Nice Bot!

Written by, Jason Irwin, Manager, Digital Experience Director

Photo Source: http://www.neatorama.com/

(Download PDF Version: Nice Bot!)

The bots are taking over and if that concerns you, well, there’s a chatbot to help with that—and just about everything else.

Customized, timely and relevant information at your fingertips and at your command is becoming the norm, while waiting in line at an information kiosk is becoming increasingly archaic.

What can chatbots do for us in the brand engagement space? Take a look at this quick video on the basics of a bot from Gizmodo to get your bot knowledge up to speed, then continue reading to learn about how bots can take your event to the next level in technology and strategy.

Attendees overwhelmingly use their mobile device for event information, and we are entering a time where the event app is starting to be replaced by a chatbot. Chatbots in all their forms (textual, visual and auditory) are flooding into the event/experiential space. Brands that have harnessed some of the power of these digital tools are clearly seeing the benefits of bot engagement and data collection, and how that data can be used to refine the attendee experience.

Chatbot Communication Channels


“By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.”

Contributor, Kasey Panetta. “Gartner Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond.” Smarter With Gartner, October 3, 2017

What Bots Offer in Brand Engagement

Personalized Real-Time Conversations

  • Always on
  • Multilingual
  • Build pre-event and early engagement
  • Update event information on the fly
  • Subsets of communications for attendees based on role, skills, interests, etc.
  • Unique brand/event voice
  • Increase post-event engagement with information resources and customized follow-up
  • Seamlessly switch to human assistance

Analytics and Learning

  • View real-time insights and act on them––”read the crowd”
  • Get live accurate/current attendee data
  • Build on the knowledge of each event/brand experience

Budget-Friendly

  • Bots don’t need to have any physical or digital identity
  • They can be audio or just text
  • They are infinitely scalable
  • They limit the need for expensive human assistance

Continued Engagement

  • Encourages agency/vendor loyalty through continuous data collection event to event and year over year
  • Extend and amplify the engagement and content post-event

Event Bot Platforms

Chatbird: https//chatbirds.io/
Concierge Eventbot: https://conciergeeventbot.com/

The New Wave of Visual Bots (The Future of Bots)

Brands are going to want to bring their brand bots and event themes to life  through avatars, brand characters and virtual humans in the event/experiential space. Augmented Reality/Extended Reality (AR/XR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play important roles in bot development.

93% of face-to-face communication is nonverbal (visual and vocal), so it’s logical for bots to follow this progression. We are seeing advancements from companies in the following spaces:

Virtual
AR Humans (and Standees): http://www.prsonas.com/
V
irtual Human: https://www.soulmachines.com/

Physical
Hybrid Media Robots: https://www.event-bots.com/
Humanoid Robot: http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/

Bot Interaction and Engagement


Summary
Chatbots are useful technology that anyone can easily embrace. They’ve been around for ages and, as AI and mobile converge, and NPL (Nature Language Processing) gets better, they will become a seamless part of our lives. They will provide a familiar chronological user experience that keeps a simple swipe-able history at your fingertips. When developed properly, brand/event engagement will be made stronger with each brand/product/experience. These bots will become brand and event ambassadors, and remember you from event to event—and all the time in between.

Bots will fill a prominent spot in an AI-enabled, post-app era and continue to rapidly grow across markets, complementing the increased use of XR through voice, gesture and gaze input that will start to rival texting in the 2020s.

For more information on how we can help integrate chatbot technology into your communication strategies, please email info@iv.com.

Case Study Highlight: Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012

Attendees: 8,500
Location: Multiple venues, Orlando, FL

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives.  It’s an intensive immersion in CIO-focused research and peer-to-peer connections designed for CIOs to advance their businesses and determine the long-term direction of IT throughout their organizations.  InVision began producing the Symposium/ITxpo keynote sessions in 2009; we now produce 20 events a year for Gartner, in 6 countries around the world.

DISCOVER
Discovery begins with a briefing session by Gartner on the top industry trends for the year, the main conference messaging and their objectives for Symposium/ITxpo. The 2012 theme, Focus. Connect. Lead. was chosen to help CIOs deepen their understanding of key IT and business strategies, cultivate connections and convert IT strategy into action. InVision’s job is to bring that theme to life in an integrated creative package for the keynote room, overflow rooms, breakouts and ITxpo theaters.

DESIGN
Because Symposium/ITxpo content always reflects the latest industry trends, designing the conference is an exercise in flexibility, nimble thinking and jump-in-with-both-feet enthusiasm (that’s three of our top services!). The concepts InVision develops are often reworked and refined time and again by show date. In 2012, we opened Symposium/ITxpo with a dramatic ultra-widescreen visualization of the tsunami of digital devices challenging IT. Later in the session, InVision used projection mapping to create instant set changes to show multiple environments in a day in the life of a CIO in a 24/7 world.

Bringing Gartner’s research to life in the keynote room involves a complete conference creative package that includes interstitial animations and speaker support graphics. It also involves integrating the conference brand and messaging throughout the multi-hotel venue. InVision manages all the breakout sessions and, in 2012, began redesign of the presentations for Gartner’s top attended sessions to make them more dynamic and engaging for the audience.

Another aspect of our work on the Symposium/ITxpo is that Gartner repurposes a majority of the media for use in Symposium/ITxpo around the world, meaning everything is designed for multi-cultural audiences and redubbed in multiple languages.

DELIVER
InVision oversaw production and coordinated with Gartner partner agencies in five different Orlando properties (Dolphin, Swan, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach, and Atlantic Dance Hall venues) for 8,500 attendees. In addition to the keynote room, we also managed all track sessions, sponsor sessions, VIP Day, CIO programs, workshops, ad hoc meetings, ITxpo showfloor theaters, and Industry Sunday tracks.  We sent an HD broadcast feed of the keynote sessions to 13 locations live from the main stage. Post-event, InVision supported archiving and uploading presentations for Gartner’s Events On Demand offering.

Webinar Rewind: “Communicating For Results” w/ Karen Colligan

Did you miss the latest webinar “Communicating for Results” presented by Karen Colligan on January 16th?

It’s available for you online to check out: https://invisionevents.webex.com/invisionevents/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=6262832&rKey=6a87a92330b5e957

Karen Colligan is the creator and founder of PeopleThink, a consulting firm that helps companies invest in their most precious assets – their PEOPLE – to achieve organizational and company success. She has worked in partnership with many of today’s success companies such as Genentech and Twitter.

Karen is also the author of The Get Real Guide to Your Career, a full-service career planning program that helps individuals identify their natural talents, skills and interests to create the career they want.

If you have a great idea for a webinar or if you have a topic that you’d like to present, please email us at bloggers@iv.com.

Webinar: Communicating For Results

Presented by Karen Colligan
Date: Wednesday, January 16th
Time: 11:00am – 11:30am PST

Add to Calendar

Please login 5-10 minutes prior to the webinar start time!

Communicating for Results

Are there situations when you hold back from saying what you want to say? Or do you say it, but still feel as if you haven’t been heard?  Finding your unique “voice” and developing the confidence to use that voice can have a powerful impact on your career, your relationships and your life.

Join us at InVision’s webinar that will help you tap into your strengths and find the “voice” that will influence others, ensure you are being heard, and help you communicate effectively.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Communication styles and the strengths of each
  • How to determine your style and leverage its strengths
  • How to shift your style based on your audience.

You will walk away with a new technique that will help you communicate with confidence and achieve results.

Logon to the Webex Link Below to Access the Meeting

Event number: 666 420 185
Event password: invision
Event address for attendees: https://invisionevents.webex.com/invisionevents/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=666420185

Teleconference Information

US TOLL: 1-650-479-3207
Access code:  666 420 185

Webinar Rewind: Larry Jacobson Presents “Passion Trumps Fear”

Did you miss the latest webinar “Passion Trumps Fear” presented by Larry Jacobson in December?

It’s available for you online to check out: https://invision.webex.com/invision/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=MC&rID=31428527&rKey=62053b5a361c848c

If you have a great idea for a webinar or if you have a topic that you’d like present, please email us at bloggers@iv.com.

Five Little Things

Here are five things we did a little differently in 2012 to help our clients deliver engaging events with efficient and measurable results:

1. Created an event app that allowed members of corporate leadership to instantly and publicly display their commitment to a corporate-wide initiative. This inspired increased participation in the initiative by the general company population and achieved the client objectives ahead of schedule.

2. “Crowd-sourced” event content by soliciting ideas and topics from the audience prior to the event. We even let them pick the music. Knowing they had a hand in the agenda increased audience members’ participation and engagement.

3. Shortened the General Session and instead created topic-specific “engagement zones.” This audience segmentation gave the presenters focused attendees who were highly interested in their topics.

4. Produced an opening video featuring members of the audience. Seeing the faces of their friends and colleagues up on the screen created an enthusiastic buzz and spontaneous peer recognition.

5. Staged a private hospitality event infused with “stealth” messaging in the body of a custom live musical theater production. The audience was not just entertained they were also informed and inspired.

Each of these ideas came from our clients’ desires to engage and immerse event participants. Some of the ideas are high tech, some are decidedly low tech. By working collaboratively with event stakeholders, we found just the right combination of ingredients to make each event more relevant, targeted, engaging and impactful.

Andy Flanagan, Account Manager, InVision Communications, Chicago

An Unexpected Discovery

Recently in the Boston area for a two-day meeting with clients, one of my colleagues and I were searching for a new dining experience. We wanted some place fresh, unique, local and willing to customize the menu for a vegan. After researching some Yelp Reviews, we found 51 Lincoln. Their website sounded just like what we were looking for:

51 Lincoln’s core philosophy revolves around the principles of quality, value, and creativity. The best ingredients, a passion for flavor, innovation, and attention to detail are the foundation of what we offer our guests.

Ok, reservation booked! After a 30-minute cab ride (which was supposed to be 10 minutes – long story), we arrived.  As we found the non-descript entrance that we assumed was the front door, a couple walking out noticed our uncertain looks and assured us that we were in the right place and remarked on what amazing food we were about to eat.  We walked through thick velvet curtains into a softly lit, warm and bustling room. It appeared that everyone knew each other and we were instantly happy to be part of the scene. The hostess asked for our names and began leading us through the dining room to the back and then to the stairs… to the basement? She turned around and said, “I hope you don’t mind, we have overflow seating downstairs.” Not what we had in mind. Overflow? Being in the events industry, we know what that means… the “other room.” Instantly a bit skeptical, we followed her down the stairs and past the restrooms. Brighter lighting, cooler air and dimming excitement met us along the way. Then she led us into a small room… the wine cellar! Intimately set with only a few other tables occupied, we sat down and our neighbors welcomed us. We sat, reassured.

As foodies and regular business travelers, our expectations were high and anything a little different than what we were accustomed to immediately give us pause. But it got me thinking about the experience that we offer our clients in the events industry and how we talk about creating the unexpected, triggering emotions, and crafting the story a little differently every time. It’s exactly what 51 Lincoln did it in under five minutes.  Belief, trust and vision were all required on our part; otherwise we would have turned around, walked out and end up at the same restaurant we have been eating at on our monthly trips to the area – “the incumbent.” Don’t get me wrong, that restaurant is yummy, serves great wine and offers great service… but it’s the same every time and we wanted a little change.

The rest of our evening continued to be full of lovely interactions with people, both staff and other guests. It was instant rapport. There was the polite and shy busboy from Colombia who was thrilled to hear of my travels in his country and practiced his English by telling us all about the menu. Then there was the sommelier who was patient and informative with our choices and even gave us free glasses of wine at the end of our meal. There was the amazing vegan meal that the chef created presented in a custom made edible nest that was almost too beautiful to eat! Every detail was spot on and consistent with their philosophy and brought us on a dining journey that peaked all of our senses, filled our bellies and left us wanting to do it again.

Have a look at their website:
http://www.51lincolnnewton.com/

Erin Warnock, Account Manager, InVision Communications, New York

APPles to APPles…

I recently purchased an iPad Mini – yes, I broke down and I bought one. It’s awesome. Not only does it fit in my really small hands, but it’s so light! That is, until I bought a cover for it which actually seems to weigh more than the actual Mini…okay, I’ve strayed.

The first thing I did is what everyone does when they buy a tablet, you look for some really cool apps that you can show off and play with. As I excitedly scrolled through the apps, I could feel my enthusiasm start to dwindle away…there are too many apps. Which app is better? Should I use Camera + or Photo Editor? Errands-to-Do List or Shopping List? Account Tracker or Accounts Checkbook? Scrabble or Words With Friends? GoodReader or iBooks?

Stop!

I can’t take it anymore. All of them seem so good yet all of them seem like the wrong one too. I needed some help.

So I decided to do some research online. I stumbled upon an article published midyear and it actually helped me a lot: 10 iPad Apps Everyone Should Have. I downloaded almost of all the suggested apps and I have never been happier. I didn’t even know there was a PhotoShop app! Really cool. Some of these do cost money but it’s well worth it, especially if you use your iPad a lot.

In addition to the apps suggested by the article, I also recommend:

  • Accounts (helps balance your checkbooks and credit cards)
  • Tech Crunch (offers the latest news on technology)
  • mSecure (keeps track of all your passwords and account numbers – password protected and will destroy your information if someone tries to break into the app)
  • IMDB (if you are a movie and celebrity buff, this is the app for you)

If you’re struggling like me to find a good iPad app, try a few of them. Let me know what you think.

 Amanda Chartier Retter, Marketing Specialist, InVision Communications

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Recently, my wife Liz and I scheduled a family get together with four family members to join us for a Jersey Boys matinee performance, a fabulous dinner and a night stay at the Cornell Club.

By the time we arrived in NYC on the eve of the NYC Marathon, things took a significant turn from what we originally planned: Hurricane Sandy had caused the NYC Marathon to be cancelled and the hurricane flooding forced the restaurant we had reservations for to close; all which resulted in forcing our family to cancel their travel plans to join us.

But with six tickets in our hands and the prospect of a shower and a break from the blackout that had impacted our entire hometown, we decided to make the best of our plans and headed into Manhattan to do what we could do.  Little did we suspect that another significant turn of events would occur.

As we arrived at the Cornell Club, we met a large group of marathon-clad people from countries all around the world (Japan, Italy, France, Poland, etc.), who were being filmed as they dined casually. The scene piqued my curiosity and soon I found out that the group was all members of Achilles International (http://achillesinternational.org/), whose mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life. Apparently, a documentary film crew was to follow them to capture their marathon experience but due to the cancellation, it was now being filmed to cover their unexpected change in plans.

We met Dick Traum, the founder and head of Achilles, and I mentioned that we had three tickets we’d like to offer to any members of the team who might enjoy seeing a great Broadway show. Sure enough, we had three athletes from Poland: one blind, one deaf and the last one was their guide. They met us at the theatre and ended up loving the show more than anyone else in the house! Having missed out on their first NYC Marathon, their spirits soared at having attended their first ever Broadway show. To express his gratitude, the blind gentleman, Marcin Grabinski, presented me with a priceless thank you gift: a medal he received from finishing a race in Europe.

So, an unexpected, uplifting weekend for them and for us turned out as perfect as it could be. It  gave us a glimpse into an amazing organization and a great group of new friends!

Fred Bailey, Director of Client Services, New York, InVision Communications

Destination Management – Why Yes We Are!

Over the past 22 years, I have spent a lot of time telling people that I am not in the Destination Management business, rather, I work on the content, communications and staging side of corporate meetings and events…I then, typically, go on to explain the difference.

But recently, I’ve come to realize that in a very true sense, InVision is in the destination management business.

We identify the behavioral and mindset destinations our clients envision for their attendees and structure communications and experiences to transport them to their desired destination. We create memorable journeys that will endure in memories long after their travelers return home.

Sometimes, we try to create suspense, anticipation, surprise.

Some of our journeys examine history; some have a distinctly cultural aspect to them. Often, trips we plan are like working vacations a combination of recreation and education, others are more celebratory, and many are a blended combination of experiences like some of the best designs of premier travel agencies.

So, whatever your destination, we’re happy to plan an appropriate and memorable experience to get you there.

Bon voyage!

Fred Bailey, Director of Client Services, New York, InVision Communications