings and Events | Image via FreePik.com
Written by Kaylynne Hatch
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“Chatbot” has become something of a buzzword as of late – especially in the events industry, but is there anything to it? Are chatbots really being used at events? How do they work? And are they the next killer event app? Today we’re addressing those questions with a roundup of the chatbots currently on market.

What is a Chatbot? – A Quick History

Just to be clear, what is a chat bot? A chatbot is a program designed to mimic conversation with humans (usually using artificial intelligence in order to parse the user’s responses). And although chatbots seem very futuristic, they’ve actually been around since 1966 when MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA to “provide a ‘parody’ of “the responses of a non-directional psychotherapist in an initial psychiatric interview” and to “demonstrate that the communication between man and machine was superficial”. Since ELIZA’s inception scientists, developers, and mathematicians have been working to improve natural language programming and AI in order to improve the capability of chatbots.

Fast forward 50 years, and now chatbots are quickly gaining popularity as consumers have grown to favor using text instead of voice when it comes to contacting customer service. Chatbots are increasingly being used by companies to provide 24/7 customer service to website visitors or respond to customers in real-time via text message.

Because many interactions with customers can be handled with an FAQ file, a customer database reference or a simple e-commerce transaction chatbots have proven to be particularly useful for handling simple queries and requests. Which means companies may not need to hire a full customer service team or pay for a pricey app. In fact, over time, even the cost of producing and implementing chatbots has drastically decreased.

Event Chatbots - Event Hero from Morph.ai

Image via Morph.ai

Chatbots for Events

While there may be a lot of talk out there about the use of chatbots in events, there are only a few to choose from at the moment but more are likely to come as they continue to be developed. Here are 4 chatbots created specifically or the event space:

or you can use Morph.ai to create your own event chatbot in just a few minutes without any coding. 

Chatbots can offer a different level of flexibility than that of an app. For one thing, users don’t have to be convinced to download something else onto their phones – chatbots can be designed to operate either separately from, in place of, or within your event app in order to provide your attendees a unique engagement experience. In addition, a variety of features can be built into the bots, tools like schedules, agendas, polls, surveys, and more. And conversations with chatbots can be customized and personalized to fit your attendees’ specific information needs with the help of other event management software.

A Few of the Things a Chatbot Can Do

Those unfamiliar with chatbots might be unsure of the many uses of a chatbot. Here are just a few ways you can use a chatbot at your next event:

  • Purchasing tickets
  • Booking venues and transportation
  • Renting booths
  • Uploading and sharing presentation materials
  • Information/Customer Service
    • What’s the Wifi password?
    • Where is booth #xxx?
    • What time does [Session] start?
    • Where can I park?
    • Who’s giving the keynote?
    • Etc.

 

What do you think about event chatbots? Would you consider using one for one of your upcoming events? We would love to hear from you! Comment below or tweet us @MeetingPool.

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Kaylynne Hatch

Editor / Social Media Manager at The Meeting Pool
Kaylynne Hatch is a social media expert and online marketing manager. With a Bachelor of Science in Communications and New Media from the University of Utah and a background in graphic design and entrepreneurship. She has been working in the events and travel industry since 2013.

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