Meeting Mentor Magazine

June 2018

Chatbot Revolution is Just Beginning

Sciencio’s Conceirge Eventbot was the top winner of the annual IBTM World Tech Watch Award, presented at IBTM World, held in November in Barcelona, Spain.

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Chatbots are computer programs that conduct conversations via auditory or text methods. Sciensio’s Concierge Eventbot is designed specifically for use at conferences, exhibitions and events, enabling event organizers to share information and logistics with attendees in a convenient and accessible way. Attendees can choose to get information from the bot via an event web page or through Messenger, SMS, Telegram or Twitter apps. Users can get information concerning programming, location, logistics, Wi-Fi networks and more simply by texting questions. Other text services include surveys, crowd-sourced questions and FAQs.

Sciensio’s Concierge Eventbot was both the overall winner in the annual tech competition, as well as the winning submission in the contest’s Audience Engagement category, one of three categories for awards this year. The winner in the Logistics and Production category was SharedXP Limited, a platform for content development through crowdvoting and crowdsourcing. ConferencePulse won in the Management and Marketing category. This tool uses sales and marketing intelligence to find and develop potential sponsors, speakers and venues. 

On the Horizon

Chatbots are among the top trends in event tech to watch in 2018, according to Corbin Ball’s annual end-of-year list. Ball, a frequent speaker and writer on event technology, was the chair of the 2017 IBTM World Technology & Innovation Watch Judging Committee. He believes that with the further development of artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots will become a transformative tool for event organizers:

“These systems will become increasingly accurate in determining the sense and context of voice/text requests and responding in a human-like way. The explosion of voice-activated systems such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home attest to the rapidly increasing capabilities of these systems. However, the voice interface does not work well in crowded environments such as a meeting room or a tradeshow. External phone conversations in a meeting room are generally not well accepted as is yelling orders into your phone on a noisy exhibit floor. Therefore, text-based systems are starting to emerge as an excellent chatbot alternative to answer questions, to gather feedback and to engage attendees at events.”

As applications for artificial intelligence evolve, he added, it will become possible for an event planner to upload the event website and related information to a computer to “read, catalog and make sense of the details with little or no human intervention – and provide it back in text or voice as desired.”

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For a complete list of Ball’s top trends to watch for 2018, click here. — Regina McGee

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