As chatbots have become more powerful this has enabled them to take on more complex roles. Using chatbots for sports events can provide an effective tool for mass participation events organizers, sports clubs, race promotors and charity event coordinators to handle participant enquiries 24/7, aid in event organisation and provide an effective marketing tool for event promotion.
Advancements in conversational UIs and AI in sports events management may not be as fast and impactful yet as in some other sectors, but these technologies have the potential to redefine participant experiences and enable smarter event management for the organizers.
Whether you organise Triathlons, Cycling, Swimming, Running or Motorsports events, we are going to cover 6 of the reasons why you should be employing chatbots to support your event.
1. Familiar Technology
These days sportive, triathlon, marathon participants and entrants are savvier and demand an intuitive and seamless customer experience, using technology to fit in with their communication habits.
Every day 1.4 billion people around the world send over 50 billion messages to communicate with each other. Many prefer social media and mobile platforms for communication and expect organisers to be on-line when they are.
For example If users are having a conversation with a chatbot in Facebook Messenger, they are using a conversation channel they are familiar with and they are already using the technology and don’t need to install a new app. The numbers of messenger app users have been steadily rising. 2 billion messages are sent on Messenger every month (Facebook data, January 2018).
2. Improve Participant Communication
Event organisers can struggle to provide easy contact points to participants, event attendees are often dogged by problems with contacting anyone running the event.
Traditional channels such as email and organic posts on websites and social media are not performing well enough to rely on completely. Using chatbots for sports events provides the perfect tool for organisers to send and receive information to/from their entrants.
A chatbot can enter into personalized and automated communication with entrants pre and post event. Using push notifications to send new event information or gaining valuable entrant feedback for post-event evaluation.
Using these techniques a chatbot is able to reach participants wherever they are, regardless of where the chat session was initiated, whether on a mobile app, a website and even from social platforms such as Facebook Messenger.
As a result of using this, a chatbot can be an ideal tool for last-minute event notifications to be broadcast to participants, ensuring that entrants receive the information on time and when it’s relevant. Your event chatbot can also be programmed to respond to users requests to speak to event organisers so that users are always able to converse with real people if needed, ensuring the optimal customer experience.
3. Provide Fast Event Information
From an event participants point of view, as we all know, the morning of an event can be stressful and this is often the time when participants need to get to event information as quickly as possible.
Participants spend months training, meticulously buying the correct gear and hours pouring over their training stats and their training routine but it’s surprising how often they forget about the more simple things:
- “What time is the event parking open?”
- “what do I need to bring for registration tomorrow?”
- “does the shop at the event start sell inner tubes?”
A chatbot gives them an easy way to get the right event information fast.
Entrants may still have questions that an event website itself does not answer or does not answer quickly enough. Entrants often find it easier to ask than to search a website. In that case, the chatbot acts as a super navigation assistant to the current information. With AI working in the background the ability to train a chatbot means that the information it provides is always relevant and up to date:
- what food is available at the feed stations do they provide gels?
- “I’m in Wave 2 what time do I set off?”
- “whats the water temperature like, do I need to wear a wetsuit today?”
- “At what distance is the first feed station?”
- “you won’t believe this but I’ve forgotten my spds can I buy any at the event start?” Sounds far-fetched but it does happen!
For organisers, this gives them peace of mind that entrants have all the required information as well as reducing the costs involved in dealing with each individual enquiry.
The real challenge is building natural language technology that supports the range of questions that entrants ask — for example, all the different ways that people might ask whether they can use tri-bars: The Aktivebot smart automated events assistant can help here.
4. Provide Multi Language Customer Support 24/7
For event organisers, the biggest challenge to serving your customers in several communication channels is responding quickly on the run-up to an event and on the event day itself.
Although a chatbot cannot handle all customer queries, it can be used to deal with many of the routine event queries that typically make up most enquiries.
One of the great benefits of a chatbot is the constant availability. Customer expectations are high and event participants are no different in expecting a quick response to enquiries. Particularly when it’s race or event day it becomes vital to provide the relevant information at any time of the day.
With a chatbot, you can offer your entrants a customer service which is available 24 hours a day even when there are no employees in the office. You can rely on your bot no matter what time of the day or day of the week or timezone the enquiry is coming from.
Chatbots can be enabled to understand multiple languages. This can be very useful if you are organising global sporting events and want to be able to answer all your entrants without the costs of employing multilingual customer support.
Chatbots are scalable and capable of handling multiple enquiries at any one time, ready to step up when event day enquiry demands are at their peak.
A chatbot can give organisers the ability to have more conversations and help more people at once than other alternatives, for example, live chat applications on websites.
This ability to handle the frequent enquires where the responses are often similar facilitates organisers in freeing up event staff to deal with the more complex issues.
5. Results and Entrant Data Integration
Event registration, deferment and results processes can still be a headache for many events organisers. Difficulties for entrants contacting organisers about their places can often cause them to look elsewhere and this is a sure fire way to create a loss of confidence in your sports event.
With the correct integration development, a chatbot is able to answer complex enquiries by integrating with existing event registration and participant management solutions to immediately look up the correct information.
For example, a participant enquiry asking to defer their place due to injury can be action-ed and a refund processed easily.
A chatbot can also provide information about event availability and direct entrants to alternative options if there are no places.
Event results are an important part of sporting events.
Chatbots can integrate with your results data systems to provide participants with an easy way to look up their results.
Chatbots can also be used to notify participants when their results are available via opt-in notifications.
Using chatbots for sports events enables you to connect your chatbot seamlessly with your entire event ecosystem- CRM, ERP, CMS, and other key events applications.
6. Events Promotion Using Facebook Messenger Marketing
There is a lot of competition for events companies these days. Sporting events happen on a daily basis meaning the choice for triathlons, sportives and marathons seem almost endless.
With all the noise and excitement competing for attendees, it’s imperative that your event stands out. Your event needs to ensure it’s the one that people repeatedly flock to ensuring a good turn out of entrants and supporters.
Using a chatbot to leverage Facebook Messenger marketing can help to achieve this.
Traditional ways of promoting events are becoming less effective. Email marketing rates have 5–10% open rates, FB news feeds 0–1% visibility and mobile conversion rates flagging at 1–2%.
In contract through a chatbot opt-in targeted messages or push notifications in Facebook Messenger have up to 70% read rates and a 40% click-through rate.
Event organisers can leverage messenger marketing to:
- Promote new events
- Create noise for your sponsors
- Request valuable participant feedback
- Provide training suggestions
- Drive fundraising
Creating a Buzz For Entrants and Supporters
One of the reasons we love sports events is the anticipation, in the run-up to the event itself, waking up on the day of an event with a spring in our step, and then the palpable rush when we reach the start itself, checking our gear and attaching our rider/runner number. As an outdoor events promoter, building the hype is an important task ahead of mass participation events; this is not just to build participant excitement, but to sell places and secure a healthy return on investment.
Maximise Sponsorship Exposure At Your Event
Sponsors are a vital part of an event. Using Messenger marketing to provide exposure to your sponsors ensures they get max ROI and helps to gain new sponsors in the future. If you’re in it for the long-haul, and plan on running your event many more times in the future, then it’s worth keeping all of your current and potential sponsors engaged.
These are just 6 reasons we’ve covered
It’s clear that a chatbot for your sports event is an ideal tool to add to your event management toolbox. Chatbots can significantly improve entrant satisfaction and provides the ideal promotional tool to grow and ensure your events run smoothly at maximum attendance.
Feel free to comment if can think of any other reasons to use a chatbot to support your sports event.
Originally published at www.thebotforge.io