Year-Round Audience Engagement? It's Possible With a Chatbot

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about how event chatbots could help event organizers foster stronger communities around events. EventBots are our bread-and-butter, taking us inside hundreds of events each year with millions of guests submitting just as many inquiries to our A.I. powered bots. In the process, we’ve gleaned some insights into what guests are looking for from event leaders.

If we take a meta view of all that data, it becomes clear that event guests go on a journey: first they debate whether to come or not, then they need to be supported and entertained, then they leave and (often) don’t think about the event until next year.

We call this the Engagement Journey, and EventBots have a place in that journey. Sometimes the bot is supporting it, other times it’s interrupting it, but the fundamental goal is always to improve the quality of engagement.

Read on to learn more about how you, as an event organizer, can use a chatbot to improve your audience engagement.

Five Reasons Why Chatbots Are the Ultimate Audience Engagement Tool

First, let’s chat for a moment about why chatbots are great at engaging guests: 

  1. They’re easy to use (especially the ones like ours that work through any cell phone’s text app).
  2. A 42Chat EventBot creates immediate satisfaction for your guests by giving them a tool that instantly answers their questions. No digging through emails or an FAQ page. No hunting down one of your overworked event staff. Guests just send a text, phrased in whatever way feels most natural to them, and they get the right answer 95+ times out of 100
  3. Unlike some event staff, an EventBot never gets tired or snippy – it’s infinitely polite, perky or professional (whatever tone of voice aligns best with your brand). 
  4. Guests love it when you give the bot a personality that resonates with them. For example, a sports league could give the bot the same name and image as their mascot and weave the best rallying slogans into responses.
  5. It lets your staff better engage with guests. When they’re not getting asked the same questions over and over again, they have more time for delivering fun activities or helping the guests with unique needs.

Three Key Conversations to Have With Your Attendees

Now let’s break down the Engagement Journey. It has three distinct phases:

  • The Registration phase starts when you open registration and ends when the event begins. 
  • The Event phase is the active time immediately before, during and immediately after the event. 
  • The Marketing phase is the long, often ignored, post event stretch up to the Registration phase. 

The reason for breaking down the Engagement Journey in this way is to highlight that you should be having conversations with your attendees in each phase, and the conversations in each phase should align with a guest’s headspace at the time. 

Registration is the time to deliver information, support and hype-building messaging that convinces people to register. Once they’re registered, it’s time to deliver information, support and activities (like a scavenger hunt) that helps them enjoy the event. Once the guests are gone, it’s common to breathe a sigh of relief and rest until planning ramps up for next year’s event. But we think it’s better for you and the guests to maintain the relationship you’ve just worked so hard to build.

The Incredible Potential of the Marketing Conversation for Your Bottom Line

One of the amazing things about an EventBot is that once a guest interacts with the bot at your event, their phone number stays in your database until they unsubscribe – and most won’t! This means you can stay in touch with your audience in the months after your event.

So what should you do with that opportunity? It’s critical to find the right balance between providing value and over-engaging (aka spamming). Right after the event, guests are open to relevant follow-up information like getting copies of the speakers’ slide decks or recap videos. In the months after that, value-add content like an exclusive interview with last year’s headliner or a merch discount will be well-received. Then, suddenly, you’re selling tickets for next year’s event. Your community is engaged with your brand and primed to buy those tickets. 

This is what makes the Engagement Journey so powerful: it can actually have a big impact on your bottom line.

Fostering High-Quality Engagement in a Disengaged World

Our EventBots include a year-long subscription option so you can foster and take advantage of the Engagement Journey. The positive impression left by your helpful EventBot before and during the event, combined with text’s association with close relationships and easily digestible hits of information, means your guests will actually look at text messages you send after the event. 

Our bots have a mind-blowing 98%+ Open Rate. In a world where people don’t read, there are few stats more powerful than that.

Learn More About Leveling Up Your Audience Engagement With a Chatbot

For Even More Insights Into the Engagement Journey, Download Our Audience Engagement E-Book

A chatbot can turn event attendees into ambassadors. Learn how with this audience engagement e-book. Click to get the e-book

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