Ever been on your way to an event and suddenly needed information regarding your ticket, parking or just a general enquiry? You have a look through the events website but can’t find the answer to your question. You send the event page a Facebook message but don’t get a response. Lastly, you call their customer support number and spend the next 30 minutes getting redirected and put on hold. Before you know it, you’ve arrived at the event, and you still don’t have an answer to your question.
There’s a good chance that this same question was asked by hundreds of other attendees. And the answer was probably somewhere on the website. However, websites with pages of content and poorly designed UX can leave customers unable to find what they want, or not even trying the website at all. As humans, it is our preference to communicate and uncover information in a conversational manner – that is, simply asking a question.
There’s a lot that chatbots can do for the events space. That’s why music & arts festivals, conferences and sports teams are using them worldwide. Below I’ve taken a look at some of my favourite Facebook Messenger chatbots in the events space 👇
What can chatbots do for events?
📩 Highly-targeted mailing list
Recently, bot•hello participated in the QUT Bluebox startup accelerator. On the demo night, we invited attendees to interact with a chatbot that we had built for the event. We now have a highly targeted mailing list of entrepreneurs and investors who we can contact – straight in their Facebook inbox.
Notice how the above engagement is simple, quick, and engaging for the user. And in addition to qualifying their needs, we don’t have to collect any contact details as we can get in touch directly within Facebook Messenger. Imagine being able to send a direct, personalised message to everyone who attended your event last year 😵.
⚡️ 24/7 customer service
Abby the SXSW bot utilises natural language processing, enabling users to ask questions and plan out their ideal conference. Being 24/7 and highly scalable, this dramatically reduces workload on busy event staff and allows users to get an instant response.
📣 Direct communication channel
The Festival X bot gives users the option to subscribe to festival news, artist updates and merchandise announcements. Once opted-in, Festival X can communicate important information to attendees on the platform that they are most active – Facebook Messenger.
Messenger is incredibly powerful when it comes to delivering time-sensitive announcements. As messages come through in the same manner as a message from a Facebook friend; open-rates are sky-high. When was the last time you thought to check your email while at a music festival?
🎟 Drive ticket sales
Of the event chatbots that I could find currently active, most had a buy ticket button that links out to a landing page. There’s a real missed opportunity here to utilise the conversational medium to create a more engaging and personalised purchasing experience. Using fun and engaging copy, users could be taken through a journey to discover what days of the event they want to attend, the acts that they want to see and the type of ticket that best suits them.
Conversational experiences like this are a powerful and underutilised way to engage customers and drive sales. While not an event bot, we recently had a lot of success creating a conversational buying experience as part of a product launch campaign for Maybelline New York 👇
🦁 Digital brand personification
In early 2019, the Brisbane Lion’s engaged bot•hello to create a chatbot. Being a famous sports team, the Lion’s have a die-hard fan base, as such, customer engagement is key. Instead of building a robotic customer service application, we digitally personified their mascot, Roy.
Roy never takes a break, can work before and after games, and always does it with a smile on his face. See examples of real customer responses below 👇
There’s a real opportunity for events, festivals, and conferences to create a relatable identity for their target attendees. The personification of your event helps to establish a relationship with your fans that’s unique, exciting and memorable.
Does your event need a chatbot?
Chatbots allow you to personify your brand in a highly-engaging, 24/7, conversational experience. And with the mainstream adoption of conversational tech like Siri, Alexa and Google Home, conversational interfaces are well on their way to becoming the standard in customer service.
If you’re ready to up your customer care game, reach me below👇