A changing landscape
The last few years have seen a lot of change for businesses which have now become habitual. In person events have shifted to the realm of the virtual and with the pandemic becoming background noise and real life events steadily back on the rise, the way businesses approach the planning of company events (and indeed the way they interact with staff) has undergone a foundational shift. Companies have had to rely upon virtual communication tools like never before in order to plan events and effectively communicate with their distributed teams, internal communication channels like Microsoft Teams and Workplace By Meta have become essential tools for nearly all companies.
Through this shift borne through necessity, many companies have found an unexpected boon that has made dialoguing with staff easier and planning corporate events a breeze. Staff engagement has never been more dynamic, large chunks of time devoted to banal but necessary admin has been liberated and productivity has surged.
The cause of this corporate revolution?
Bots provide targeted automated communications that augment the planning and operations of events. Event assistants and apps can integrate with the channels staff are already using (such as Microsoft Teams and Workplace) and become a game changer for both virtual and in-person events planning and managing.
Hosting a big corporate event (virtual or IRL) can often feel like a Herculean labour: there are a myriad of communication types that need to occur before, after and during the event to a host of different people. Then there’s liaison with speakers, logistical and tech set up along with health and safety requirements…and there are always the odd unforeseen issue that can pop up at the last minute.
Using bots can streamline the event planning process and drastically improve a company’s comms and marketing strategy to remove major pain points and repetitive tasks. The company tailored comms that bots provide engage the attendees and allows more time to be dedicated to creating a premier experience which otherwise would be spent on back and forth planning on the minutiae of building the event. Bots can ensure you are in complete control of all your known functions and help you to react quickly and be adaptable for any unknown developments that should arise.
How can bots help?
Streamlining all of the comms data in a single channel makes information easier to follow and prevents the confusion that often arises when communication is divested across multiple channels. Many communications issues arise when information systems are built (often unwittingly) into a 1-way system or ‘lecture-style’ method of communication. In order to foster true and healthy interaction a 2-way communications system is needed. One that fosters engagement and allows insights to be brought to the fore that previously may have remained buried. According to Markletic, 49% of marketers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributing factor to having a successful event. Bespoke bots built into a single comms channel breathe life into the information flow and promote a healthy and efficient interchange that promotes engagement.
During the event bots can help by sending broadcasts that welcome attendees and send alerts throughout the conference when things are happening – for example when the bar is open or the raffle starts in 15 minutes etc. The event can be made to be more interactive and engaging by updating attendees about any developments and by providing details about etiquette (particularly important for virtual events). You can run polls or ask questions during the event to increase interaction with the audience and ensure people are dialled in and as engaged as possible.
Pre-event bot support
Bots can help to manage all stages of the event process. Pre-event they can:
- Send broadcasts about the upcoming event
- Automatically answer FAQs of which there are often many before the event, particularly in these post COVID times we live in. Having FAQs prepared and automated can save a huge amount of time, these can cover a broad range of queries. Everything from dietary requirements to the speaker’s schedule.
- Creating surveys so solutions and insights can be brought to the attention of the organisers to create a better experience. For example, what speaker people would most like to have involved, what is the audience’s preferred time for a keynote speech and so on.
Post-event bot support
Post-event bots can:
- Gather feedback on how the event went and find out ways to improve. What were the most popular segments or speakers? Who should we book next time?
- Share clips and video footage of the event as a follow up or send on bonus content to attendees.
- Reinforce key messages from the event and outline steps about how to proceed in the immediate future.
Save money and boost engagement
Bots are changing the way events are planned and indeed the nature of events themselves. By delivering the communication augmentation features listed above attendee engagement has never been higher.
In a world increasingly virtual, events run on tools like Teams are just as prevalent as IRL events and here bots provide seamless one channel information exchange without the need for a dedicated host or HR involvement which can take up large chunks of time. Users can gain event information almost instantaneously, as simple as picking up their phone and messaging a friend. There is access to information 24/7 as bots work around the clock configuring different time zones and can be tailored to an individual’s preferences and working hours.
True and lasting improvement can be achieved through the use of surveys conducted through your Event Assistant Bot. Getting the big picture and understanding how and why improvements should be made is all too often an elusive enterprise when using several communication streams and when there are mountains of manual admin to do. Without the ability to measure and to integrate into pre-existing systems quality feedback can often be an afterthought.
An Event Assistant Bot can save you time and money and boost the engagement and success of your event. Time and money that would otherwise be consumed in the tedium of manually answering questions and the mechanics of conveying information is now freed up.
This was certainly the case for one of our customers, an elite French football team. After launching their Event Bot their HR team reported a lighter workload with 100% of questions answered automatically. Event sign ups and attendees were boosted by 20% and engagement rates rocketed with a 15x increase in questions asked by staff. In the words of the HR Director of the club: ‘Workplace gives our staff a channel to connect with each other and our leadership team. Bots give people a voice and the freedom to ask the questions they really want to ask.’
Free up your event planning and create a better communications system by building your own Event Assistant Bot. Speak to one of our team today to take your event to the next level!