Can the latest tech trend chatbots enhance your conference?

One of the newest tech trends for the events industry is the chatbot – which uses artificial intelligence to provide useful information for delegates.

Computer programs can conduct conversations between the chatbots and attendees, via audio or text methods, to pass on information in clearly and concisely.

The text-based system is becoming a popular choice at conferences because the voice interface isn’t as effective in a crowded and noisy environment. Chatbots can engage delegates, answer questions and collect feedback. They can be deployed via messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, SMS, websites, Skype and live chat.

How popular are chatbots?
The boom in voice-activated systems, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, is a testament to how quickly such systems are advancing. From smartphones to virtual assistants, AI has become a big part of our daily life -so using it more during events seems a natural progression.

Thanks to continual advances in AI, the chatbot systems are becoming increasingly accurate in deciphering the context of voice and text questions. This means they’re able to respond in a more human-like manner.

In fact, a 2018 survey of more than 800 professional conference and corporate event planners revealed that 88% intended on relying more on AI over the next 12 months. This was a huge 107% increase from a similar survey carried out in 2017.

How are chatbots trained?
You may wonder how chatbots are able to understand and reply to hundreds of different questions. Artificial intelligence allows them to mimic the human thought processes, adapting natural language and making educated decisions, based on the previous interactions they have handled.

The AI of the chatbot learns to reflect human personalities by holding conversations with people, similar to the way in which human users would interact through instant messaging. The more conversations that AI observes, the more it learns about how to respond and interpret the language.

The flow of conversation is made possible by Natural Language Processing -the software that enables a chatbot to understand the language being used, rather than just the task that has been requested. This function is vital for chatbots.

When they understand the meaning behind the words, they begin to comprehend why and when they need to perform tasks, no matter what the exact words of the query are.

Can chatbots improve your event?
Chatbots can be used in different ways to enhance your event. One of the main benefits is that they can assist attendees by improving customer service – the cornerstone of an enhanced delegate experience.

Forward-thinking organisers of conferences and corporate events are beginning to use chatbots to help answer attendees’ questions. Unlike human staff, a chatbot is working 24/7, so if a delegate has a question, it will be answered – even if it’s the middle of the night and you’re asleep.

This is particularly useful if delegates are coming from another country to the conference, which means they are likely to be in a different time zone. There’s also no need to worry about having to hire extra staff to answer queries during peak times.

In addition, chatbots can help you to optimise your social media strategy. According to surveys, around 90% of event organisers felt reaching out to attendees was their biggest challenge during 2018.

To resolve this, try automating your event’s social media promotions. Tools such as ToneDen use a type of AI to help users to target interested audiences on Instagram and Facebook. The intelligent technology builds and tests campaigns for your attendees.

When the campaigns have gone live, their algorithms work 24 hours a day to optimise your ads in real time. This not only saves you time but also money, as you’ll no longer be promoting your event to people who may not be interested.

What’s the future of chatbots?
Developments are underway that can interpret data on attendees’ social media profiles, using it to make appropriate recommendations, such as which conference sessions to attend, who to meet and products that may suit their interests.

The result of this is happy attendees, who are satisfied they have benefited from your event and got the most out of it.

Chatbots can help companies’ marketing efforts, enabling them to fine tune the software to meet unique user needs, based on the bots’ previous experiences. Re-target your customers with details of future events and opportunities that may interest them, based on past activity, courtesy of the chatbots’ AI.

If you haven’t been experimenting with chatbots already, now’s the time to get on board with this growing trend.

&Meetings specialises in strategically placed meeting rooms in London – and the ideal venue to try out the latest tech. Give us a call on 0800 073 0499 and we’ll help you through the booking process.

Image courtesy of © sdecoret / Adobe Stock

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