The events space has changed drastically over the past ten years and perhaps the biggest change has come from the technological boom. Chatbots are one of the hottest tech tools for marketing right now.  ( However, there is a lot of debate among economists and technologists over the use of artificial intelligence. While many dream of the promise of smarter machines, others debate their dangers. Dallas tech billionaire Mark Cuban has predicted the world’s first trillionaires will be entrepreneurs working with artificial intelligence while Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has warned “AI tools could overpower humanity and cause conflict”.

Whether you’re cautiously optimistic, or just plain cautious, it’s helpful to know what technology exists and how to best use it to support your event endeavors, which brings us to our topic about chatbots.

Chatbots work as a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users. As exhibitors, you aim to give the event goer a positive experience that leaves them feeling connected to the brand. The key word being connected.

To connect we need to feel understood. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of being on the other end of a call with a robot who is not hearing us; it can be extremely frustrating. Event participants have high expectations of their experience on the floor and technology should add value, not complexity.

Here are four tips to creating better bots:

1. Give it personality.  The bot is an ambassador for your brand; make sure it is specific and likable.


2. Integrate with ease. If you can soft launch your chat bot on the event website where attendees go to register, you’ll have an opportunity to find out what people are asking before your event. Facebook messenger and text-messaging options can be added a few days before the event.

3. Stay in touch. Let the attendees know the bot is there for them. Send a welcome message explaining how to use the chabot. Provide examples of the information it can provide.

4. Learn and grow. Continuous improvement should happen over time. Getting the chabot live should be the beginning. The current technology makes it easy to analyze what is happening in bot-user interactions. It can also provide information to identify areas to improve. With that data in hand, you can increase the sophistication of your chabot.

Chatbots can be easy to access for event goers since they don’t require an app download but still offer app-like functions. Organizers should leverage chatbots to deliver mass personalization, saving time and money in the process.

Now, if you’re wondering if the use of chatbots are right for your events, let’s break down what exactly this AI service can provide to your attendees:

1. Personal assistance. Everyone loves to feel like they have someone they can call upon. Why not have that person in your pocket? Attendees can have their questions answered on-demand. Instead of fishing through emails for the Wi-Fi password, for example, your chabot can provide that information to hundreds of attendees with a simple ask.


2. Providing on-demand agenda. Your participants can obtain all the information they need directly from their favorite messaging app. The event bot can deliver session schedules, speaker profiles, and agenda information.

3. Direct notifications. Any changes in schedule, location or programming are easily distributed and accessed by the attendees. It’s also great for sending personal reminders. For instance, letting an attendee know when a session they have favorited is about to begin.

4. Giving feedback. Attendees can give feedback via smart event chatbots in a variety of ways including live polls and ratings on sessions, speakers, or other topics.

As far as the benefits for the exhibitor is concerned, we think some of the biggest upsides to chatbots are insight and information. The analysis of chabot conversations can help us better understand the emotion that the user is expressing during those interactions, and we can use that information to provide a better experience. We can also continue to gather more specific information on the attendee. We’ve come a long way from the fishbowl days. (


The more we can learn about the individual event goer, the more we can hyper personalize each attendee’s experience enabling them to consume event content in a way that is uniquely tailored to their interests. Organizers can continue to gather more quality insights about the participants’ experience, helping optimize future events for maximum impact and ROI. To chatbot or not to chatbot? Maybe it’s not such a tough question after all.

Ilana Cohn, TPG Staff Writer