One of the primary advantages of chatbots is that they don’t need to be installed. The reason they don’t need to be installed is that they leverage off pre-installed chat applications and they are lightweight in terms of their graphics requirements.
This makes them perfect for one off or infrequent use. People don’t want to download and install an app they are going to only use once. They don’t want to expend the effort and don’t want to waste phone resources on something that will be infrequently used. It also doesn’t make sense for them to have to learn how to use an app that they are going to only use once or so infrequently that they are going to need to relearn how to use it the next time around.
This makes events the perfect use case for chatbots. Event attendees only need a link to the bot via a web link or a QR code. The bot can then be used through webchat or a chat application such as Whatsapp.
The most obvious use case for events is frequently asked questions. Attendees can ask questions about the facilities, the program and anything else via the chatbot.
This works particularly well if the chatbot is backed up by human agents. This is called human in the loop (HITL) and means that the chatbot will immediately escalate any questions that it doesn’t understand to a human agent.
In the case of an event, the human agents can actually be present on the floor of the event both providing assistance online and providing assistance in person.
A nice to have for an event is location data. This is because the attendee’s location on the floor of the event can be relevant to the questions they are asking. For example, an attendee may ask “where are the chatbot booths?” and the chatbot would preferably respond by giving them directions from their current location to the chatbot booths.
The technology to provide location data is trivial to implement, the only problem in achieving this solution is that it may involve the user installing something on their phone which as we mentioned previously was something we were trying to avoid by using chatbots in the first place. It is conceivable in the case that the attendee asks a question relevant to location that the chatbot gives them the option, if they want to improve its response, of allowing it access to their location or installing a location app.
The frequently asked question use case is a differentiator for chatbots as an app is not the best interface for this use case. This is a further argument that it is better to provide a chatbot than an app at events.
Apps, of course, provide other functionality. For example, attendees may want to scroll through the names of speakers or attendees for the event and allow the attendee to connect with them as required. A chatbot isn’t the best interface for this type of functionality. In this case, it may be better for this functionality to be offered as a discrete web app and build a two-way integration between the web app and the chatbot.
For example, a user can ask “Who is speaking for the first session?” and the chatbot can open a web page with the relevant list of speakers that the attendee can click on each speaker to get more detail about them or to connect with them.
The app used at the event may allow attendees to do simple things such as order drinks or reserve sessions. This type of functionality may be well suited to the chatbot. The customer can accomplish the task at hand via the chatbot, often by using graphical widgets embedded in the chat (to the extent these graphical widgets are supported by the relevant chat application).
While it is easy and clear to set up Frequently Asked Questions functionality in the bot, there are some interesting use cases for a conference that is not so well understood. The location example I mentioned earlier is a case in point.
A large conference has many stalls and it is not feasible to enter intents for every stall. The way the chatbot would be designed is that an intent would be set up for a general question such as “where is stall X” where X is a slot that needs to be filled representing the stall or target area in question. The slot for X would be an entity representing all the companies that occupy the booths at the conference.
In summary, it is often preferable to use a chatbot rather than an app for an event. A chatbot doesn’t need to be downloaded and can deal with frequently asked questions in ways that are not possible with an app.
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